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How To Avoid Throwing Up When Drinking

by Clara Wynn
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How To Avoid Throwing Up When Drinking

How To Avoid Throwing Up When Drinking? It’s a well known fact that drinking alcohol can make us feel awful. We throw up; we need an IV drip of Gatorade; we lie about how much we drank. But what makes throwing up actually happen? Well, it turns out there are several reasons as to why this happens. And they’re not just because of the actual alcohol itself. It has something to do with our own physiology.

“When people become intoxicated, their blood vessels dilate,” says Dr. John D. Stover, Ph.D., R.PH., CPE, founder of The Center For Public Education About Alcohol Problems (CEAP), in an email interview. “This leads to increased blood flow throughout the entire body including the gastrointestinal tract.” Basically, when our blood vessels dilate, it means more blood is rushing through them. This causes all sorts of problems, like causing constipation. Constipation, by the way, is one of the most common side effects of drinking too much alcohol. After all, we don’t have any natural laxatives or enemas in our bodies. So, if our guts aren’t moving normally, getting rid of waste becomes difficult. Another problem also caused by dilation of blood vessels: dehydration. As the blood rushes through our systems, it takes water along with it. This leaves less water left over to hydrate other parts of the body, notably our cells. In addition, since alcohol is a depressant, when we drink it, we slow down our breathing and heart rate. Our lungs take longer to empty of carbon dioxide, which is produced during respiration. Carbon dioxide builds up in our air passages.

Eventually, it becomes concentrated enough to cause suffocation. A third effect of alcohol on our bodies is that it slows down the movement of muscles. If our muscles move slower than normal, then our digestive system doesn’t receive signals from those muscles telling it when to start breaking down food. Without these messages, digestion gets delayed.

So now that we know why we get sick when we drink, let’s talk about prevention. While some people may be born with certain physiological traits making them prone to vomiting after drinking, there are ways we can avoid it ourselves. First off, never go overboard with your booze. Remember, moderation is key. Also, try eating beforehand. Eating a meal before going out will help curb possible nausea, since you’ll have taken care of digesting your last meal already. Finally, consider taking a Zantac at least 30 minutes prior to drinking. That’ll keep your stomach from producing excess acid and prevent the delay in gut motility.

Now, if you are one of those unfortunate souls who does end up throwing up after a night of drinking, here are some tips you should follow:

1) Drink water. Yes, plain old H2O. Alcohol dehydrates us. Not only that, but alcohol dilates our blood vessels. Water hydrates our cells and helps flush toxins from our bodies. It also helps regulate our temperature. Drinking fluids generally will help get rid of the bad stuff we ingest, such as alcohol, and may even reduce headache pain. More importantly, though, it prevents further fluid loss.

2) Eat foods high in fiber. Fruits and vegetables contain lots of fibers, which bulk up stools and help push them through the intestines faster. They’re also high in vitamins B6 and C, both of which increase levels of serotonin, a chemical in the brain that regulates mood. Serotonin deficiency is linked to depression and anxiety disorders. Foods rich in vitamin B6 include whole-grain bread, rice and cereals. Vitamin C-rich foods include fruits and veggies.

3) Try to eat smaller meals. Eating three big meals a day might lead to overeating. Instead, break larger meals into two or three smaller ones. This will allow your appetite to signal to your brain that you’ve had enough.

4) Chew thoroughly. If you find yourself gulping down pizza without chewing first, chew each bite 10 times before swallowing. You’ll give your saliva time to soften your food, which will help break down the fat components of the pizza crust. Then, your salivary glands will tell your mouth to swallow. Saliva isn’t just used to mix drinks — it’s important to break down fats in our diets!

5) Don’t smoke. Smoking cigarettes interferes with your ability to absorb nutrients. Tobacco contains nicotine, which interrupts communication between nerves and muscle tissue. Nicotine can also interfere with the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is involved in regulating smooth muscle contractions.

6) Stay away from caffeine. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, especially in the hypothalamus region. This can result in headaches and sleeplessness. It can also affect the release of hormones that control hunger, leading to overeating.

7) Exercise regularly. Exercising releases endorphins, chemicals that can improve your mood and relieve stress. Regular exercise is also good for your overall health and can help lower cholesterol.

8) Manage stress. Stress is a major factor in triggering attacks of indigestion and an upset stomach. Chronic stress can also contribute to depression, which affects your mental state. Learn how to manage your stress. Find activities that bring you pleasure and relaxation. Practice deep breathing exercises to relax.

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