The fun always has to come to an end. And when it comes to drinking, this fun generally results in a hangover. The feeling of a dry mouth, unbearable headache, and nausea. It’s terrible and people generally get the sense of regret upon waking up with such unpleasant sensation. Yet, it doesn’t stop many from making the same mistake again. And again.
Hangovers tend to make people feel achy in the muscles. Their eyes become much more sensitive, specifically to light. And there’s this overwhelming desire to continually drink water as thirst never seems to end. People with severe hangovers will find themselves dizzy, sweaty, and maybe a little agitated.
There’s reasoning behind all these terrible symptoms. Hours after your last drink is consumed, your blood alcohol level dramatically drops. With this, there’s a climax with these symptoms once your blood alcohol level has hit zero.
According to Robert Swift, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University, hangovers are just like withdrawals. When a non-addict is drinking – even if it’s their first time – their body becomes ever so slightly addicted to alcohol. Enough to the point where a hangover will pursue as a way to release the chemicals.
This gives us input as to why proper detoxing for alcohol addicts is so important. If just a taste of being drunk causes an individual to experience withdrawal symptoms, you can only imagine what it must be like for someone who’s a heavy drinker.
Different Hangovers for Different Alcohols
Have you ever noticed that certain drinks will leave you feeling more hungover the following day than others? The reason behind this is a chemical known as congeners.
Congeners are a byproduct found in alcohol after it has been fermented. A result of a mix of other chemicals such as methanol, acetone, esters, and more. Their main responsibility is to the taste and smell that an alcoholic drink will create. However, they will also constitute some of the taste for non-distilled drinks.
These chemicals are more common in darker liquors such as:
- Red Wine
- Dark Beer
Knowing this will give an explanation as to why that Jack Daniels made you feel worse in the morning than the Smirnoff you had the week prior. For social drinkers, it’s something to keep in mind. Though hangovers are hard to avoid when you’ve decided to have your fun with alcohol, there are ways to make that morning nuance less overbearing.
However, for problem drinkers, the nuance stems much longer than the morning. As mentioned, alcoholics will experience withdrawals more frequently the more often they drink. Therefore, though the congeners are a confliction, the constant hangovers have more to do with the frequent intake of alcohol itself.
Symptoms Caused By Congeners
As we know, congeners are responsible for the feeling of a hangover. But what we have yet to discuss are the symptoms responsible for drinkings after effects.
The main one being dehydration. Alcohol is prominently known for getting rid of fluids within the body. With this in mind, you can assume that the more severely you drink, the more dehydrated your body will be. This will, inevitably, lead to an even more severe hangover.
Alcohol also fuels you with something called metabolites, which leaves irritation within your body’s fluids. This also catapults dehydration and can be blamed for any feelings of nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. It can also vex other areas of the body like your stomach lining and the muscles of your lower esophagus. Metabolites are the greatest responsibility for puking.
Yet, it’s the brain that truly is taking in much of the torment. Alcohol has an extremely depressing effect on brain cells that cause a person who’s drunk to lack coordination and hold sensations of dizziness. The more someone drinks, the more they are killing the cells in their brain accountable for proper analysis of how to handle oneself.
If you ever find yourself feeling weak due to drinking, it’s because of the combination of effects on the brain and in lowering your blood sugar. People who experience diseases that cause low blood sugar – such as hypoglycemia – will feel this vulnerability even more.
With all this information, it’s important for individuals to remind themselves that alcohol is – in some regards – poisoning the body. And if said individuals have any sort of medical concerns, they should be aware of what they could be doing to their bodies with the intake of alcohol.
Yet, even healthy individuals should keep an open eye as to how much they drink. Too much of the substance could lead to diseases later on, one of the most important being an addiction. For once addiction becomes an issue, there’s much deterioration that’s going to take place within the body.
Is there truly a cure out there that will ensure people avoid hangovers while drinking? The simple answer is no. The only sure fire way to prevent these terrible feelings is to either not drink or drink less of a particular substance. With the knowledge of congeners in mind, you can consider which drinks are less likely to produce stronger hangovers, but you cannot avoid them.
What about the cases of some people not getting hangovers? It’s hard to pinpoint everyone’s reaction to alcohol because we all hold different responses to any sort of substance. Body weight, the amount of food in the digestive tract, and the speed at which alcohol is consumed all play a factor in the hangover that will follow the morning after. Most of the time, the people who don’t get hangovers are drinking more responsibly.
It should be noted that keeping your body hydrated while consuming alcohol will help with the symptoms. Yet, it’s not the answer to curing hangovers. They’re incurable once they’ve taken their effect. And the reason being is your body’s withdrawing from the substance and needs to time to rid itself of the chemicals.
For heavy drinkers, you are only fueling your withdrawal symptoms further with the more you drink. And you’re destroying your body and brain cells while this is going on.
If you or anyone you know going through an alcohol addiction and looking for a treatment plan, Stonewall Institute Treatment Center is happy to help. Please, give us a call at 602-535-6468 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.