Stomach churning, head spinning, weak muscles, and a constant urge to spill your guts out. If you have these symptoms after a night of merry-making and "Hindi ako lasheng!" assertions, bad news bro, you've got yourself a hangover.
It's perhaps the biggest thing—other than a tight budget—that can discourage us from having a go at a bottle of alcohol. It's also quite common, something we bet you and your pals already experienced at some point. But what is a hangover? Sure we might know how it effs up our day, but what is it exactly?
It's not one, it's many
Have you ever been so drunk that you look like this?
Hangover is a term which describes a collection of symptoms one will feel after a bout of heavy drinking. Aside from the ones we've already mentioned, anxiety, shame, sleepiness, and even depression could also be experienced by a hangover-stricken person. But what causes this generally sucky feeling? While there's no one true and official explanation for the cause of hangovers, dehydration is seen as having a significant effect.
Prime suspect: dehydration
You see, when alcohol enters the bloodstream, it causes the pituitary gland to block the production of a chemical called vasopressin. Without it, our kidneys will send water directly to our bladder rather than reabsorb it. In other words, we lose more H2o, sometimes four times more than what we gain when we drink. This is the reason why we pee like crazy when we're in a bar.
Planking, hangover style!
Since our internal water supply has been severely depleted, our body will naturally crave for it and this happens usually during the morning after when we drink at night. A clear sign of this is the dry, "cotton mouth" sensation. Our organs, feeling that they need water, will try to get more from our brain, literally shrinking it in the process. This shrinking will cause the brain to pull on the membranes that connect it to the skull. The result? Head pain.