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What alcohol is REALLY doing to your body

Health Talks

What alcohol is REALLY doing to your body

We all know that the feeling the morning after a night of heavy drinking is never pleasant, but do you know what’s really behind symptoms such as nausea and dizziness?

Dr. Pedram Kordrostami who works for the NHS has revealed what alcohol is really doing to your body – from causing muscle aches to anxiety the next day – and crucially what to do to combat the symptoms.

‘Recent research uncovered that the average Brit who enjoys a drink loses around 252 hours to hangovers each year, leading to a massive loss in productivity,’ the founder of supplement AfterDrink.com said. ‘There’s only one guaranteed way to prevent a hangover – and that’s to not drink at all.

‘That being said, if you do choose to drink, common sense still applies. It’s always a good idea to have a meal before going out and to drink plenty of water. And of course, always drink in moderation and responsibly.’

                                                                                                  Photo: Daily Post / Drunk man

THE SYMPTOM: NAUSEA AND VOMITING 

Arguably one of the worst hangover symptoms, many people find that nausea and vomiting is a common occurrence the day after drinking. There are three potential causes of hangover nausea:

  • Alcohol is essentially a toxin, so it causes irritation and inflammation of the stomach lining, leaving it in a fragile state.
  • Alcohol stimulates the production of stomach acid, which is why some experience indigestion after a night of drinking.
  • Alcohol delays ‘gastric emptying’. In other words, it slows down how fast your stomach empties its contents into the small intestine, meaning food and fluid sit in the stomach for longer.

So, irritation of the stomach lining, combined with increased acid production and delayed stomach emptying can leave you feeling unsettled and nauseous.

THE CURE 

One of the best natural anti-sickness remedies out there is ginger. Several studies have shown that the active ingredient in ginger (known as gingerol), works by inhibiting the receptors responsible for triggering nausea.

It’s so good that doctors still recommend it as a remedy for pregnant women suffering with morning sickness. Try taking an antacid and sipping on ginger tea, as they should both help.

THE SYMPTOM: DEHYDRATION

Alcohol is a diuretic. This means that it makes you produce excess urine. It does this by reducing the production of a hormone in the brain called ADH which is responsible for water reabsorption from your kidneys.

For example, drinking a pint of standard beer (560ml) will cause you to lose approximately 280ml of extra fluid. Add this up over the length of a night and this will leave you with a huge water deficit.

Not only will you lose extra fluid, but alcohol’s diuretic effect also depletes essential electrolytes, making your kidneys work hard to keep the balance right. Overall, dehydration is a major contributor to many of your hangover symptoms.

CURE 

If you can remember to do so, having a small glass of water between every alcoholic drink can help replenish what’s lost. This has an additional benefit of increasing the time between each alcoholic drink.

Doing so should significantly reduce your hangover the next day by allowing your liver more time to process each unit of alcohol before the next one comes through.

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