Debaucherous evening last night? You’re probably dealing with Veisalgia,
the medical term for hangover
right now. This unpleasant phenomenon has been dogging humanity since our ancestors first happened upon fermentation. Hangovers
happen as your body tries to protect itself from alcohol’s toxic effects.
Nasty vertigo-inducing, cold sweat-promoting and vomit-producing sensations after a raucous night out are all part of your body’s attempt to protect itself from injury after you overindulge in alcoholic beverages. Your liver is working to break down the alcohol you consumed so your kidneys can clear it out ASAP. But in the process, your body’s inflammatory and metabolic reactions are going to lay you low with a hangover.
For as long as people have suffered from hangovers
treatment, and often their effects don’t seem like they’d match up with what scientists know about the biology of the hangover
are virtually guaranteed when you drink too much. That amount varies from person to person based on genetic factors as well as whether there are other compounds that formed along with ethanol in the fermentation process.
In the course of a night of heavy drinking, your blood alcohol level continues to rise. Your body labors to break down the alcohol consumed as ethanol in beer, wine or spirits forming damaging oxygen free radicals and acetaldehyde, itself a harmful compound. The longer ethanol and acetaldehyde stick around, the more damage they can do to your cellular membranes, proteins and DNA, so your body’s enzymes work quickly to metabolize acetaldehyde to a less toxic compound, acetate.
Your ethanol levels over time drop through this natural metabolic process. Depending on how much you consumed, you’re likely to experience a hangover
as the level of ethanol in your blood slowly returns to zero. Your body is withdrawing from high levels of circulating alcohol, while at the same time trying to protect itself from the effects of alcohol.
Medical researchers have limited knowledge of the leading causes of the hangover.
But they do know that the body’s responses include changes in hormone levels to reduce dehydration and cellular stress. Alcohol consumption also affects a variety of neurotransmitter systems in the brain, including glutamate, dopamine and serotonin. Inflammation increases in the body’s tissues, and the healthy gut bacteria in your digestive system take a hit too, promoting leaky gut.
Together, the combination of all these reactions and protective mechanisms activated by your system gives rise to the experience of a hangover
, which can last up to 48 hours.
Socializing and drinking are cultural acts, and most hangovers
do not happen in isolation. Human b
eings are social creatures, and there’s a high likelihood that at least one other individual feels the same as you the morning after the night before.
Every society has different rules regarding alcohol use, which can affect how people view alcohol consumption within those cultures. Drinking is often valued for its relaxing effect and for promoting sociability. So it’s common to see alcohol provided at celebratory events, social gatherings and holiday parties.
Globally, drinking alcohol is largely embraced by mainstream culture, which may even promote behaviors involving excessive drinking. It should be no surprise that overindulgence goes hand in hand with these celebratory social events and leads to hangover
regrets a few hours later.
One’s body reactions to high alcohol intake and the sobering-up period can influence mood, too.The combination of fatigue that you experience from sleep deprivation and hormonal stress reactions, in turn, affect your neurobiological responses and behavior. As your body is attempting to repair itself, you’re more likely to be easily irritated, exhausted and want nothing more than to be left alone. Of course, your work productivity takes a dramatic hit the day after an evening of heavy drinking.
When all is said and done, you’re the cause of your own hangover
pain, and you’re the one who must pay for all the fun of the night before. But in short order, you’ll forget how excruciating your last hangover
was. And you may very soon talk yourself into doing the things you swore you’d never do again.
Numerous online articles describe a variety of foods, caffeine, ion replenishment, energy drinks, herbal supplements including thyme and ginger, vitamins and the “hair of the dog”( ie to still take smaller doses of alcohol the next day) as ways to prevent and treat hangovers
. But the evidence isn’t really there that any of these work effectively. They’re just not scientifically validated or well reproduced.
For instance, Kudzu root (Pueraria lobata
), a popular choice for hangover
remedies, has primarily been investigated for its effects in reducing alcohol-mediated stress and hangover. But at the same time, Kudzu root appears to inhibit the enzymes that break down acetaldehyde not good news since you want to clear that acetaldehyde from your system quickly.
One product of interests recently is Dihydromyricetin, which appears to work by enhancing alcohol metabolism and reducing its toxic byproduct, acetaldehyde.
Some Ways To deal With Veisalgia
- Drink fluids. Alcohol promotes urination because it inhibits the release of vasopressin, a hormone that decreases the volume of urine made by the kidneys. If your hangover includes diarrhea, sweating, or vomiting, you may be even more dehydrated. Although nausea can make it difficult to get anything down, even just a few sips of water might help your hangover. Its critical however to drinks lots of water and also fruit juices such as orange juice to keep your body hydrated plus the fructose in orange juice also helps.
- Get some carbohydrates into your system. Drinking may lower blood sugar levels, so theoretically some of the fatigue and headaches of a hangover may be from a brain working without enough of its main fuel. Moreover, many people forget to eat when they drink, further lowering their blood sugar. Toast and juice is a way to gently nudge levels back to normal.
- Avoid darker-colored alcoholic beverages. Experiments have shown that clear liquors, such as vodka and gin, tend to cause hangovers less frequently than dark ones, such as whiskey, red wine, and tequila. The main form of alcohol in alcoholic beverages is ethanol, but the darker liquors contain chemically related compounds (congeners), including methanol. According to Dr. Swift's review paper, the same enzymes process ethanol and methanol, but methanol metabolites are especially toxic, so they may cause a worse hangover.
- Take a pain reliever, but not Tylenol. Aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, other brands), and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may help with the headache and the overall achy feelings. NSAIDs, though, may irritate a stomach already irritated by alcohol. Don't take acetaminophen (Tylenol). If alcohol is lingering in your system, it may accentuate acetaminophen's toxic effects on the liver.
- Drink coffee or tea. Caffeine may not have any special anti-hangover powers, but as a stimulant, it could help with the grogginess. Coffee is a diuretic, though, so it may exacerbate dehydration.
- Vitamin B6. A study published over 30 years ago found that people had fewer hangover symptoms if they took a total of 1,200 milligrams of vitamin B6 before, during, and just after drinking to get drunk. But it was a small study and doesn't seem to have been replicated.
Below are a few supplements that have been researched for their ability to reduce hangover
One study found that supplementing with red ginseng reduced blood alcohol levels, as well as hangover
Some evidence shows that this type of cactus could help treat hangovers
. A 2004 study found that prickly pear extract decreased hangover symptoms and cut the risk of hangover
severity in half.
One study found that combining ginger with brown sugar and tangerine extract improved several hangover symptoms, including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
One study looked at the effectiveness of a supplement containing both prickly pear and borage oil, an oil derived from the seeds of starflower. The study found that it reduced hangover
symptoms in 88% of participants.
Also known as Siberian ginseng, one study found that supplementing with eleuthero extract alleviated several hangover
symptoms and decreased overall severity.
Keep in mind that research is lacking and further studies are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of supplements at reducing hangove
Limiting alcohol intake and substituting water for many of those drinks during an evening out is probably the best method to avoid a painful hangover
. However, for those times when one alcoholic beverage leads to more than a few more, be sure to stay hydrated and catch up on rest. Your best bet from us here at Thailand Medical
News for a smoother recovery is probably some combination of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen,lots of water and orange juice, Netflix and a little downtime.
Off course, if one can make a New Year Resolution to completely give up on alcohol consumption it would be even much better as there are tons of studies that show that ultimatley, alcohol consumption
or whatever levels be in light, moderate, heavy, casual or once in a while will have a health effect on your body.
Also please do not yourself or even allow anyone you know to drink and drive during this New Year Period.