Effects of a Hangover on Your Brain
Oh no, you have got me wrong. We are not talking about the famous American comedy movie, The Hangover. We are addressing the word in its literal sense. It is that feeling which gets triggered as a result of over consumption of any alcoholic beverage. The chemical element called ethanol in the alcoholic drinks causes undesirable dehydration and electrolyte imbalance in the body which in turn results into a condition called hangover.
Usually, the succeeding day of drinking excessive alcohol begins with severe headache and vomiting that make a person feel really sick. The symptoms of the condition necessarily are not similar to all, they may vary depending on various factors such as age, gender, weight, genetics and alcohol drinking routines or any other sensitivities. Whatever the cause, it’s not a good state to be in as it doesn’t let you continue your daily routine because of the fatigue associated with it.
Excessive consumption of alcohol not only interferes with the working of stomach but also hinders the regular functioning of the brain. Let’s take a closer look at it. It’s a myth that a small dose of alcohol each day is known to make a person feel better. The effect is temporary and in the long run does more harm than good to the brain.
Alcohol increases the levels of happy hormones i.e. Dopamine, serotonins and endorphins. As soon as the levels of alcohol in the blood drop, not only do the emotions that were kept at bay due to alcohol take over the brain in a far more aggressive approach, but also the sudden drop in the levels of happy hormones lead to depression and anxiety. More precisely, the following are the effects of hangovers on the brain:
- Poor cognitive capability
- Anxiety and depression
- Poor sleep patterns
- Hallucinations and frequent delusions
- Paranoia or unexplained fear
- Decreased ability of brain to retain information and process it
- Decreased appetite
- Inability to focus
- Debilitated state of memory
- Shrinks the brain tissue
- Inflammation in the circuits of the brain
How to get rid of the hangover: There’s no shortcut to get relieved of the symptoms of a hangover. It may take a minimum of 8 and maximum of 24 hours to offload the repercussions that alcohol has lead to. However the following ways might prove to be effective to treat a hangover.
- Rehydrating the body with electrolyte solutions, fruit juices without artificial sweeteners and honey to eliminate the dehydration caused by alcohol.
- Antacids and probiotics also help get the system relaxed.
- Resorting to bland food and foods that are capable of breaking down the alcohol like green vegetables, fruits, green tea etc.
- Sleep plenty and take enough rest to get back to your normal self.
- A medical procedure called Alcohol detoxification is another way to treat hangover when the effects of hangover are too severe to wade off naturally.
- Pain relievers can sometimes prove to be effective in getting relief from hangover symptoms. Nevertheless, pain killers with a composition of acetaminophen need to be taken very judiciously as frequent doses can cause irreparable loss to the liver.
A sure shot way of evading hangover is avoiding alcohol comprehensively! The way alcohol leaves a toxic effect on the brain is convincing enough to pursue non alcoholism. When shunning alcohol doesn’t seem possible almost immediately, other ways to eventually avoid a hangover is choosing alcoholic drinks that have low congener concentration levels. Rehabilitation centers too come across as a wise choice to be able to abstain from alcohol and its prolonged toxicity.