Hangovers are hazardous to your health

hangovers-are-hazardous-to-your-health_300Confining your drinking to weekends is no guarantee you aren’t harming your health. If you often consume enough alcohol to leave you with a hangover the next day, your liver and body may suffer serious health damage. That damage includes alcoholic liver disease and a variety of other health problems.

“In our research, we found that binge drinking has a profound effect on the liver in various modes of alcohol exposure,” says Shivendra Shukla, a researcher at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. “No longer can we consider chronic alcohol consumption as the only factor in developing alcoholic liver disease.”

Shukla notes that chronic alcoholic consumption causes liver problems. But even sporadic binge drinking can sensitize the liver over a longer period and make it prone to injury.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines binge drinking for women as having four or more drinks in two hours; for men, it is five or more drinks in two hours. An estimated 29 percent of women and 43 percent of men have reported experiencing at least one binge drinking episode over the course of a year. Binge drinking among Americans is on the upswing.

Binge drinking can also damage many parts of the body. “Binge drinking should not be associated with only liver damage,” Shukla says. “It creates an inflammatory response in the liver that is like a cluster bomb, sending out various damaging signals to systems in the body. If those organs are working at a lower level of function, then a whole host of physiological processes is affected.”

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Cara McCarthy

By Cara McCarthy

Cara McCarthy has been working in the natural health industry since 2010. She studied Marketing Communications at the University of Mississippi. Her goal is to provide people with the information they need to live the healthiest, happiest lives possible.