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Hangover - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Hangover?

Hangover is the experience of several unpleasant psychological and physiological effects, which happens after consumption of ethanol, as found in beer, wine and distilled spirits. The malady can last for many hours or even beyond a day.

While the causes of this sickness are still poorly understood by the doctors, many factors have been held responsible for this malady. These are changes in the immune system, acetaldehyde accumulation and changes in glucose metabolism factors in the body. Also disturbed prostaglandin synthesis, dehydration, increased cardiac output, metabolic acidosis, vasodilation, and malnutrition along with sleep deprivation brings about this sickness.By-products such as congeners in alcoholic beverages or beverage-specific effects of additives also play an important role in creating hangover. The symptoms of this illness occur mostly after the effects of the alcohol begins to wane off. So hangover typically happen in the morning following a night of heavy alcohol consumption.

Symptoms :

Hangover symptoms typically begin when your blood alcohol content drops significantly and is at or near zero. They're usually in full effect the morning after a night of heavy drinking. Depending on what and how much you drank, you may notice:

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Excessive thirst and dry mouth
  • Headaches and muscle aches
  • Nausea, vomiting or stomach pain
  • Poor or decreased sleep
  • Increased sensitivity to light and sound
  • Dizziness or a sense of the room spinning
  • Shakiness
  • Decreased ability to concentrate
  • Mood disturbances, such as depression, anxiety and irritability
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Genetics: Flushing phenotypes (alcohol flush reaction) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) in the Asian people are some of the genetic factors that influence alcohol tolerance. Data on hangover patients show that people who have increased acetaldehyde accumulation are more susceptible to this sickness. The fact that less than 25% of drinkers who claim that they had never had hangover, justifies the claims that genetic variation plays a major role in different individuals of severity of the hangover.
  • Age: There are many examples that people tend to experience more bought of hangover and this sickness gets worse as one ages. This may happen owing to declining supply of the enzyme involved in metabolizing alcohol (alcohol dehydrogenase).
  • Sex: Experts say, that at the same number of alcohol, women tend to be more prone to hangover than men. It may be explained by sex differences affects in the pharmacokinetics of the alcoholic drinks. It has been observed that women attain higher BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) than men after both of them have consumed the same number of drinks.
Usually self diagnosable
Dry mouth and dizziness Fatigue along with gastrointestinal complains. Sweating along with nausea and hyper-excitability. General discomfort that can last more than 24 hours.

Popular Health Tips

Can Honey Help Hangover?

Msc Clinical Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Hyderabad
Can Honey Help Hangover?

5 simple and effective ways to cure that hangover

Most people experience prominent side effects on their body and mind the morning following a night of heavy drinking. These after-effects of consuming excessive alcohol, popularly called a hangover, include rapid heartbeat, headache, anxiety, exhaustion, vomiting, dizziness, lack of energy, and body pain.

Drinking too much alcohol (5 to 7 drinks for men and 3 to 5 for women) not only causes a hangover but also can negatively impact your health by damaging your liver, central nervous system, brain and gastrointestinal system. It takes about 8 to 24 hours to cure a hangover completely, but you can try these natural remedies to get quick relief from the symptoms and reduce the recovery time.

1. Have a banana

A hangover is often associated with decreased potassium levels in your body and having a banana will help replenish it as it contains an adequate amount of the mineral.

Directions: you can either have one or two whole bananas or a banana smoothie with few drops of honey to get relieve from most hangover symptoms.

2. Try honey

Honey contains fructose, which helps to neutralize the negative impact of alcohol on your body. Moreover, honey provides relief from the hangover as it also helps digest the alcohol better.

Directions: take 3-4 teaspoons of honey after each hour (post-hangover) till you feel yourself getting better. You can increase the dosage according to the severity of your hangover.

3. Go for a glass of tomato juice

Tomato juice proves to be very effective in curbing the symptoms of a hangover as it compensates for the dehydration caused in your body due to excessive alcohol consumption. Also, due to its fructose content, tomato helps in metabolizing the alcohol present in your body.

Directions: drink a glass of fresh tomato juice or soup laden with 1 tablespoon each of honey and fresh lemon juice. You can have this juice in the morning once and repeat in the afternoon if needed.

4. Drink a lot of water

When it comes to beating a hangover, there is no substitute for water. Drinking water is not only a tried and tested remedy, but is also the most effective way to cure a hangover. This happens because water fights the dehydration of fluids in your body caused by drinking alcohol.

Directions: to keep the hangover at bay, drink one glass of water after each glass or shot of alcohol you consume. If you forget to do this, starting your day with a bottle of water the next morning will help reduce hangover symptoms drastically.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2380 people found this helpful

Alcohol Problem - How To Help When Someone Is Suffering From It?

Certified Course In Child Psychiatry, MD - Psychiatry, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Kolkata
Alcohol Problem - How To Help When Someone Is Suffering From It?

Do you worry about your friend or relative’s drinking habits? You are not alone. There are people who struggle for years with the same question - How can I tell if the person I love is an alcoholic or not?
Well, the good news is that you don’t need to be a medical professional to figure out the right answer to this vital question. Read on to find simple ways to know whether your loved one suffers from alcohol addiction.

First up is a short quiz about drinking habits, developed by Dr. John Ewing to identify alcohol addiction. Treat this as a pointer and take your loved one to an expert, if it points towards alcohol addiction. You can ask these questions directly to your loved one, or you can answer these questions on their behalf.

According to the developers, one "yes" to the four quiz questions signals a problem, and more than one “yes” means that it's time for you or your loved one to get professional help.

  1. Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
  2. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
  3. Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
  4. Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?”

There are many signs of a serious drinking problem. These include certain behaviours such as:

  1. Drinking just for getting drunk
  2. Drinking alone
  3. Keeping alcohol consumption a secret
  4. Drinking to escape problems
  5. Hiding alcohol bottles
  6. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms like getting irritated or experiencing nervousness, nausea, getting shakes, breaking out into a cold sweat, and getting hallucinations when unable to source alcohol
  7. Having problems at work, school, or home, as a result of alcohol consumption
  8. Losing interest in activities you or your friend used to enjoy
  9. Having blackouts due to heavy drinking
  10. Anger and extreme irritation

Other extreme behaviors to watch out for are:

  1. Being able to drink an awful lot of alcohol
  2. Trouble stopping once your loved one starts drinking
  3. A powerful urge to drink

There is another scientific way to determine, if your loved one is an alcoholic. In the US, medical professionals commonly use a criteria, listed in the fourth edition of the ‘Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’. According to it, the signs and symptoms of alcoholism are clearly laid down and it states that alcohol dependent people:

  1. Will drink more to get their desired effect from alcohol
  2. Experience withdrawal symptoms when the effect of alcohol wears off
  3. Drink larger amounts of alcohol over a longer period of time
  4. Will be unable to consistently control their drinking
  5. Will leave important work for drinking
  6. Will spend a lot of time during the day getting alcohol, drinking it, and recovering from hangovers.
  7. Continue to use alcohol, despite knowing that their chronic physical or psychological problem is caused due to alcohol.
  8. To be declared alcohol-dependent, your loved one must experience at least three of these criteria during a year.

However, there is still no one definite test to diagnose alcohol-use disorders. Therefore, professionals diagnose them by making use of the patient’s comprehensive medical, family, and mental-health information. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2532 people found this helpful

Home Remedies That Can Treat Hangover!

MD - Ayurveda
Ayurveda, Delhi
Home Remedies That Can Treat Hangover!

A night out with its fair share of drinks is enjoyable, but it is the morning after which tends to have the after affects. Hangovers are a problem with anybody who has had a drink too much the night before and it might leave you in an incapacitated state due to nausea, headaches and dehydration.

Here are some of the known homemade remedies which can cure hangovers:

  1. Make sure you take a lot of water and fluids: After you have woken up after a night out where you had lots to drink, you are bound to have a hangover as alcohol is known to dehydrate the body. Thus it is advisable that you drink plenty of water and other fluids. Only water isn’t going to be enough as water can hydrate you but many of the other nutrients will only be supplied by juices, rehydrating drinks, sports drinks or other such. Thus it is important to consume a variety of these fluids.
  2. Eat a hearty breakfast: The longer you are with an empty stomach, the longer it is going to take the hangover to go away. Eating a hearty and filling breakfast will relieve the hangover to a great extent. However, eat foods which are easy to digest, such as cereals and toast. Avoid greasy and oily foods in the morning as they may add to the nausea. Including dates and raisins help.
  3. If you have nowhere important to be, go back to bed: If you have the time and nothing to do, then it is advisable to sleep a little longer while you keep rehydrating yourself whenever you wake up. This is going to give your body the fluids it needs while resting is going to give it plenty of opportunity to heal itself.
  4. Eat ginger, both before and after drinking: Ginger has been used as a home remedy across cultures for centuries to treat nausea. It is thus wise to eat crystallized or candied forms of ginger, both before and after consumption of alcohol as it will lessen its effects on the body. You can take ginger the night after as well to reduce the nausea that comes with hangover.
  5. Stretch out and exercise a little: Between naps it may not be a bad idea to stretch out and exercise a little, which will help you release endorphins to make you feel better. However, ensure that it is light exercise so that the nausea and headaches are not exacerbated. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
4738 people found this helpful

How To Cure Hangover?

MD - Ayurveda, CIY, Guru Shishya parampara, BAMS
Ayurveda, Gurgaon
How To Cure Hangover?
  • Hangover wad first described 3000 years ago in ayurvedic text called sushruta samhita as a madatayay (post drinking condition charactetized by thirst, pain in head and joints, and heaviness of the body) 
  • As alcoholic drinks contain ethanol which the body breaks down into the toxins formaldehyde and formic acid about 10 hours after drinking, making you feel ill.
  • Ginger honey water- honey contains potassium and frutose which neutralise the lethal impact and metabolize and flushes out faster. Add 1 tea spoon of ginger juice in 1 cup of warm water and add on 1 tea spoon of honey and consume it warm and repeat as many times as required or bite couple of little pieces of ginger.
1 person found this helpful

Hangover Management

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Zirakpur
Hangover Management


With festival season approaching fast, the use of Alcohol goes beyond normal consumption limits by otherwise normal alcohol drinkers. Members of societies which forbid alocohol drinking also are seen tempted towards fun by relaxing, intoxicating and inebriating themselves by use of alcohol.

.Alcoholism is a major health and social problem throughout the world though it is a major cause of motor accidents particularly for young people.


.Alcoholism is a major health and social problem throuhout the globe though it is amjor cause of motor accidents and incidental deaths particularly for young people. The consumption of alcohol has existed in human society since time immemorial. In modern world all types of alcoholic beverages are freely available in global market.

Heavy drinkers suffer from HANGOVER which is a collection of signs and symptoms linked with recent bouts of heavy drinking. Hangovers may occur at any time of the day but commonly the morning the night of heavy or excess drinking and person may experience:

1. Physical symptoms: headache, dizziness, sickness, sleepyness, thirsty and confused

2. Psychological and mental fatigue: feels elevated levels of anxiety, regret, shame, embarrassment, depression etc and less the sleep worse the hangover.


Modern science clearly indicates that there is no cure but resting, drinking water and replacing electrolytes by food may help. Generally symptoms go away after 24 hrs. Preventive measure is responsible drinking.


Drinking heavy and excess alcohol can increase your risk of developing alcoholic liver disease e.g.  fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, chronic hepatitis, liver fibrosis/ cirrhosis etc. When liver tries to breakdown alcohol, the resultant chemical reaction can damage its cells. Similarly heavy alcohol damages intestinal lining/ intestines thereby allowing gut bacteria to enter liver causing inflammation and scarring of liver. When regular excesses in drinking is the way of life, you may guess what can be the worst in a particular person.


Ayurveda has clear opinion and rules on the use of Madya - the Alcohol. Ayurveda has defined views on npreparation of Herbal wines called Asavas and Arishtas. Western Herbalism also uses tinctures etc in the same way as Ayurveda to extract active ingradients of herbs.

In Ayurveda MADATYA ROGA is associated with effects of alcoholism. Ayurveda's herbal bitters like Neem, Guduchi, Bhuiamla, Kalmegh, Amla and many others not only protect and cure liver inflammation by Pittavirechan and detoxification but there are other home remedies like dates, raisins, Kokum butter, tamarind fruit, pomegranates, Amla etc which may be combined as powder and taken with 100ml of boiled, cooled water. It may be taken soon after alcohol intake or at bed time or in the morning. Make it fresh because it cant be stored for long. Amalvetas,Tvak, Ela, Marich, Safed Jeera, Souvarchal Namak, Vrikshamala, Sugar effectively overcomes hangover.


Customised and readymade Ayurvedic Solutions are available for prevention and cure of Hangover and Liver affliction.

Popular Questions & Answers

I went to a concert last night with my bf. We had a shot of whiskey beforehand & I had plenty of food before too. I felt great, & don't think the whiskey really affected me. We got to the show which was a bit of a walk into the mountains here is CO so I was a little winded but still felt fine. We had another shot at the bar before heading over to the main stage. We found our seats fine & were enjoying the show. We were smoking a little weed too & I felt a bit high but nothing unusual. I was feeling really great and enjoying the music & hugging my bf & then all of a sudden felt like everything was getting a little fuzzy. The fuzziness was just in the sound, I think I could still see everything okay, but the flashing/bright lights looked very bright. The sound was the main thing though & everything sounded kind of hazy and "heavy" and a little like the sound was getting further away or sounding less like actual words & more like background noise. I went to sit down because I though maybe it was just the shots & weed but then I felt incredibly disoriented. After that I don't remember a lot & must have been in & out of consciousness because I only recall "flashes" of what was happening. I could feel that I couldn't really stand very well at one point and that my face and inside my head had a feeling of hotness, like a hot iron was inside my skull. My bf said I was completely out at one point & he had to lift up my dead weight which I don't recall at all. He said he was trying to slap my face a little & kept calling out my name, which I think I vaguely recall him saying my name once or twice. I also remember staring straight ahead of me & I think he was talking to me but I couldn't make out what he was saying and couldn't manage to say anything or try and respond to him as hard as I tried. I remember also saying "something's wrong, I need help" He said he did call the first aid people but we ended up leaving beforehand.(I know I probably should have stayed but I don't have health insurance & was very confused and terrified) Anyhow, he said I came out of it a little when the music stopped & he tried to stand me up. I do recall this part a bit and remember feeling really wobbly & like I could walk straight & like my knees were going to give out. We managed to make it away from the concert a bit and I heard him ask me to grab the hand rail to steady me. As we kept walking, I started feeling better & better but not 100%. I started moving a little better thought & then could walk without the rail even though me legs felt very heavy. When I tried to talk or explain what I had experienced, words were kind of hard to form (my mouth felt kinda weird?), and I couldn't think too straight yet. He told me the whole ordeal last maybe 10-15 minutes. I really don't know what to think. It seems to me like maybe the music/lights maybe triggered it or made it worse? I knew I just had to get away from the music & it would get better & it did seem to help but I have never had an issue like that at a loud concert or anything before. The only thing I have ever noticed is I was watching TV once & everything in the room started to "wobble" a bit. I thought maybe I was just tired but I think it was some sort of visual disturbance. My head doesn't hurt today but feels a little odd. I feel totally fine otherwise. Didn't include that I also kind of had minor issues swallowing water right last night after I got home.

M. S. in Psychotherapy and Counselling
Psychologist, Jaipur
Hi, I would advise you to see a neurologist asap. It all might have happened due to the mix effect of alcohol and weed but looking at your past experience with TV I am suggesting you to see a neurologist.

Doctors pls help me. Yesterday I had a party so I drank and smoked heavily and vomited and slept. Even in the morning I vomited. Now I feel like vomiting often and burping a lot. I could not able to breathe properly and my body feels like getting paralyzed. How to get rid of it.

Psychiatrist, Bangalore
Dear Vignesh, i am answering after 3 days. I hope you are fine now after acute intoxication effect of alcohol. This is the best time for you to quit both alcohol and smoking. You are young and have other interests to come up in life. Please continuously motivate yourself to quit both from alcohol and smoking for 12 weeks. i know it is difficult but not impossible. i can help you with nicotine replacement gum or patch and anticraving drugs for alcohol if necessary.
2 people found this helpful

Sir am gorav pandit I will take some alcohol yesterday and today morning am feel very bad how to solve this problem I do not know and secondly am suffering from fever can you shortout my problem.

C.S.C, D.C.H, M.B.B.S
General Physician, Alappuzha
Only strong will power, determination, attending AA meetings and diverting mind when tempted will help you stop alcohol or may need professional help from a psychiatrist or de addiction centre. Try to do meditation and yoga. Read good books and listen to music and if you are believer attend Bhajans Alcohol causes 7 types of cancer, including breast, mouth and bowel cancers. When you drink alcohol, cancer-causing chemicals are formed. Alcohol also affects hormone levels and makes cells even more likely to be damaged by smoking. The less alcohol you drink, the lower the risk of cancer. No type of alcohol is better or worse than another, it is the alcohol itself that leads to the damage, regardless of whether it is in wine, beer or spirits. And drinking and smoking together are even worse for you. Not everyone who drinks alcohol will develop cancer. But on the whole, scientists have found that some cancers are more common in people who drink more alcohol than others. Every year, alcohol causes 4% of cancers .Tips to cut down on alcohol. There are lots of simple ways to cut down on the amount of alcohol you drink. It can help to work out if there are particular times or situations when you tend to have a drink, whether that’s a bad day at work or a weekly pub quiz tradition, and plan what you’ll say and do differently next time. Have more alcohol-free days a week. For liver health it’s best to have at least 2 days off alcohol in a row each week. Try agreeing on certain days with your partner or a friend and help each some wi other and stick to it. If you are planning to drink alcohol, decide on a limit in advance and make sure you don’t go over it. Swap every other alcoholic drink for a soft one – starting with your first drink. Try shandy instead of a pint of beer, or swap ne for soda and have a spritzer. Don’t stock up on beer, wine or spirits at home. Finish one drink before pouring another, because topping up drinks makes it harder to keep track of how much you’ve had and when you planned to stop. Avoid buying drinks in rounds, that way you don’t have to keep pace with anyone. Tell a friend or partner that you’re cutting down on alcohol, they can support you – or even join you.

Am 26 m last night I have alcohol and later I had food and slept. Morning I got hang our my head is fully pain after I had Motion. I took acemiz+ and ors tetrapack. After that I got vomiting fully and the end I got little blood in my vomiting. Is any problem?

Homeopath, Lucknow
No problem if blood came only once. But if it occurred for more than 3 times the you need to consult to a gud physician. All the best.
1 person found this helpful

Table of Content

What is Hangover?

Symptoms :

The individualized person related factors that effects hangover are:

Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice