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Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs

Hangover Risks

Symptoms of a hangover can include headache, nausea, sensitivity to light and noise, lethargy, dysporia, diarrhea, and thirst. A hangover encompasses not only the physiological side effects from your body's breakdown of alcohol but also the psychological effects as well. Psychological symptoms include heightened feelings of depression, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating.

Causes and risks of hangovers

Drinking Too Much Alcohol
It may sound like a no brainer but drinking too much alcohol puts you at risk for a nasty hangover.

As a diuretic, alcohol promotes the formation of urine in your kidneys; this sheds water. The more water you lose, the more dehydrated you'll feel, and the more likely you'll get a hangover. The headache of a hangover is actually caused by the filaments on the membrane encasing your brain pulling away from your skull due to dehydration; in other words, the hangover is caused by your brain dura shrinking from dehydration.

Reduction in Vitamins, Minerals, and Electrolytes
Processing alcohol and its by-products drain your system. Common to dehydration is the loss of vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. This increases fatigue.

Disruption in Sleep
Alcohol disrupts your brain's ability to enter into the REM stage of sleep or consistently stay in it, leaving your feeling tired and irritated the next morning.

Not Eating Before Drinking
The effects of alcohol irritating your gastrointestinal tract may be exasperated on an empty stomach. Eat something before you start drinking to reduce the heartburn or upset stomach of a hangover.


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Boynton Health

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Minneapolis, MN, 55455

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