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About the author:

Dr. Minocha  is a practicing gastroenterologist and author of "Natural Stomach Care: Treating and Preventing Digestive Disorders with Best of Eastern and Western Therapies"

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Despite our best intentions, once in a while we all consume a little more alcohol than we should. The result is that inevitable hangover and a false promise to yourself, "Never again."

What is a hangover?

Although there is no precise scientific definition, we all know it when we have it. In general, an alcohol hangover involves two or more the following symptoms: headache, nausea, diarrhea, lack of appetite, shakiness, feeling tired and an overall feeling of being unwell. Simply put, it feels like the "flu".

There are numerous changes in the balance of hormones, neurotransmitters and other biological substances in the body. This neurobiological imbalance leads not only to the symptoms described above, but also in a rapid heart rate and increased work load on the heart. The latter is responsible for increased cardiac mortality.

There is a diffuse slowing of the brain waves as seen on EEG several hours 16 hours after all alcohol has cleared the body. Neuromuscular performance is also impaired long after alcohol is undetectable in blood.

Socioeconomic Consequences


Alcohol hangovers are not just a nuisance, and their socio-economic impact is not insignificant. In the U.S. alone, the cost of alcohol use is a staggering $148 billion dollars each year, much of it due to work missed or decreased occupational productivity due to hangover.

Hangovers account for an average annual opportunity cost of $2000 per working adult. Contrary to popular misconception, light to moderate drinkers account for the most work related costs.

Continue to read about Hangover  causes, hangover treatment, Hangover prevention and hangover cure


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