The Definition of a Hangover

November 12, 2007 by  
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A hangover describes the sum of physiological symptoms experienced the morning after a gluttonous consumption of alcoholic beverages. Symptoms usually include but not limited to: headache, nausea, sensitivity to light and noise, fatigue, extreme thirst and depression and also a general inability to function.

Hangovers can last anywhere from 1 to 4 hours, although some individuals have claimed to have experienced hangovers that last more than one day.

The physical aspects of a hangover spread over certain areas of the body including dehydration, stomach malady including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness. Other symptoms may include excess saliva, difficulty concentrating, anxiety or irritability, being repulsed by certain smells, tastes or sights. Some individuals are even repulsed by the thought of or taste of alcohol during a hangover. Symptoms vary from one person to another in what symptoms they experience and in the intensity experienced.

Hangovers have many causes. The ethanol in alcohol is certainly right up there at the top of the list due to its ability to cause dehydration which is the major culprit in several symptoms of a hangover including dryness of mouth, headache, extreme thirst, and weakness.

Alcohol has an effect on the lining of the stomach that irritates it and causes nausea.

The breaking down of ethanol causes glucose to be lacking in the brain; those you have symptoms of fatigue, weakness, mood disturbances and the inability to function mentally, or to be able to concentrate.

There are many nervous system symptoms including the sensitivity to light and noise.

The darker the alcoholic beverage the more congeners are present, which can aggravate or worsen the headache.

A hangover is something that disrupts the ability of the person to function at work, school or at home and causes many loss work hours that result in poor productivity, loss of wages and business profit.

Hangovers can ruin relations between married couples and can also cause many sexual disasters when those suffering from hangovers discover themselves waking up next to complete strangers.

Because individuals feel so badly during hangovers they often say and do things out of character. Hangovers are difficult to endure and actually are physical manifestations of the body’s need to heal and recuperate from an event that has caused great harm.

Drinking to extremes and to the point of physical illness is really a cry for help. Alcohol is a drug and when ingested to the point of extreme it can cause damage that manifests itself in what we call, the hangover.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.

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