If you stumbled across this article, you’re likely familiar with the dreaded hangover and all the symptoms that accompany it. But, do you truly understand what about drinking alcohol causes you to feel so miserable the following day or even that same night?
Understanding how a hangover happens will allow you to take steps to minimize and sometimes even eliminate the effects of a hangover.
What is a Hangover?
A hangover is a condition where an individual experiences a multitude of symptoms due to excessive alcohol consumption. A person will not necessarily experience all the possible effects of a hangover as this will vary from person to person and how much alcohol was consumed.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Symptoms generally appear when the blood alcohol content drops considerably. If multiple alcoholic drinks are consumed, you may feel some of the following symptoms.
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Muscle and/or stomach ache
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Increased heart rate
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Feelings of depression and/or anxiety
- Inability to concentrate
- Lack of sleep quality
Traditional Hangover Remedies
If you do a Google search on the internet, there will be several remedies for hangovers, some being more traditional and others seemingly to be more far-fetched. Before jumping on the first thing you see, check your source and their expertise.
Some of the more traditional remedies include drinking more water before, during, and after consuming alcohol. Water helps your body stay hydrated and reduces the effects of dehydration from drinking alcohol. We’ll discuss this concept further later on.
Another remedy is to be sure to get some good carbohydrates into your system before drinking alcohol. Drinking on an empty stomach is never a good idea. Additionally, Harvard Medical School states that alcohol has been shown to lower blood sugar levels, which can lead to tiredness and headaches.
The type of alcohol you consume can also play a role in how you will feel the following day. Lighter liquors, including vodka and gin, have been shown to produce fewer hangover symptoms when compared to darker liquors, such as whiskey, tequila, and red wine. This is due to darker liquors containing a more toxic enzyme called methanol.
A common and well-known way to reduce the effects of a hangover is to take a pain reliever such as Motrin or Ibuprofen. This remedy is merely going to cover up the symptoms and not necessarily cure a hangover. That being said, pain relievers will help to dissipate headaches and other minor body aches. Chief medical editor of Harvard Medical School, Howard LeWine, notes that Tylenol (acetaminophen) should not be taken to help hangovers. If you still have alcohol in your body, it can increase the drug’s toxic effects on the liver.
Another study has shown that fueling your body before and after heavy nights of drinking with foods high in B vitamins and zinc has shown to have a positive effect on the severity of hangovers.
Our last hangover treatment, which we are focusing more on today, incorporates many of the points discussed above: IV Hydration Treatments.
How Do IV Hydration Treatments Help Hangovers?
An IV hydration treatment is one of the best and most effective ways to relieve a hangover. These treatments typically come with 1 liter of IV fluids (saline), B vitamins, anti-nausea medications, and oftentimes NSAIDs (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
- 1 Liter IV Fluids: These saline fluids are formulated to match the electrolytes found in the blood plasma while replenishing lost fluid in the body. Alcohol makes it so our kidneys flush out fluid faster, leading to dehydration. IV fluids give our cells oxygen and nutrients and help our bodies carry waste out of them.
- B-Complex Vitamins and B-12: B vitamins are essential for your health and well-being. They directly impact energy levels, cell metabolism, and brain function.
- Anti-Nausea Medication: Generally, Zofran will be used to relieve nausea. These medications block chemicals in the body that trigger nausea and vomiting.
- NSAIDS: NSAIDS are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Toradol is a common one used in IV treatments. These work by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain.
Other nutrients and minerals you can add on are…
- Magnesium: Magnesium supports the body’s blood flow, cardiovascular system, muscle and nerve function, and immune system.
- Vitamin C: This essential nutrient helps maintain bone, skin, and blood vessels as it acts as an antioxidant to help heal the body. Since our bodies do not produce vitamin C on their own, it’s essential to get it from foods or supplements.
- Glutathione: Glutathione is a great nutrient that can be added to your IV hangover bag as it helps break down toxins left behind from the alcohol.
In the past, IV treatments would only be available in a hospital setting, but this is not the case anymore. A growing trend is IV Hydration Therapy Clinics where you can go and receive treatment from a licensed Registered Nurse or Nurse Practitioner.
Even better are mobile IV clinics that will come straight to your house or office to administer treatment in the comfort of your home or workplace. These clinics are great when you’re not feeling well and don’t want to leave your home or even your bed.
Here at Mobile IV Stat, we strive to offer our patients the ease and convenience of receiving one-on-one medical care from a professional without having to leave the house. We aim to provide each patient with a tailored treatment customized to their needs and health background and value safety above all else.
How Does IV Hydration Work?
Although IV hydration was historically used only in hospital settings, they are becoming increasingly popular at IV Clinics and Mobile IV Services. Instead of having to visit their local emergency room, patients can receive treatments in a more comfortable, convenient, and cost-effective manner.
A simple ER visit to get an IV treatment can cost patients anywhere from $500 to $5,000, depending on your insurance coverage. People can now avoid the headache of the hospital.
How it works
Clients can visit a local IV Hydration Clinic or have one come to their home. A licensed mobile clinic will have you fill out a health questionnaire, then a Medical Doctor or Nurse Practitioner review any medical issues, and answer any questions.
The RN or NP will then place an IV into your arm or other vein and administer fluids, electrolytes, vitamins, or any medications you have discussed. Since you bypass the digestive system, 100% of the fluids, vitamins, and medications directly enter the bloodstream.
Relief is experienced quicker than drinking water and taking medications orally. Plus, the body has the chance to absorb all the nutrients through the IV. Patients report (Link to this report) experiencing shortened recovery time compared to traditional hangover remedies.
What Causes a Hangover?
A handful of causes lend themselves to a person experiencing the symptoms of a hangover. While not all people will experience every symptom, nearly everyone will have to suffer some consequences of drinking too much alcohol. It’s also important to note that a single alcoholic beverage may provoke a hangover for some people. In contrast, others can have 3 or 4 drinks and barely have any hangover symptoms the following day.
But what causes a hangover?
Below are some factors that can lead to a hangover.
- Dehydration: Drinking alcohol can leave your body less hydrated.
- Poor Sleep: Alcohol can interfere with brain activity, making it difficult to have quality sleep.
- Low Blood Sugar: Drinking can create dips in your blood sugar.
- Irritation of the Stomach Lining: The production of stomach acid can increase.
- Expansion of Blood Vessels: When these blood vessels expand, it can lead to headaches and migraines.
All of these issues will leave a person feeling unwell. Generally, the more alcohol you consume, the more you will feel the effects of drinking too much. Let’s take a closer look into each one of these factors that contribute to a hangover.
Dehydration and Alcohol Consumption
The first cause of a hangover we’ll look at is dehydration. When you drink alcohol, you’ve likely noticed that you find yourself running to the restroom more compared to when you are only drinking water.
Our bodies contain a hormone called vasopressin that tells our kidneys to retain fluid. When alcohol is consumed, it prevents our bodies from releasing this vital hormone. As a result, our kidneys will not retain fluid, and you will see an increase in urination. When our bodies excessively get rid of these fluids, we experience dehydration.
“Drinking enough water each day is crucial for many reasons: to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep organs functioning properly. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood.
After a night of drinking alcohol, our bodies can experience dehydration, which will lead to feelings of fatigue, body and muscle aches, and headaches.
Poor Sleep Quality and Alcohol
Drinking Alcoholic beverages can have an adverse effect on sleep quality for some people.
It’s common for alcohol to have a calming and relaxing effect while also making it easier to fall asleep initially. But this sleep is not long-lasting. Studies have shown that alcohol interferes with brain activity during sleep. In most instances, the individual will experience a restless night with multiple awakenings.
This lack of quality sleep will, in turn, lead to feelings of fatigue, inability to concentrate, brain fog, stress, and body aches the next day.
Low Blood Sugar
Alcohol consumption can affect an individual’s blood sugar levels, which can lead to hypoglycemia, particularly in people who have diabetes.
Alcohol has an adverse effect on the liver, making it more difficult to maintain appropriate blood sugar levels. As the liver focuses on detoxing the body from the alcohol, its ability to release enough glucose to support blood sugar levels.
This is why drinking on an empty stomach or when you already have lower blood sugar levels, you are more likely go into hypoglycemia.
According to the American Diabetes Association, “When drinking alcohol is combined with the medications most often used to treat diabetes—particularly insulin and sulfonylureas, low blood glucose can result. While a glass of wine with dinner probably isn’t a big deal, a mojito on an empty stomach at happy hour is.”
Irritation of the Stomach Lining
When drinking to excess, the alcohol can cause irritation, inflammation, and damage to the stomach. The gastrointestinal tract and the liver are primarily responsible for the body’s overall health. Studies are beginning to show that this inflammation can lead to inflammation of the entire body.
Inflammation associated with an injury, allergic reaction, or infection is only one side of the issue. The bouts of inflammation are in response to a momentary cause. The type of inflammation that consumes the body for no apparent reason, as the ones mentioned, is known as chronic inflammation.
Harvard Medical School explains how chronic inflammation can be associated with several chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, infections, autoimmune diseases, and even cancer.
Expansion of Blood Vessels
Alcohol has been shown to cause blood vessels to expand, called vasodilatation. This, in turn, reduces the pressure in the circulatory system (lowers blood pressure).
This is primarily dangerous to individuals taking blood pressure-lowering medications. When the pressure drops too low, the person can experience dizziness, lightheadedness, and possibly even faint. In extreme situations, this can lead to alcohol poisoning from alcohol-induced Vasodilation.
Safety of IV Hydration Treatments
When a licensed medical professional provides IV hydration treatments and the patient’s health background is carefully discussed by a Medical Doctor or Nurse Practitioner, IV treatments are relatively safe.
It’s essential to find a facility where safety is of utmost importance.
At Mobile IV Stat, prioritizing safety is paramount in our commitment to delivering exceptional care. Our rigorous safety measures include a comprehensive pre-IV assessment by a dedicated Nurse Practitioner. Before any IV placement, our Nurse Practitioner engages with patients over the phone via Telehealth, meticulously reviewing your medical history.
This meticulous pre-screening ensures that we have a detailed understanding of the individual’s health background, allowing us to tailor our services to their specific needs. By incorporating a Nurse Practitioner into our process, we prioritize safety and enhance the overall quality of care, providing a secure and personalized experience for each client.