What is Hangover?

The term hangover has been defined as:

“A collection of unpleasant and painful symptoms, which can develop after drinking too much alcohol. Those symptoms can range from mild discomfort to more severe symptoms.”

Of course, there's no fixed amount of alcohol that will cause a hangover, as each
individual reacts to alcohol differently, but generally it's thought the more you drink, the worse your symptoms will be.


When you consume alcohol, your body breaks it down into acetaldehyde (CH3CHO – a volatile compound found in alcohol), before converting it into less harmful substances. The acetaldehyde messes with your brain causing adverse affects to your nervous system, lowers your blood sugar and cause headache and dry mouth symptoms. This results in symptoms like nausea, twitchy nerves, unpleasantness, pessimism, brain ache and a temporary suspension of the laws of gravity. The severity of a hangover depends upon following things. . .

* The amount you've guzzled
* Your own natural enzymatic capacity to deal with the poisons
* Your age

This means the more you drink in a short span of time, the more you'll feel the adverse affects of alcohol.

Most of the disagreeable symptoms experienced during a hangover are caused by two major factors:

1. The diuretic effect of alcohol that causes dehydration in the drinker
2. The toxic effects of alcohol poisoning in many systems of the body

It's well known that excess of anything can be dangerous. Similarly, excessive amounts of alcohol can severely affect the liver, brain, gastrointestinal system, central nervous system and not least, your sensory perception. It can also disturb your sleep; badly affect your mood, your attention span and concentration.

Most of the symptoms experienced during a hangover are the result of the direct effect of alcohol on the body's systems, but there are several other factors that can contribute to the unpleasantness of a hangover.

Hangover symptoms can also be caused by...

• The withdrawal of alcohol from the body
• The effects of metabolites produced during alcohol consumption
• Other chemicals found in alcoholic beverages
• Drinking behavior
• Personal characteristics of the drinker

Coming up are a few of the symptoms of a hangover. If you're suffering from most of the symptoms in the list below, simply tell everyone to sod off and leave you alone, because you're dying. Then, just go back to bed and sleep it off for a while. However, if your symptoms persist or get more severe, you should immediately consult your GP or risk dropping dead.

• Dehydration
• Dry mouth
• Anxiety
• Headache
• Nausea
• Weakness
• Tiredness
• Bad breath
• Lack of concentration
• Touchiness
• Glumness
• Sensitivity to light and noise
• Trouble sleeping
• Suspension of the laws of gravity
• Loss of the will to live

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