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Effects of Alcohol on Your Physical and Mental Health

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch

When you drink too much, you can expect to wake up with a splitting headache and a dry mouth. This is because alcohol is a diuretic. If you don’t drink enough water in between drinking alcoholic beverages, you will rapidly become dehydrated. If you only drink on occasion, you probably do not have to consider the long-term effects of alcohol consumption. However, the effects can be more serious if you drink regularly and tend to have more than one or two drinks at a time. 

Common hangover symptoms

There are several symptoms associated with hangover, including:

  • Mild to severe headache 
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Irritability
  • Sensitivity to sound and light
  • Stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle aches

The reason you feel these symptoms is that dehydration impairs your organ function. It can also affect the quality of your sleep, which is why you feel so tired. A hangover affects every part of your body, and you may experience the symptoms for 14 to 24 hours. Your liver processes toxins, and it can take days for them to work through your system. Shrinking of the tissues in your body due to dehydration causes headaches and muscle aches. 

If you have started the day with a hangover, you may be looking for fast relief from your symptoms. One of the best ways to find relief is with IV therapy. A balanced saline solution can restore your fluids quickly and doesn’t irritate your stomach, which may already be feeling sensitive. An IV drip also replenishes electrolytes and addresses vitamin deficiencies, like magnesium, associated with excessive alcohol consumption. 

If you’re looking for IV for a hangover in Boston, Drip Hydration, IV League, and The IV Doc’s IV treatments are delivered by certified nurses at your home to help you recover. The hangover drip includes IV fluids, electrolytes and vitamins. It also contains anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory medication to help you get over your hangover symptoms quickly. 

Physical complications from overconsumption of alcohol

Some of the complications associated with heavy drinking include hypoglycemia, electrolyte abnormalities, severe drops in blood pressure and liver damage. 

Low blood sugar: Your pancreas regulates how your body responds to glucose and regulates insulin. If your pancreas isn’t functioning properly, you can experience hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. Low blood sugar levels result in fatigue, mood swings, and muscle weakness. 

Electrolyte abnormalities: Vomiting and urinating more than usual causes your body to lose electrolytes. Without electrolytes, your body becomes dehydrated and pH levels are off-balance. There are a number of electrolytes, such as sodium, magnesium and potassium, that have important functions in the body. Deficiencies result in symptoms including muscle weakness and headaches. 

Digestive system problems: Alcohol can upset your stomach and intestines and cause inflammation. Producing gastric acid and other secretions can lead to stomach pain, nausea and vomiting. Drinking too much consistently can damage the digestive tract tissues and prevent you from digesting food and absorbing nutrients efficiently. 

Circulatory system issues: Heavy drinking affects your heart and your lungs. Your heart may have difficulty pumping blood throughout your body, and you may experience high blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat. 

Central nervous system damage: Over time, alcohol can damage your central nervous system. One sign of this is feeling numbness and tingling in your hands and feet. 

Liver damage: Your liver is responsible for breaking down toxins like alcohol. Regular overconsumption of alcohol can overload the liver and lead to serious damage. 

Drinking too much alcohol can lead to a number of diseases such as liver disease, pancreatitis, bowel cancer, diabetes and heart disease. 

Mental health issues associated with excessive drinking

Heavy drinking can have several adverse mental effects, such as impaired motor coordination, confusion, and impaired decision-making. 

Excessive alcohol consumption is also linked to many mental health conditions, such as depression and memory loss. It interferes with brain chemistry, affecting thoughts, feelings and actions. Long-term alcohol use can lead to changes in your brain that can affect your emotions, mood, memory, and impulse control. 

Anxiety: For someone who experiences anxiety, drinking may make them feel less anxious initially, but the feeling is short-lived. Over time they progressively need more alcohol to achieve a relaxed feeling, which can lead to alcohol dependence. 

Depression: Drinking and depression can become a vicious cycle in someone’s life that can even lead to self-harm and suicide. 

Memory loss: Drinking excessively over a long time can cause loss of memory and concentration. People who over-consume alcohol may also feel a lack of mental clarity, also known as “brain fog.”

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