Whatever the reason, you drink a little too much and wake up with a pounding headache, a churning stomach, and the vow to never booze it that hard again.

There is no consistent rhyme or reason as to who will wake up feeling like death warmed over. But some studies indicate that a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .1 seems to be the magic number. For men, five to seven cocktails over a four to six-hour period almost invariably lead to a hangover. Women tend to have the same result after three to five drinks. The symptoms of a hangover will peak when your BAC goes back to zero, around 12 hours after your drink.

Hangovers Symptoms

The medical term for a hangover is veisalgia, which is a combination of the Greek word for pain and a Norwegian word for “uneasiness following debauchery.”

There are several recognizable effects of a hangover. Because drinking is often an evening activity, hangovers are commonly described as “morning-after” effects. However, you can have a hangover at any time of the day—they usually begin between three and ten hours after drinking.

Common symptoms of hangovers include:

  • A headache
  • Feeling run down
  • Poor sense of overall well-being
  • Photophobia (aversion to light)
  • Phonophobia (increased sensitivity to sound)
  • Aching throughout the body
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting

You may notice these effects after you drink alcohol and then sleep for a few hours. Generally, hangovers are characterized by discomfort—and you may want to stay in bed all day. Sometimes, hangovers can be more serious and can cause health issues that require medical attention.

Less common effects of a hangover that may need medical care include:

  • Brain fog (trouble thinking)
  • Dizziness (especially after standing up)
  • Clumsiness
  • Tachycardia (rapid pulse and heart rate)
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Hemoptysis (coughing blood) or hematemesis (vomiting blood)

These effects can begin while you are still drinking, and can last for longer than the typical effects of a hangover. Without medical treatment, you could fall, lose consciousness, or develop health complications due to these delayed effects of alcohol.

Causes for Hangovers

There are several factors that contribute to a hangover. Alcohol has temporary and long term effects on the body. The temporary effects include immediate and delayed effects—a hangover is caused by the delayed effects of alcohol.

While there are slight differences in how quickly or slowly different people metabolize alcohol, the physiology of a hangover is very similar between one person and another.

Treatment

There is no cure for a hangover, but there are some treatment strategies. Waiting is typically the most common way of dealing with hangovers because they tend to resolve on their own. However, you may not want to sleep all day—or you may have to go to work or school.

There are treatment approaches that can relieve some of the severe effects of a hangover. In addition to getting some rest, you can drink fluids, eat in moderation, and take over the counter (OTC) medications as well.

  • Hydration: It is important to stay hydrated. If you can drink fluids before you drink alcohol and before you go to sleep after a night of drinking, you may be able to avoid a hangover. When you wake up, be sure to sip on fluids, which can include non-caffeinated beverages like water, ginger ale, or electrolyte drinks.
  • Eating: If you can eat a bit of bland food, like crackers or other carbohydrates along with alcohol or even after you drink, it can help prevent your GI symptoms.
  • OTC medications: Pain medications such as Advil (ibuprofen) or can help relieve headaches and aches and pains. OTC anti-nausea medications can relieve your stomach upset.

The bottom line

While hangovers are never fun, the occasional occurrence won’t do any lasting damage. Frequent and excessive drinking on the other hand can cause a host of serious health complications, and put organs like your liver, pancreas, and heart at risk. If you or a loved one struggle with excessive drinking, give us a call today. Do you know when it’s time to reach out or seek help?

The Key is Moving Forward

 Now that you’re here, what’s next?

Recovering from addiction means that you have to take things day-by-day. Welcome to the new one. The key to recovering is moving forward: Even if yesterday turned out to not be what you expected, there’s still more possibility to gain from the day ahead.

When to Seek Help

One of the most important things to know is when to seek help. An addict should seek help whenever they feel that there might be a relapse coming. Whenever they feel sad, depressed, scared, anxious, alone, or potentially nostalgic about the things they have dedicated their time to leaving behind, it’s time to get in touch with professional help.

This counts well before the morning after; this also counts after it happens.

That’s What Sponsors Are For

Sponsors are there for a reason.

Addicts can rarely make it through the process alone – and trying to do it often leads to what feels like failure. Sponsors are there to call at any point when an addict might feel like they need someone to talk to or rely on. They are there as a support network – and they are meant to be available whenever they might be needed.

Whenever you might feel overwhelmed, remember that surviving is the single most important factor – and you’ve made it this far. Almost any negative situation can be turned into a positive one.

IGotSober

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Our recovery program helps you do it for good.

This is a real-deal program designed for people that are truly, deeply ready to change. First, it medically frees you from those uncontrollable urges and cravings to drink or use opioids, while blocking their pleasure effects as well. That ‘obsession’ that rules our lives completely loses its grip. Now, we work together to uncover and discover the causes that led to this madness, and more importantly, what it takes to live a happy, fulfilling life free and clear of alcohol and drugs…for good.

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