A hangover generally consists of unpleasant signs and symptoms that develop after drinking too much alcoholic beverages.
Symptoms typically begin when the blood alcohol concentration drops significantly and is at or near zero. They’re usually in full effect the morning after a night of heavy drinking. Depending on what and how much you drank, you may notice; Fatigue, weakness, thirst, headaches and muscle aches, nausea, vomiting or stomach pain, poor sleep, increased sensitivity to light and sound, dizziness, shakiness, decreased ability to concentrate, depression, anxiety, irritability, unpleasant feeling of heartbeat.
Serious signs and symptoms that accompany heavy drinking include; convulsions, loss of consciousness, disturbed breathing, decreased body temperature. This is a medical emergency that needs proper treatment.
Anyone who drinks alcohol can experience a hangover, but some people are more susceptible to hangovers and have varying intensities of symptoms than others.
Factors that may make a hangover more likely or severe include:
- Drinking on an empty stomach.
- Using other drugs, such as nicotine (by smoking cigarettes), along with alcohol..
- Not sleeping well or long enough after drinking.
- Having a family history of alcoholism.
- Drinking darker colored alcoholic beverages. Darker colored drinks often contain a high volume of congeners which are chemicals used to add color and flavor to alcohol. Congeners are more likely to produce a hangover.
To reduce chances of hangovers, one has to avoid the above likely factors for hangover development
Time is the only sure cure for a hangover. In the meantime, here are a few things you can do to at home to help you feel better:
- Sip water or fruit juice to prevent dehydration. Resist any temptation to treat your hangover with more alcohol. It’ll only make you feel worse.
- Have a snack. Bland foods, such as toast and crackers, may boost your blood sugar and settle your stomach. Bouillon soup can help replace lost salt and potassium.
- Go back to bed if you didn’t sleep long enough
In the olden days, ethanol was used to medically treat hangovers but it was proved to be ineffective. Avoid drugs painkillers such as paracetamol which can worsen liver damage after already being compromised by the alcohol