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Can You Die From a Hangover?

Can you die from a hangover? - LVDY - LOVE EVERY DAY

Can You Die From a Hangover?

The question "Can a hangover kill you?" might have crossed your booze-addled brain after a night of excessive drinking. The reality is that hangovers, whilst incredibly uncomfortable, aren’t directly life-threatening. However, alcohol poisoning after heavy drinking can result in death and should be taken seriously.

A hangover might make you feel like it is going to kill you. This is because alcohol is a depressant that affects the central nervous system i.e. your whole body. When your head is pounding and the room is spinning, you might instinctively think that you're on your deathbed. However, this is usually not the case.

We're going to deep dive into the question that has existed practically as long as the alcoholic drink itself. We’ll also help you understand the physical aftermath of those extra drinks (or shots!), including what causes hangover headaches. After reading this article, you’ll have all the information on hangovers you need to avoid that "I'm going to die" feeling.

After all, what’s a better activity when you’re curled up in bed with the hangover from hell than learning something?

What is a hangover?

Reading this whilst hungover? Then you’ll know exactly what one is and probably why you’ve got one. Essentially, a hangover is the body's reaction to overindulgence in alcohol. If you’re experiencing unpleasant physical and mental symptoms after a hen/stag party, wedding reception, football match, post-work social or other event that involved a tonne of booze, you’re probably hungover.

Why do hangovers feel so deadly?

Here are five of the main reasons you might think you can die from a hangover:

#1 - Dehydration

Alcohol suppresses the release of vasopressin, an antidiuretic hormone. Vasopressin stops you from peeing, which is why you have to pee more often when you drink alcohol. This means alcohol dehydrates our body faster than usual. Additionally, hangover sweats the next morning cause further dehydration. All this contributes to making it feel like you can die from a hangover.

Many of the most common symptoms of a hangover are the same as those of dehydration, including feeling thirsty, dry mouth, weakness, headaches, dizziness and nausea.

#2 - Inflammation in the Stomach (Gastritis)

Binge drinking also irritates the lining of your stomach, increasing acid production whilst slowing your stomach’s emptying. This results in that intense burning/twisting pain in your upper abdomen you feel in the morning.

#3 - Poor Sleep

Alcohol interferes with the chemical processes needed for quality sleep, disturbing your brain activity and preventing the vital REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage of sleep. The result is fragmented sleep, which is why you wake up feeling so tired. The feeling of severe fatigue can play a huge part in feeling like you can die of a hangover.

#4 - Low Blood Sugar

Alcoholic beverages increase your body’s insulin secretion when consumed, which causes your blood sugar levels to dip. The more alcohol you drink, the more significantly your blood sugar levels will drop. If your blood sugar levels drop too low whilst your blood alcohol levels are high, you can experience shakiness, irritability, weakness and fatigue. Low blood sugar alone contributes to a lot of the common symptoms of a hangover.

#5 - Alcohol is Regarded as a Poison by Your Body

Alcohol triggers an inflammatory response from your immune system. This affects the standard mechanisms your body uses to control your immune response. It is regarded as a poison by your body because it can only process one unit of alcohol per hour until it is out of your bloodstream.

Understanding Hangover Side Effects

Hangovers bring a host of symptoms that, while they won't necessarily cause death, can feel overwhelmingly uncomfortable. These effects are direct outcomes of the body's reaction to alcohol consumption discussed earlier, including dehydration, inflammation and low blood sugar.

Here's an overview of common hangover symptoms and the effect of alcohol over time:

  • Physical Symptoms:

    • Headaches and migraines, due to dehydration and changes in blood vessel behaviour.

    • Nausea and vomiting, as the body reacts to alcohol's toxins.

    • Fatigue and weakness, resulting from disrupted sleep and nutrient depletion.

    • Dizziness and changes in blood pressure, linked to dehydration.

  • Cognitive and Emotional Effects:

    • Impaired concentration and cognitive function, from alcohol's impact on brain activity.

    • Mood swings and changes, influenced by alcohol's effect on neurotransmitters.

    • Anxiety (hangxiety) or depression (hangover depression) symptoms, in the aftermath of intoxication. Suffering from hangover-related anxiety? Read our article on hangxiety to learn more about what causes it and how to cure it.

The intensity of hangover symptoms can vary based on:

  • Volume and Type of Alcohol: Higher quantities and certain types of alcohol are more likely to result in severe hangovers.

  • Biological Factors: Age, weight and genetic predispositions (such as a family history of alcohol abuse) can affect how your body processes alcohol. They can impact if you experience frequent hangovers and how quickly you recover.

  • Overall Health and Habits: Your body's current state and your drinking habits, including food intake and hydration levels before drinking, play significant roles.

Read our "Why do you get a hangover?" post to discover the science behind why we get hangovers.

Alcohol Poisoning vs. Hangover Symptoms - what's the difference?

How do you tell the difference between alcohol poisoning vs. common hangover symptoms? Being able to do this is important in case you or anyone you’ve been partying with is experiencing severe intoxication after too much alcohol.

Do I have alcohol poisoning or a bad hangover?

What may seem like severe hangover symptoms may be an indication of alcohol poisoning. This is where your blood alcohol content is excessively high, and your body can't metabolise the amount of alcohol you've consumed.

Alcohol poisoning should be taken very seriously and can be deadly if not treated quickly. Contact emergency services immediately if you or someone you're with is experiencing a combination of these symptoms after binge drinking: confusion, vomiting, seizures, slow breathing, bluish/pale skin and unconsciousness.

So, can you die from alcohol poisoning the day after indulging in excessive drinking?

The short answer is yes. Alcohol poisoning's effects can escalate even after you've stopped consuming alcohol, as your body continues to process the toxins present in your bloodstream. This delay in the manifestation of severe symptoms means that the risk does not end when the drinking stops.

It's crucial to recognise that alcohol poisoning is a medical emergency that requires urgent attention, regardless of when the symptoms appear. Understanding the difference between intense hangover symptoms and alcohol poisoning can be the difference between life and death.

By knowing your body’s limits, drinking responsibly and taking easy steps like staying hydrated through the night, you can keep alcohol poisoning and hangovers at bay.

How Do You Survive a Hangover?

Grappling with the aftermath of a night out and wondering what is good for a hangover? Sadly, there's no foolproof hangover remedy. However, following these classic anti-hangover tips can hugely help with those common symptoms.

  1. Drink fluids 

Start with hydrating to tackle the inevitable dehydration that comes with drinking too much alcohol. Water is your best friend and is usually accessible so make sure to drink plenty of it. If your stomach can handle it, ginger or peppermint tea can ease nausea after drinking do electrolytes help with hangovers . 

  1. Electrolytes

If you can muster the energy for a shop visit, drinks with electrolytes help with hangovers by replenishing those lost essential salts and minerals. The gentle exercise that comes with walking to the shop will benefit you as well.

  1. Eat nutritious food

While a greasy breakfast or takeaway is very tempting when hungover, nutrient-rich foods will be way more beneficial for your body and stomach. The aim is to restore vitamins and stabilise your blood sugar levels; think bananas for potassium or a hearty breakfast with eggs and wholegrain toast for a balance of protein and complex carbs.

  1. Sleep 

What helps with hangovers immensely is quality sleep and rest. Giving your body extra time to rest and recover can do wonders, especially if you've had a late night!

The winning combination of hydration, a hearty meal, some gentle activity like a walk and good quality sleep will help you kiss those unpleasant hangover effects goodbye.

How do you prevent hangovers?

As handy as it is to know how to deal with a hangover, wouldn’t it be better to not have a hangover at all? After all, the best way to stop a hangover is to prevent it. 

A lot of the traditional tips for avoiding a hangover are tried and tested. These include eating a hearty meal with plenty of protein and carbs before you start drinking. Lining your stomach also ensures your body is stocked with nutrients.

Next, staying hydrated through the night will keep the hangover at bay. You don’t need to go overboard. Even a pint of water every few drinks can help a lot.

To Mix or Not To Mix?

Sticking to one kind of drink can help avoid a hangover as it minimises the intake of different congeners. Congeners are chemical by-products of alcohol fermentation. They exacerbate hangover symptoms and are found in higher amounts in darker spirits. 

By mixing different types of alcohol, you’re increasing the variety and amount of congeners you consume and potentially giving yourself a worse hangover. What’s more, sticking to one type of drink makes it easier to keep track of how much alcohol you’ve had, which can help with pacing.

Let's address what alcohol doesn't give you a hangover - if any. It's less about the type and more about the quality and your approach to consumption. Whilst it’s said that clear spirits have a reputation for being kinder the next day, drinking any alcohol in excess will put you at risk of a hangover (or worse).

Can I take something before drinking alcohol to prevent a hangover?

Liver supplements like the LVDY Food Supplement can give your body’s defences a boost and alleviate those hangover symptoms. Our 100% natural, vegan-friendly supplement is powered by Glutathione, a potent antioxidant that gives your liver extra support to tackle the toxins from drinking booze.

LVDY complements hydration, working at a cellular level to support the body's ability to process alcohol better than water could on its own.

We recommend taking two capsules with water, ideally one hour before drinking alcohol. To make sure the LVDY liver supplement is working its best, it's crucial to stay well-hydrated. Alongside drinking water through the night and before heading to bed, you’re helping your body's metabolic functions better handle the incoming alcohol. This will get you on the path to feeling refreshed in the morning.

Visit our How It Works page to find out why each active ingredient in the LVDY formula helps your body fight the toxins from alcohol.

The Art of Hangover-Free Revelry

As we wrap up our exploration into the effects of alcohol and the dread of hangovers, remember that every night out doesn't have to end with regret. By taking a few easy steps, you can keep those “so bad I think I’m going to die” hangovers a distant memory.

Shop LVDY now, or try a free sample (just pay P&P)!


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