rinking alcoholic beverages can lead to a hangover. The amount of alcohol that can be consumed before a hangover is experienced varies from person to person based on a number of factors including gender, age, weight, and health status. There are a variety of factors that contribute to experiencing a hangover.
Signs and Symptoms of a Hangover
- Dry mouth
- Heartburn, nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea
- Fatigue and "feeling sluggish"
- Body aches
- Red eyes
- Inability to concentrate
As a diuretic, alcohol leads to increased urination often causing dehydration, electrolyte imbalances and lower blood sugar levels. Alcohol also has toxic effects on the brain and liver and irritating effects on the stomach and intestine. In particular, dark or colored alcohols (i.e. whiskey, red wine, and tequila) contain small amounts of congener, which is a toxin that may make experiencing a hangover more likely. At high enough levels, alcohol (a depressant) may lead to decreased respiration resulting in coma and death.
Treating a Hangover
Prevention is the best medicine. The best way to treat a hangover is through prevention. Hangovers can be prevented by limiting the amount of alcohol you chose to consume at any given occasion and being sure to alternate alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic beverages. Water, sports drinks with electrolytes, and juice help replenish electrolytes and vitamins lost when drinking alcohol.