Hangover Symptoms and Remedies
According to CNN, “The only way to avoid a pounding head and queasiness the morning after is to drink in moderation, or to stay away from alcohol entirely.” Listen: We’re adults. We aren’t going to hold your hand. But we will hold your metaphorical hair back.
The symptoms of the hangover can be attributed to the interplay of a few things alcohol does to your body.
· Sleep deprivation
· Antioxidant depletion
· The crushing, peripheral sense that existence precedes essence
Vasopressin and Dehydration
Alcohol blocks the release of vasopressin. Among other things, vasopressin makes your body hold onto water. This is why you pee so much when you drink. The alcohol stops vasopressin, so nothing’s telling your body to hold onto water, so you pee it all out. The result is dehydration. Dehydration is responsible for the headache (mostly) and the dry, gross mouth that goes with a hangover. So, re-hydrating can go a long way to making you feel human again. Water is an obvious choice, but something with electrolytes works even better. Some people swear by Pedialyte. Gatorade and pickle juice are good. But the best thing for rehydration is probably coconut water.
Glutamine Rebound and Sleep Deprivation
Alcohol inhibits glutamine, a natural source of energy produced by the body. It’s one reason you may sometimes feel sleepy after you’ve had a few. But, after you’ve gone to bed for the night (or morning) your body bounces back from the suppressed glutamine production and dumps an unusually high amount of it into your bloodstream — a situation called glutamine rebound. As you might guess, trying to sleep while swimming in a natural stimulant doesn’t leave one feeling well-rested. Glutamine rebound can also contribute to the shakiness and irritability that can accompany a hangover. While useful only as a preventative measure, taking a glutamine supplement before drinking could theoretically prevent glutamine rebound (as there’d be no deficiency from which to rebound); resulting in a better night’s sleep. Really though, all that we can suggest to remedy the sleep deprivation which often makes a hangover that much worse is to go back to bed. Plus, some of your other symptoms can run their course while you sleep like an intoxicated little baby.
Alcohol Metabolism and Acetaldehyde
The metabolism of alcohol into harmless acetate is a two-step process. The product of the first step, acetaldehyde, is up to 30 times as toxic as alcohol itself and contributes much — nausea, headache, fatigue — to the horribleness associated with drinking too much. In fact, the anti-alcohol-abuse drug Antabuse works by preventing the breakdown of acetaldehyde. The effect is so unpleasant that is stops chronic alcoholics from drinking. The trick for getting rid of the acetaldehyde in your system is to give your body what it needs to move on to the last step in the metabolization of alcohol where acetaldehyde is converted to acetate, which is similar to vinegar. Which brings us to…
Glutathione is a natural antioxidant which plays a crucial role in the breaking down of acetaldehyde into acetate. But there’s a limited amount of glutathione in the liver and once it’s depleted, it takes a while for your body to make more. So when you drink, glutathione does its work converting poisonous acetaldehyde into harmless vinegar. That is, until the glutathione is all used up; at which point acetaldehyde begins to build up. This is one reason that pacing yourself does wonders for staving off hangover; it gives your body a chance to maintain the glutathione supply.
Alcohol poisoning is dangerous and the consequences can be deadly. It is important to understand the basics surrounding this issue to appropriately respond if it happens to someone you know.
Just as with many other poisonous conditions, there is a great deal of speculation surrounding the topic. The facts associated with the dangers of alcohol poisoning establishes a foundation for the levels of harm it can cause in a person’s life. The ability to recognize the signs and how to respond will improve the chances of recovery and possibly save a life.
How You Can Help Someone With a Drinking Problem
If you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning, call 911 immediately. As you await emergency responders, position to the person on his side with a pillow placed at their back for support. This is done to avoid aspiration in case of vomiting. Remain with the person until medical help arrives. In some cases, it may appear that the person is simply drunk and just letting it wear off but once alcohol is in the stomach, it could possibly still reach the bloodstream and transport to various areas of the body. The person could still face harmful or life threatening circumstances. In any situation, if there is question regarding the possibility of alcohol poisoning, contact medical personnel to provide accuracy in determination.
Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning
Identifying the symptoms of alcohol poisoning won’t always be easy, but it helps to know what symptoms may exist. Consumption of an excessive amount of alcohol over a brief span of time, can lead to alcohol poisoning. Blood levels rise and are deemed toxic. The intoxicated person may seem confused and often times, confusion may occur. You may notice symptoms such as problems breathing and in severe cases, the person may become unresponsive and possibly slip into a coma.
The following symptoms are typically associated with alcohol poisoning.
· Decrease in body temp
· Person becomes disoriented
· Person is conscious but unable to respond
· Inconsistent breathing patterns
These are only a few of the most common symptoms. In some cases, the occurrence of a heart attack is possible, the person can vomit and choke from it, as wells as breath it into the lungs and cause life-threatening. Changes in body temp can be dangerous and the loss of excessive amounts of fluid can cause damage to the brain. Seizures may occur if levels decline in blood glucose.
Treatment of Alcohol Poisoning
Treatment will vary based on the severity of the poisoning. There are a few basic reminders for on-site treatment, until medical assistance arrives. Never give the intoxicated person coffee, it intensifies the dehydration. If he wants to drink water, it is okay. Don’t allow them to drink more alcohol, and they should not be up walking around.
Once the intoxicated person is transported to a medical facility, levels and symptoms are assessed to determine the most appropriate mode of treatment. Sometimes, it is only necessary to monitor the patient until the levels have returned to normal. In the event of troubled breathing, insertion of a tube into the windpipe, accompanied by intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration and proper maintenance of nutrition levels may be necessary. Urinary catheters and pumping of fluids must be necessary in some cases.
Not all alcohol poisoning related incidents are intentional. The consumption of isopropyl alcohol and other substances such as methanol, may require kidney dialysis to expedite the excretion of toxins.
Alcohol Consumption Awareness
The consumption of alcohol is common but becomes severe or deadly when consumed in large amounts. Many occurrences of alcohol poisoning take place during episodes of binge drinking that commonly occurs at college parties, sports celebrations, large events where alcohol are served and sometimes with people that simply drink too much when alone. It is important to understand the severity of binge drinking and how to remain aware of what is being consumed at all times. Appoint a designated non-drinker to accompany you to events where alcohol will be consumed. This person can serve as a spotter and possible encourage you to leave before the drinks go too far. This is a life-saving approach that works with people of all ages.
How Long Does Alcohol Poisoning Last?
Given the proper attention, minimal alcohol poisoning can diminish within a few hours. More severe cases can result in negative internal effects on the body that last. A coma and even death can be the end result of alcohol poisoning and therefore, it should never be taken lightly. Arm yourself with quality knowledge about alcohol and always drink responsibly.