Lybrate Logo
Get the App
For Doctors
Book Appointment
Ask a Question
Plan my Surgery
Health Feed
Health Feed
Find Doctors

Hangover: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Cost

Last Updated: Feb 25, 2023

What is Hangover?

Topic Image

Hangovers are quite common these days, owing to the excessive consumption of alcohol and unrestricted lifestyle patterns. It is causing serious threats to people these days. In this article we will put ample light on its causes, effects and prevention.

A hangover is a collection of uncomfortable symptoms and sensations which can appear after consuming excessive liquor. In addition to making you feel terrible, repeated hangovers are linked to substandard work and friction at the office.

In general, the more alcohol you intake, the more possible it is that you will experience a hangover the next day. However, there isn't a secret sauce that can predict how much alcohol you can consume without getting drunk or getting a hangover.

When does a Hangover start?

The typical onset of a hangover is many hours after you sober up. Based on the person, the amount and kind of alcohol taken, and the signs, the severity might differ.

Panic, irritation, anxiety, exhaustion, thirst, headaches, muscle aches, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, dizziness, light and sound sensitivity and elevated blood pressure are among the common signs. These indicate that a hangover is just starting to have adverse effects on your body.

When does a Hangover Peak?

A hangover might be more intense with time. It might cause adverse effects on the body as it reaches its peak.

Many hours after a drinking activity stops, as blood alcohol concentration (BAC) starts to decline, hangover effects usually start to appear. When BAC falls to zero, the symptoms typically reach their peak. The effects of a hangover can linger for a few hours or almost 1 day.

How long does Hangover last?

Hangovers might be very disturbing for an individual and cause him/her great discomfort. The duration might be different for different people as per their metabolism and capacity. Although hangovers can persist up to three days following drinking, they often last for a much shorter time.

Once more, it relies on the amount of food eaten, how thirsty you become, your health status, race, sexuality, how well your liver is functioning, and your medications, among other factors. Your body must eliminate the harmful effects of alcohol, replenish lost fluids, repair tissue, and return to normal bodily functioning and movement.


What causes Hangover?

The effect of ethanol, or the alcohol in the beverages, is the major reason for a hangover. It is a poisonous substance that acts as a stimulant in the system, which causes people to urinate more frequently and increases the likelihood that the person will get dehydrated.

Binge drinking is the main cause of hangovers. A few people can get a hangover after just one adult beverage, while others could consume excessive alcohol and never get one.

There are many things that can cause a hangover. For instance:

  • Your body produces more pee when you drink. Dehydration can then result from frequent urination, which is frequently accompanied by thirst, dizziness, and nausea.
  • The immune system's inflammatory reaction is brought on by drinking. Certain substances that frequently cause physical effects, such as difficulty concentrating, cognitive problems, appetite loss, and loss of enthusiasm in routine tasks, may be triggered by the immune system.
  • Alcohol inhibits the stomach wall. Alcohol boosts stomach acid production and slows down stomach outflow. Intestinal cramping, motion sickness, or nausea may be brought on by any of these conditions.
  • Levels of blood sugar can drop as a result of liquor. If your levels of blood sugar fall down than average, you could have epilepsy, mood swings, tiredness, unsteadiness, and exhaustion.
  • Headaches can result from drinking alcohol because it makes the blood vessels enlarge.
  • Alcohol can help you fall asleep, but it inhibits you from falling asleep longer and frequently wakes you up during the course of the night. You can feel sleepy and exhausted after this.

How much alcohol causes a Hangover?

As for men, having 5 to 7 drinks in a span of 4 to 6 hours nearly always results in a hangover. After 3 to 5 drinks, women typically experience the outcome. When the BAC returns to zero, which happens about 12 hours following drinking, the effects of a hangover will be at their worst.

What are the symptoms of Hangover?

When the level of blood alcohol drops dramatically and falls to or close to zero, you often start to experience hangovers. The morning following a night of excessive alcohol consumption is usually when they're at their most potent. Based on the amount and quantity of alcohol you drank, you might see these signs:

  • Sickness and tiredness
  • Extreme thirst and tongue dryness
  • Body pains and headaches
  • Puking, nauseous, or abdominal pain
  • Less and bad sleep
  • Hypersensitivity to sound and light
  • Nausea or a sensation that the room is spinning
  • Loss of stability in body
  • Reduced capacity for concentration
  • Mood disorders, such as anxiousness, depression, and anger
  • A fast heartbeat

How long will symptoms last?

In general, hangovers disappear by themselves after 24 hours.

Furthermore, from one person to another, there can be differences in the way that symptoms develop and get worse with time.

Recent research

According to Recent Study, the majority of hangovers are categorized into three temporal categories, and various hangover categories are linked to various symptoms.

In addition, people with stomach issues were more prone to have an upturned U-shaped hangover, where symptoms peaked around noon and decreased in the night.

What are the Risk Factors of Hangover?

A hangover might happen to everyone who drinks alcohol, although a few people are more prone to getting one over others. Many people might sweat, vomit, or get sick after even a tiny amount of alcoholic beverage as a genetic difference that changes how alcohol is digested.

These elements may increase the likelihood or severity of a hangover:

  • Having a drink without eating. Absence of food accelerates the body's ability to absorb alcohol
  • Combining alcohol with other substances, such as smoking. Drinking and smoking together seem to raise the chances of the unpleasant day after.
  • Not getting enough or quality slumber after having alcohol. According to several experts, many hangover sensations are frequently caused, by the short and ineffective sleep cycle that frequently happens the night after drinking
  • Having a history of drinking in one's lineage. A difficulty with how your metabolize alcohol might well be hereditary if you have a close family that has a background of alcoholism.
  • Consuming alcohol that is dark in colour. Drinks with a dark colour are more likely to contain a lot of congeners and to give you a hangover.

How can you prevent Hangover?

  • After one night of drinking, hangovers naturally disappear. Consult your doctor if you feel worried that excessive drinking on a regular schedule could cause severe alcohol withdrawal effects or if recurrent hangovers negatively impact your wellbeing, especially your ability to maintain close relationships or function well at work. Alcoholism treatment is generally obtainable.
  • In spite of numerous medications and supplements that provide the guarantee to reduce hangovers, abstaining from drinking is the only surefire way to do so. If you are planning to have an alcoholic beverage, do so minimally.
  • For normal individuals, moderate drinking is defined as no more than one drink per day for women of all ages & men over 65, and no more than two drinks per day for males 65 and under.
  • You are not exposed to a hangover if you consume less drink. You could try to:
  • Have food After and before drinking. Since alcohol is digested more rapidly in an empty stomach, eating beforehand and during the drinking process may be beneficial.
  • Select wisely. Though all forms of liquor can lead to a hangover, drinks with less congeners have less chances to do so than those that contain more congeners.
  • In between sips, drink water. You can drink plenty of water by sipping on a large glass of water after every alcoholic drink. You'll be able to consume less liquor as well.Recognize your boundaries and restrict your drinking. Make a plan for the number of shots you'll consume in advance and adhere to it. Never feel compelled to drink.
  • Move slowly. Don't consume more than one alcoholic beverage in a single hour. When you've had enough, avoid consuming entirely.

Hangover - Diagnosis and Tests

  • Traditionally, alcohol leaves the bloodstream within a couple of hours. The individual's symptoms and signs can be used as concrete proof to identify a hangover.
  • However, a series of blood tests that show the levels of liver enzymes in the blood can be used to acquire indirect evidence. Seldom is it advised to perform these tests to identify a hangover.
  • Severe alcohol consumption can be detected in the laboratory using the ethanol, ethyl glucuronide (EtG), and ethyl sulphate (EtS) assays.
  • For tracking withdrawal after a prolonged period, phosphatidylethanol (PEth) and carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) are helpful biomarkers.
  • These tests examine your body's major indicators to help you figure out whether your body is genuinely trying to communicate with you, whether your body is under threat or facing some hazards due to drinking.
  • People who want to ensure that their drinking habits are not taking a toll on their health may go for these tests.

The tests are as follows:

  • HbA1c (1 biomarker) (1 biomarker)
  • Complete cholesterol testing (6 biomarkers)
  • Test for liver function (7 biomarkers)

What are possible complications of Hangover?

If not treated timely, hangovers can lead to severe complications on the body and mind respectively. Some of them, might be:

  • Redness in eyes
  • Dehydration and headache
  • Aches and pains in the body
  • Light and sound sensitivities
  • Halitosis
  • Difficulty concentrating,
  • Hypersalivation A rapid heartbeat and a depressed mood
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea, dysentery, or vomiting

The following signs of alcohol poisoning should be looked out for as soon as possible:

  • Unsteady breathing
  • Low body temperature, sluggish respiration, or less than 8 breaths per minute
  • Very light skin with a blue tint
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Unconsciousness convulsions or hallucinations

Home Remedies for Hangover

  • Hangover might be really painful if left unattended. It is advised to follow some healthy practices in order to avoid a hangover. Some of these home remedies are listed below:
  • Consume a meal that is high in carbohydrates. A meal high in carbohydrates, like brown pasta or brown rice, will assist you in reducing the pace of alcohol entering your circulation. This could lessen grogginess the following day.
  • Go with light-colored beverages. Drinks with a clear tint are preferable because they typically contain fewer congeners. Strong hangovers are less likely to occur after moderate drinks.
  • Avert carbonated beverages. The pace at which alcohol is absorbed into your system is accelerated by effervescent or fizzy drinks, which may lead to hangover sensations the following morning.
  • Avoid smoking. Smoking has an impact on your immune response, sleeping, nutrition, and hangover intensity.
  • Consume adequate water. Stay hydrated all night long. Consider consuming a glass before each drink and one more just before night.
  • Recognize your limit. Look for ways to reduce your drinking if you know that five or six drinks will give you a hangover. Try drinking alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages alternately, for instance, or wait 30 minutes between every drink. Break up the bouts with other activities like dancing or chatting.
  • Get adequate rest. Make a point to sleep if you realize you'll be awake all night.
  • Swallow an antacid A stomach pain may be soothed with an antacid like Antacid tablets. Try putting a spoonful of chopped fresh ginger in hot water to effectively calm your tummy.
  • Restock your electrolytes. Liquids packed with sodium can regulate your electrolytes and treat the symptoms like headaches and lightheadedness. To replace salt levels, try drinking some soup.
  • Consume a painkiller if required. An anti-inflammatory medication might work for severe headaches. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is preferred over ibuprofen or aspirin (Advil) because acetaminophen may exacerbate the harmful consequences of alcohol on the liver. Read the dose recommendations on the package.

What to eat in Hangover?

  • While there is sadly no quick fix there are several items you may consume that will provide you with the greatest likelihood of overcoming the unpleasant symptoms of a hangover.
  • We'll give you some advice on how to get rid of the ensuing hangover so you are able to endure the discomfort. Some of the foods you can have in a hangover are:
  • Carbohydrates, such as toast, are a crucial component of hangover treatments and are accessible in most kitchens. The more substantial choice of carbohydrates will give you the energy you need to energize your body, brain, and hungover spirit.
  • Ginger is a very good option for curing a hangover.
  • The meal of bacon eggs is the ideal hangover fare. The essential blend of proteins and minerals is what you need to replenish your energy. Eggs are indeed a great source of amino acids and other nutrients that support healthy liver function.
  • As carbohydrates are necessary to replenish overall energy stores, you might also include fruit on the menu of healthy snacks. Eating frequently during the day is essential for preventing hangovers, and fruits are indeed a nutritious substitute for sweets and confectionery.
  • Fruit juice might help you recover from a hangover. It tastes fantastic and can be used as a snack or a side dish with a larger dinner. It functions as a traditional hangover cure while also stabilizing blood sugar levels.
  • Coconut water can assist you hydrate and return to the human world because it is full of healthy carbohydrates, minerals, & electrolytes. It's not simply one of the greatest ways to recover from a hangover,

What not to eat in Hangover?

It's simple to mistake hunger for a hangover. But when you feel hungry, remember that eating such foods might make a hangover worse. We've created a list of foods to stay away from if you have a hangover.

Eating fatty foods is probably a bad thing you will do for the body. Your system will have to put the fatty meals on hold while it breaks down the drinks because alcohol and fats have the same metabolic process.

Snacks that are hot or salty are beneficial for similar reasons as those listed above since they both have high salt content, can make you thirstier, and can aggravate stomach problems if you are already experiencing it. Spicy meals can also hurt your intestines.

You shouldn't get an upset stomach when you're drinking because the caffeine, fats, and powdered sugar in chocolates can exacerbate the impact of acidic foods & create unnecessary digestive issues. If you're intoxicated, don't opt to eat chocolate.

Hangover Treatments

Although there is no exact treatment for a hangover, certain medications can kill its effects

NSAIDs, antacids, and certain painkillers help lessen the effects of a hangover.Avoid consuming acetaminophen-containing painkillers or other medicines in a hangover. Similar to alcohol, this substance might damage the liver, so mixing the two should be avoided.

Many purported remedies for hangovers are unsuccessful. One of them is the 'hair of the dog' method, which entails consuming more alcohol to get rid of a hangover. This approach is not advised by healthcare specialists because it can just make the symptoms worse.

Some reports also claim that IV therapies also cure hangovers. In this method of treatment fluid is injected into all bodily veins during intravenous infusion.

Doctors administer medication via IV therapy to assist cure dehydration, nutrient deficiencies, and other medical issues. It is a simple and fast technique to treat hangovers.

Which doctor to consult for Hangover?

Hangovers are usually temporary and can be cured by home remedies. But if the symptoms persist, you can visit a general physician. Normally general physicians can cure a hangover by giving certain medicines.

Which are the best medicines for Hangovers?

The headaches and general aches and pains may well be relieved by aspirin, ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs). However, NSAIDs might aggravate an already inflamed stomach brought on by drinking. Don’t take acetaminophen (Tylenol).

How long does it take to recover from Hangover?

It doesn’t take much longer to recover from a hangover. Usually the symptoms last for 12 hours. It might differ from person to person and the amount and kind of drink consumed.

Sometimes hangover symptoms can last for almost three days. This doesn’t exceed more than 72 hours.People recover after 12 to 24 hours.

What is the price of Hangover treatments in India?

There hasn’t been any proven hangover cure, yet many hospitals and medical institutions claim to have a steady solution for hangovers.

There are many hangover medicines as well in the market which cost between 250 to 400 rupees. The IV drip for hangover treatment costs between 8oo to 3200 rupees. This is a hefty price owing to the fact that this isn’t a proven method of treatment.

What are side-effects of Hangover treatments?

Since dehydration is simply one of the symptoms of a hangover, rehydrating via Intravenous fluids ain't going to help. Even with additional fluids or vitamins, an IV therapy cannot relieve all hangover grogginess.

In addition to infection, minor complications of IV therapy might include discomfort, edema, and bruising at the site of injection.

Hangover - Outlook / Prognosis

Hangovers have become a common phenomenon, owing to the party freak and alcohol loving nature of millennials. There is no denying the fact that drinking in moderation doesn’t pose serious threats, but excessive drinking can possibly cause a major setback to the human body.

Brain shrinkage and dementia and liver diseases are a few of the diseases that can be caused by excessive alcohol and continuous hangovers. Contrary to people’s theory that alcohol helps them to forget their pains, binge drinking and hangovers may lead to depression & anxiety.

Excessive alcoholism or alcohol abuse is the biggest cause of a hangover. Therefore it is advised to stay away from binge drinking and not overdo it with liquor. A healthy mind and body cannot function with the presence of a hangover.

Behaving like responsible adults and taking care of one’s own body and mind is utmost important. Being a party animal and all that is ok till you don’t act as an impediment to your well being.

There is no magic potion to cure a hangover instantly and effectively, nor is there a precise medicine which diagnoses the problem. Therefore it is advisable to stay away from alcohol abuse in order to steer away from a hangover.


Popular Questions & Answers

View All

My daughter is 17 year. She is having a extreme...


Ms. Rachna Mishra


Practice relaxation techniques: deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, and mi...

Also low capacity of bladder. That's problem oc...


Dr. Anjali Gupta


This you can get test of serum cretanine if report is normal intake of water atvday time increase...

I am neet drop year student I am doing masturba...


Dr. Ashutosh Tiwari

Ayurvedic Doctor

It is natural process to masterbate that your age. Don't think that it is due to masterbation. Fo...

Hi I am suffering from anxiety disorders, heada...


Dr. Shreyasi Paul


The headache could be due to multiple reasons. It could be a recent stress, any worry or anxious ...

I have a studies lot of backlog stress I know I...


Dr. M Sri Vidhya Venkatesan


Hi lybrate-user! you can definitely come out of this problem. You have lost your confidence. You ...

Table of content

Content Details
Profile Image
Written ByDr. Pranjit Mushahary MBBS,MD(medicine),MD - Internal MedicineGeneral Physician
Need more help 

15+ Years of Surgical Experience

All Insurances Accepted

EMI Facility Available at 0% Rate

Find General Physician near me


Ask a free question

Get FREE multiple opinions from Doctors

posted anonymously

Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice