Hangover Headaches: Unveiling the Truths
Hangover headaches are what you get when you wake up in the morning after consuming alcohol the previous night. It is the most common type of headache people experience, and those who drink alcohol may have experienced this headache at least once in their lives. Since a hangover headache isn’t caused by any underlying illnesses, there’s no need to consult a doctor about it. People have come up with their own “tried and tested” home remedies over the years, but none of them has been scientifically proven to be effective for everyone. If you want to know more about the proper way to get rid of hangover headaches, consult a headache specialist for help and advice.
Why is it called a hangover?
Many people may wonder why the headaches and nausea that follow a night of heavy drinking is called a hangover, when the two words that make up this compound word have nothing to do with alcohol, drinking, or headaches. Alcohol has been around for a very, very long time, but the word ‘hangover’ is relatively new compared to the terrible feeling associated with drinking too much. While people have been drinking alcohol since ancient times, the term ‘hangover’ did not surface until the 19th century. The word was coined to describe something that was left over or “hung over” from the night before, and since alcohol-induced headaches and other symptoms related to excessive drinking are the after-effects of too much drinking, the headache and nausea one feels the morning after was therefore called a hangover.
What causes hangover headaches?
The obvious answer to that question is alcohol. The way hangovers are depicted on television or in the movies is that people, who consume too much alcohol the night before, wake up with a splitting headache. While this is true, one does not have to drink excessive amounts of alcohol to experience alcohol-induced headaches. In fact, a lot of people who engage in light to moderate drinking can also experience waking up with a hangover. Alcohol is also known to trigger or enhance migraine headaches, so if you wake up with a headache after having a couple of drinks the night before, it is possible that you’re a good candidate for migraine headaches if you haven’t already been diagnosed with it.
Treating Hangover Headaches
A person suffering from a hangover experiences more than just headaches. He may also experience nausea, diarrhea and dehydration along with the headache. In this case, taking headache medication, like Tylenol, isn’t such a good idea because it only deals with one symptom, leaving the rest to bother you for the rest of the day. The residual alcohol left in your bloodstream also makes it dangerous to be experimenting with various pain medications as the medicines may cause liver problems or stomach bleeding.
Since this type of headache is so common, most people who have experienced it have created their own concoctions or home remedies to cure the pain they feel. A simple internet search will yield millions of websites that claim that their products or home remedies are the best cure for a hangover. The most popular one is called “hair of the dog” which is just a clever name for consuming more alcohol to give you another “buzz” to combat the headaches. While it works for some, this practice doesn’t quite solve your problem. The truth is, you’ll only regret it even more when the buzz has died down.
There’s a saying that goes, “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.” In this situation, it can’t be more accurate than that. You can try a lot of different over-the-counter medications and home remedies to feel better after a night of partying, but the best solution for hangover headaches is abstinence from drinking alcohol.
If you’re experiencing any type of headache pain, schedule an appointment with one of our headache doctors immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment.