From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A hangover (veisalgia) describes the sum of unpleasant physiological effects following heavy consumption of drugs, particularly alcoholic beverages. The most commonly reported characteristics of a hangover include headache, nausea, sensitivity to light and noise, lethargy, dysphoria and thirst.
Hypoglycemia, dehydration, Acetaldehyde intoxication, and vitamin B12 deficiency are all theorized causes of hangover symptoms. Hangovers usually last 1 to 4 hours, but may last up to two or three days after alcohol was last consumed.
There is debate about whether a hangover might be prevented or at least mitigated. There is currently no known proven mechanism for making oneself sober short of waiting for the body to metabolize ingested alcohol, which occurs via oxidation through the liver before alcohol leaves the body.
A four page literature review in British Medical Journal on hangover cures by Max Pittler of the Peninsula Medical School at Exeter University and colleagues concludes: “No compelling evidence exists to suggest that any conventional or complementary intervention is effective for preventing or treating alcohol hangover. The most effective way to avoid the symptoms of alcohol induced hangover is to practice moderation.”
The term hangover was originally a 19th century expression describing unfinished business–something left over from a meeting–or ‘survival.’ In 1904, the meaning “after-effect of drinking too much” first surfaced.