Every person should be aware that if they experience serious hangover, pain relief is not going to come very quickly. Specialists say that it normally takes 24 hours before the hangover goes away. However, some studies show that hangover can last for up to three days but it was not possible to find enough evidence to back this up. People that have already experienced hangover know that even 24 hours can feel like an eternity when dealing with all the physical and mental symptoms.
There are numerous symptoms of hangover and they depend on various factors. These factors influence the severity and duration of hangover. However, specialists have created a list of the most common symptoms and they are as follows:
- Dry mouth
- Sexual dysfunction
- A pounding headache
- Upset stomach
- Feeling irritated
- Sensitivity to sounds and light
- Difficulties with sleeping
- Feeling that the room is spinning
Factors that Influence the Severity and Duration of Hangover
As was mentioned above, numerous factors influence the severity and duration of hangover. The main ones are listed below.
1. The amount of alcohol consumed: a lot of people think that the more alcohol you drink the longer your hangover will last. However, that is not true. According to the research conducted in 2017, the amount of alcohol consumed has an impact on the severity of hangover. It should be also mentioned that severe hangovers tend to last longer.
2. The amount of sleep a person gets or does not get: the majority of specialists claim that shortage of sleep after drinking can lead to more severe hangovers. As far as you know, alcohol has a direct effect on the quality of sleep and not in the good way. Drunk people are able to fall asleep faster but their sleep will be either short or fragmented. The less sleep a person gets after drinking, the more severe hangovers should be expected.
3. Consuming alcohol on an empty stomach: drinking on an empty stomach is not a good idea. This is mainly explained by the fact that your body gets intoxicated much faster, therefore, your hangover is going to be more severe if drinking on an empty stomach. In addition to that, alcohol tends to irritate the lining of your stomach. If you have not eaten anything, you are most likely going to experience stomach pain after drinking.
4. Level of dehydration: it is a well-known fact that alcohol has a diuretic effect. It makes a person pee more often, which in turn, leads to dehydration, especially if you do not drink enough water. Doctors say that mild dehydration can lead to a headache, make a person feel tired and dizzy. Thus, the more dehydrated your organism is, the more severe hangover you are going to experience.
5. Presence of health conditions: specialists say that the way your body metabolizes alcohol is affected by medical conditions a person might have. Your blood sugar levels also have an impact on the duration and severity of a hangover. Kidney, liver disease as well as diabetes are some examples of the aforementioned medical conditions. Furthermore, people with frequent migraines attacks are more prone to having problems with hangovers and to be more specific, hangover headaches. This is mainly because of the fact that alcohol is a common migraine attack driver.
6. Medications: it is believed that certain medications have a direct effect on the body’s ability to properly metabolize alcohol, which in turn increases chances of throwing up and having long lasting hangover. Doctors have identified the list of the most common medications that can affect the way your body processes alcohol including anti-anxiety medicine, antidepressants, allergy medicine and antibiotics. You should always double check with your healthcare provider whether alcohol can be consumed along with certain medications.
7. Age: some people think that age does not really influence the duration and severity of hangover but this is not true. Older people are not able to cope with alcohol the way they used to during early ages. As people get older, the body’s ability to process toxins decreases, which may restrict a person from consuming a lot of alcohol.
How to Manage Hangover?
Before diving into the topic, it should be mentioned that there is no magic pill that can fix hangover in a matter of seconds. However, there are several tips that can be done for the purpose of managing the severity of hangover.
1. Keep yourself hydrated: make sure you take sips of water or fresh juice from time to time. It will assist in easing some symptoms of hangover and make you feel better.
2. Try to get more sleep: as was mentioned before, alcohol is not good for quality sleep. However, you still need to get some restorative sleep. Some people even find closing eyes helpful.
3. Do not keep your stomach empty: in the vast majority of cases, people who experience hangover do not have appetite. Although, specialists say that eating can help your body to replenish lost electrolytes. But make sure you do not overeat, as by doing this, you will increase the chance of throwing up.
4. Make use of pain relievers: you might have thought that pain relievers are only used when you experience chronic back pain or neck pain, for instance. However, over-the-counter medications are very effective for hangovers and muscle aches. But keep in mind that medicine such as ibuprofen and aspirin can irritate your stomach and damage an already taxed liver if you drank a lot. Therefore, the best option is to take the aforementioned OTC with a bit of food.
What Should be Avoided During Hangover?
As was mentioned above, there is no magic pill that can save you from a hangover in a matter of seconds. Even if several companies claim that they have developed a product that addresses hangover, there is still no significant evidence for these products to be scientifically effective. Specialists have prepared a list of things that should be avoided during hangover and they are as follows:
1. Do not drink the morning after: if you do that, you can make hangover last longer. This is mainly due to the fact that alcohol prevents your body from recovering. After heavy drinking, you should avoid alcohol consumption for at least 48 hours.
2. Do not eat junk food: after heavy drinking you should eliminate junk food consumption including burgers and fries. All the aforestated foods can irritate your stomach and bring or worsen nausea.
3. Do not drink caffeine: doctors say that caffeine has a diuretic effect, which can be picked up where alcohol left off and continue dehydration.
4. Do not skip meals: skipping meals can mess with your blood sugar levels and make you feel worse. It is recommended to consume a lot of fruits and vegetables. It is also advised to stick with bland foods if you feel queasy.
It should be also said that if you are dealing with hangovers on a regular basis, it could signal that you are misusing alcohol. There is a number of confidential options that can assist if you are concerned about your alcohol usage and they are as follows: