Whether you are a university student or a post graduate, weekend means partying! “What would be a party without alcohol and dancing” you may say. You might be right in that having couple of drinks might help you unwind and feel the beat; but, at what cost? Just like everything else, moderation is a key! Too many cups can be too much on you, your behavioral control, your health, your liver & your next morning hangover… For those of you who think that taking couple of alcoholic drinks might help you have a goodnight sleep: Think twice as you don’t have the entire truth.
What is a hangover?
It is a group of disturbing symptoms that you might experience after drinking one too many drinks. These symptoms might include a very strong headache, fatigue, bloody eyes, heart palpitations, stomach irritation, drop in the level of blood glucose, photophobia (sensitivity to light) and dehydration among many others…
Strong headache? Because alcohol will affect neurotransmitters in the brain leading to an increase in serotonin or histamine production, leading to headaches! Also, excessive alcohol intoxicates the brain and dilates its surrounding blood vessels
Fatigue? This is due to the alcohol you consumed. It is true that alcohol is a sedative and helps people fall asleep; however, it affect the quality of sleep. You will tend to wake up very early and cannot sleep back. You will also skip sleeping in the REM phase, which is the ‘dreams’ part of your sleep. This REM phase is necessary for your good emotional and physical functioning the next morning.
Dehydration? This dehydration can also cause nausea and headaches! Excessive alcohol consumption can cause excess urination, sweating, and vomiting. All these will lead to a dehydrated body. The symptoms include a tongue stuck to the roof of the month when waking up, dizziness, headaches, and weakness!
Stomach Irritation? Alcohol increases the level of acid in the stomach.
Blood Sugar level? Some people’s blood sugar levels are decreases by alcohol consumption. This will lead to shakiness, tiredness and mood changes. In extreme cases, it might lead to seizures.
A study showed that memory can still be fuzzy the next morning of a hangover, even when there is no more alcohol leftovers in the blood! All in all, excessive alcohol consumption can be a life threat! Don’t take it lightly!
Prevent hangovers: Here are ways to enjoy few drinks without having the side effects.
1- Eat before drinking! Please do not drink on an empty stomach. When you eat, alcohol is absorbed slower. Don’t try to overeat and overdrink! It doesn’t work like this…
2- Keep drinking some water or juices between alcoholic drinks to prevent any dehydration. Also have some before going to bed. Caffeine is not an option.
3- Control yourself! If you put yourself in a fun mood, you will no longer need to get drunk to have fun. Just enjoy the evening and stay safe! Nobody is COOL when drunk!
4- Hangover prevention pills are not effective! Do not count on them. Have crackers, breads and fruits can help the body break-down alcohol faster!
5- Do not take painkiller pills such as Tylenol and Panadol. These attack the liver! Check with your doctor what the best painkiller is for you.
by Dr. Sandra El Hajj