Understanding Alcohol Cravings and Hangover

Understanding Alcohol Cravings and Hangover

An alcohol hangover refers to a group of unpleasant signs and symptoms including nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and dehydration commonly occurring after the intake of too much alcohol. A frequent alcohol hangover and regular intake of alcohol are associated with reduced physical performance, poor liver health, reduced productivity, conflicts at work, and strained personal relations. [1]

Here are some natural ways to relieve the unpleasant symptoms of an alcohol hangover, overcome alcohol dependence, and improve your hepatic health in a safe and effective way. 

What are the Signs and Symptoms of an Alcohol Hangover?

A hangover is caused due to the excessive intake of alcoholic beverages. A single alcoholic drink may be enough to trigger the hangover symptoms in some patients, while some may escape a hangover entirely in spite of drinking heavily.

The symptoms of alcohol hangover typically begin when the alcohol content in the blood drops significantly and is near zero. The symptoms are the most intense usually in the morning after a night of heavy drinking. 

Depending on the type of alcohol consumed and its quality, you may experience other symptoms such as:

  • Severe fatigue and weakness
  • Excessive thirst 
  • Dryness of mouth
  • Nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain
  • Splitting headaches and muscle pain
  • Poor or reduced sleep
  • Trembling of the hands 
  • Dizziness with a sensation as if the room is spinning
  • Mood disturbances leading to depression, irritability, and anxiety 
  • Reduced ability to concentrate
  • Increased sensitivity to sound and light 
  • Rapid heartbeats

What are the Complications Linked to Alcohol Intake and Dependence?

  • Alcohol can act as a diuretic. This means it can elevate the production of urine leading to dehydration. The increased secretion of urine can also cause increased thirst, lightheadedness, and dizziness. [2]
  • Alcohol can induce mild to moderate irritation of the mucosal lining of the stomach by increasing the production of gastric acid. As a result, you may experience heartburn, nausea, sour eructation, and vomiting.
  • Alcohol intake may create electrolyte imbalances thus contributing to irritability, severe headaches, and weakness.
  • Alcohol can interfere with the breakdown of glucose in the body due to which you may develop extremely low blood sugar levels. This could result in severe fatigue, dizziness, and even unconsciousness. [3]
  • Alcohol can trigger an abnormal inflammatory response of the immune system by stimulating the release of pro-inflammatory substances such as cytokines, which can trigger abnormal inflammatory changes in the liver. 
  • Alcohol can create a vasodilatory effect and cause the blood vessels to expand, leading to splitting headaches.
  • Alcohol can create a sense of sleepiness and yet prevent you from entering the deeper phase of sleep. This may lead to frequent awakening in the night causing you to wake up in the morning feeling unrefreshed and tired.
  • Chronic alcoholism and alcohol dependence can disrupt the balance of hormones in the brain resulting in the decline in cognitive functions. It may lead to the development of symptoms such as reduced memory, an inability to concentrate, loss of appetite, and lack of interest in routine activities.

Alcohol intake is associated with a higher risk of serious life-threatening complications like hepatitis, cirrhosis, and liver cancer.  The use of natural supplements containing nutrients and herbs would reduce the unpleasant symptoms of an alcohol hangover and support your efforts to overcome the addiction. 



[1]L. Darren Kruisselbrink, Chris Alford, Ann-Kathrin Stock, Relationship between Alcohol Hangover and Physical Endurance Performance: Walking the Samaria Gorge,  2019 December, Journal of Clinical Medicine 9(1):114 DOI:10.3390/jcm9010114
[2]Celeste T Tipple, Sarah Benson, Andrew Scholey, A Review of the Physiological Factors Associated with Alcohol Hangover, 2016;9(2):93-98. doi: 10.2174/1874473710666170207152933., PMID: 28176621
[3]R Swift, D Davidson, Alcohol hangover: mechanisms and mediators, 1998;22(1):54-60, PMID: 15706734, PMCID: PMC6761819
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