Why Do We Get Hangovers?
You get hangover symptoms when you drink more alcohol than the body can handle.
It’s a Friday night and many of us will be out for parties; it is very likely that we will experience a hangover the following day. Despite the unpleasant symptoms of headache, nausea, thirst, stomach discomfort, dizziness, confusion and many more, we still enjoy getting boozy. But why do we get these nasty symptoms anyway?
While we are accustomed with the symptoms of a hangover, little is known about its exact cause. The most familiar explanation is dehydration. Alcohol is a toxic substance that becomes a diuretic in the body, i.e. it encourages you to lose water via urination. Subsequently, it decreases the body’s production of an anti-diuretic hormone, which normally prevents you from urinating excessively by helping your kidneys manage the amount of water in your body. As a result of dehydration, you tend to experience thirst, stomach discomfort, and those throbbing headaches.
Alcohol consumption can slow down your thought processes and make you sedated. It happens because when you drink, it gets absorbed into the bloodstream and the brain where it mimics an inhibitory neurotransmitter known as GABA, affecting your thoughts, memory, judgement, movement and speech.
Life is not always fair when it comes to hangovers. Some people have lower tolerances to alcohol while some can drink with impunity.
Genetic mutation is the culprit.
In the Asian population, approximately 30% suffer from genetic mutation resulting in reduced production of two enzymes, namely aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) and alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), leading to an excess buildup of acetaldehyde and the phenomenon called “Asian flush”. Unfortunately, this build-up also leads to a paradigm of hangover symptoms such as nausea, headache and other undesirable symptoms.
Say goodbye to hangovers with LiviUp®!
LiviUp® contains dihydromyricetin which enhances the activity of ALDH and ADH to remove the toxic acetaldehyde from the body. Milk thistle protects the liver by scavenging free radicals to alleviate the harmful health consequences of excessive alcohol consumption. Lastly, thiamine is important to replenish its depleted supply due to alcohol intoxication.
Drink Smart. Use LiviUp®.
Written by Grammy Ngai
Grammy is a certified Pharmacist. She received her B.Pharm from The University of Auckland.