Hangover is the experience of various unpleasant Physiological and Psychological effects following the consumption of Alcohol such as Wine, Beer, Distilled Spirits. Hangover can last for a few hours to up to 72 hours after drinking.
Different effects of Hangover are primarily caused to due a number of factors that contribute to one or many side effects. Below are some reasons why drinking Alcohol creates these unpleasant effects.
Acetaldehyde: Alcohol that contains Ethanol, which upon consumption gets converted into Acetaldehyde in the liver that has toxic effects.
Dehydration: Alcohol creates diuretic effect on the body, increasing need for urination which results in dehydration.
Congeners: Alcohol that contains Methanol has compounds called Congeners which break down into toxic formaldehyde and formic acid, that cause Hangovers and may impact its severity. Congeners are found in higher concentrations in darker spirits such as Whiskey, Red Wine and Bourbon.
Immune System: Alcohol causes changes in cytokine concentrations in the Immune system. Drinking may also cause temporary changes and impairment of your immune system.
Gastrointestinal Effects: Alcohol causes irritation and increases acid production in the digestive tract.
Electrolyte Imbalance: Alcohol intake affects the body’s electrolyte levels. Imbalance of Electrolytes can trigger some of the Hangover symptoms.
Vasodilation: Alcohol consumption can cause blood vessel widening associated with headache.
Bottomline, effects of Hangover can occur due to various factors and can vary from person to person. Some of those may be associated with the type and amount of Alcohol consumed, Age, Sex, Genetics, Health Status, Smoking, Diet, Habits, etc.
Hangover affects nearly every organ/system in the body, from the Brain to Heart to Gastrointestinal tract. Hangovers are caused by drinking too much alcohol for a person’s body. A single alcoholic drink is enough to trigger a hangover for some people.
Severe Hangover signs and symptoms that accompany heavy drinking may indicate alcohol poisoning which may be life threatening. Please immediately call Medical Emergency number or rush to a nearest Hospital if a person who has been drinking shows signs of:
A person who is unconscious or can't be awakened is at risk of dying. If you suspect that someone has alcohol poisoning, even if you don't see the classic signs and symptoms please seek immediate medical care.