Everybody knows how it feels, you’ve had a few the night before and you wake up feeling utterly terrible – you have a headache, an upset stomach and your mind is definitely not working as it is supposed to! This is known as a hangover. It is your body’s reaction to the vast amounts of alcohol that were put into your systems a few hours before, and now you are seeing (and feeling!) the consequences in action. Almost everyone at some point decides during a hangover that they need alcohol detox and claim that they are “never drinking again”!
The symptoms of a hangover include, but are not limited to, headaches, dizziness, sickness, upset stomach, raging thirst, sensitivity to light, that feeling of being spaced out, irritability, depression………the list goes on!
The main actual cause of a hangover is largely unknown, it is usually a combination of many factors that come from consuming vast amounts of alcohol. The main is of course dehydration as alcohol is a diuretic, which makes you urinate more. This leads to much increased water loss, and this then goes on to create the headaches, dizziness and thirst part of the hangover process.
Another theory about what causes a hangover is that it is the body going through the effects of ethanol withdrawal. Ethanol is the ingredient in alcohol that makes it so potent and is what makes you drunk. It can also be highly addictive, as shown by the ever increasing number of alcoholics. The hangover is seen as a type of alcohol withdrawal generally associated with those who are withdrawing after an alcohol dependency. A hangover is usually only a mild form of this, but it still has the same sort of feeling as alcoholics do. This should serve as a warning sign if that feeling is too regular!