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How Long Does A Hangover Last?

What are the common symptoms of hangover?

The only real cure for a hangover is time, rest and fluids. Eating starchy foods and small amounts of caffeine may help a little, but abstaining from alcohol is the only true way to avoid or cure a hangover.
The only real cure for a hangover is time, rest and fluids. Eating starchy foods and small amounts of caffeine may help a little, but abstaining from alcohol is the only true way to avoid or cure a hangover.

Hangover is the combination of unpleasant symptoms experienced after alcohol consumption. The symptoms of hangover usually start the next day, and are at their worst when the alcohol level in the body first falls to zero. A few common unpleasant symptoms are as below:

What are the severe symptoms of hangover?

These symptoms are also called alcohol poisoning and are a medical emergency. These require hospitalization.

How long does a hangover last?

Symptoms generally last from 24 hours to 72 hours. They may differ from person to person. During this period, an individual may have severe mental and physical stress due to alcohol withdrawal.

What are the seven best hangover cures?

There is no cure for a hangover, but there are few ways to reduce or relieve the symptoms. According to the research, seven common ways to treat a hangover include:

  • Drinking sufficient fluids: After severe alcohol intake and withdrawal, the body is dehydrated.  Alcohol intake induces excessive urination at best, and may also cause diarrhea, sweats and vomiting. 
  • Getting sufficient sleep: Excessive alcohol intake can impair sleep quality and duration, which may contribute irritation and weakness on the next day. Getting plenty of sleep after heavy drinking can help the body recover.
  • Eating carbohydrates: Alcohol causes the blood sugar levels to drop. This may cause a person to feel dizzy and weak. Drinking fruit juice with bread, rice or other foods with lots of carbohydrates may ease hangover symptoms. 
  • Choosing the right alcohol: Whisky, red wine and tequila are dark-colored beverages which can cause severe hangover. Some research shows avoiding dark colored alcohol beverages helps in reducing hangover symptoms in a marginal way.
  • Taking a painkiller: Aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, other brands), and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may help with the headache and the overall achy feelings, but it is not recommended to take Tylenol as it induces alcohol toxic effects on liver
  • Drinking coffee or tea: Taking caffeine can stimulate the brain and make us function normally, however excessive caffeine intake is not recommended. 
  • An “eye opener” is a drink of alcohol which paradoxically reduces the effects of hangover. This habit is dangerous, and often seen in alcohol dependence. The extra dose of alcohol simply pushes the hangover/withdrawal symptoms until later. Hence such an eye-opener is discouraged.

How can we prevent hangovers?

The best way to prevent hangovers is to avoid alcohol entirely or drink in moderation, giving the body plenty of time to process the alcohol before consuming more. A person can limit the risk of a hangover by drinking plenty of water alongside any alcoholic beverages, or eating a meal after drinking alcohol. It is important to stay hydrated, eat nutritious food, and get plenty of rest to prevent the symptoms of hangover.

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Reviewed on 7/30/2020
References
Medscape Medical Reference
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