July 24, 2012 8:16 AM Subscribe
Why do I start getting a hangover almost immediately after I start drinking?
posted by trivia genius to Health & Fitness (30 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I've always been more susceptible to hangovers than the average person (at least as compared to friends and drinking buddies). In college and throughout my 20's, I could have some drinks (anywhere from 3-5) with no real problem other than a small headache in the morning solved by drinking water. When I would drink more (6-12 drinks) I would have a moderate hangover, requiring ibuprofen, lots of water, and a few extra hours of sleep. At parties where I drank a lot (12 or more over the course of the night), I would get a nasty hangover the next day - bad headache, nausea, etc. Only rehydration, ibuprofen, and lots of sleep helped. Many hangovers from large consumption would last all morning and into the afternoon, if not all day long.
Now, in my early 30's, I start getting a hangover while I'm still drinking. I will get a headache after just a couple drinks. It doesn't matter what I'm drinking - beer, wine, liquor (mixed or straight). It also doesn't matter how quickly I drink - it could be 2-3 drinks quickly or over the course of an entire evening. Occasionally I'll get tipsy before the headache starts, and keep drinking, perhaps up to 6-8 total drinks for the night. This knocks me out for the entire following day, every time, whereas it used to just slow me down in the morning. Also, my next-day hangover headaches now seem to be much more comprised of shooting pains rather than the dull, pounding, whole-brain-hurts headaches associated with dehydration and the hangovers of my youth.
I have tried everything I can think of to prevent this. I'm always well-hydrated, and make an extra effort to hydrate before I start drinking. Generally I eat healthy, and I take a few daily supplements to make sure I'm getting enough of what my body needs, specifically a daily multi, B-complex, C, and D. I'm currently on daily Flonase sprays for sinus issues, but this instant hangover thing developed before I started the Flonase. No other medications. I have tried taking ibuprofen preventively at the start of the evening, but it didn't seem to help. I have also taken extra vitamins just before going out to see if that boost would help - it did not.
I only drink alcohol 3-5 times per month, socially, and want this to continue. I know YANMD, and anything said is NMA, but can anyone shed some light on what might be going on and how to stop it? I plan on addressing this at my next physical, but that's not for a few months. I am looking for potential causes of this physiological response and prevention measures. If the only prevention is to stop drinking totally, I'll deal with that - but please no comments along the lines of "just stop drinking now" unless you can back it up with a specific medical condition matching my symptoms with that course of treatment/prevention.