Last Updated: January 01, 2023, 18:41 IST
The severity of a hangover can vary depending on how much you drink, how hydrated you are, your body type, your state of mind and your genes. (Credits: AFP)
When blood alcohol levels are high, the overburdened liver is unable to eliminate the toxins.
Some people enjoy beer, wine, or liquor to celebrate or relax their minds. You may have had a hangover and recovered well. However, alcohol poisoning is a serious threat and can be fatal at times. It occurs when a person consumes a considerable amount of alcohol in a short period. Any sort of alcohol, including beer, wine, and liquor, can cause alcohol poisoning. The risk of alcohol poisoning increases as a person’s blood-alcohol level rises. As your stomach digests and absorbs alcohol, it enters your bloodstream leading to rising in blood alcohol levels. Alcohol is broken down by the liver. However, when blood alcohol levels are high, the overburdened liver is unable to eliminate the toxins.
Extra alcohol in the bloodstream has a depressive effect. That is, it impairs normal function. It affects the areas of the brain that control important body processes like breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature in this situation.
Alcohol poisoning occurs when there is too much alcohol in the blood. Blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) as a percentage is used to determine how much alcohol is in the blood, as per National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism.
Between 0.05% and 0.05%: This level is considered modest. Typical symptoms include trouble communicating and remembering things. The individual may appear clumsy and may begin to feel tired.
Between 0.06 and 0.15%: The individual has attained a higher level of impairment. The consequences of modest impairment worsen. A considerable impact on driving abilities begins to emerge.
Between 0.16 and 0.30%: The consequences of greater impairment worsen. Judgment and decision-making abilities deteriorate dramatically. The individual may experience blackouts. Vomiting is quite common.
Between 0.31 and 0.45%: The problem has now become life-threatening. At this stage, the person is at high risk of dying due to the depressive effect, which causes key life functions to stall significantly.
As alcohol poisoning can be fatal, it is important to recognize the symptoms. The following are common symptoms of alcohol poisoning:
- Bluish-colored or cold, clammy skin, especially around the lips and fingernails.
- Confusion, slowed responses, lack of coordination, or being unable to walk.
- Irregular pulse, heartbeat, or breathing (intervals of 10 seconds or more between breaths).
- Problems with bladder or bowel control (incontinence)
- Seizures, vomiting, or choking
- Strong alcohol odour
If someone develops alcohol poisoning, they may require immediate life-saving treatment. Healthcare workers will use the following terms in a medical setting:
- Intravenous fluids: To treat dehydration, providers administer intravenous (IV) fluids. Fluids can also cause an increase in blood sugar levels.
- Oxygen: Providers can administer oxygen via nasal cannula (flexible tube clipped to the nose). If a person has problems breathing, they may insert a tiny tube into the windpipe.
- Stomach pumping: Toxins can be removed from the stomach with the help of a tube.
- Blood filtration: If the kidneys are unable to filter alcohol from the blood, dialysis may be initiated.
Limit your alcohol consumption to avoid alcohol poisoning. You must understand when enough is enough. Pay attention to how much and how quickly you consume alcohol if you or a companion are drinking. If a friend appears to be drinking excessively quickly, intervene and limit how much more they have. Moderation is always essential. Drink no more than one alcoholic beverage every hour.
Furthermore, you can avoid alcohol intoxication by:
- Drinking games should be avoided: Games might put participants under pressure to binge drink.
- Keep hydrated: Drink water after each alcoholic beverage.
- Don’t mix alcohol and medicine: When using prescription drugs, never consume alcohol.
- Eat first: Don’t drink if you’re hungry.
- Stay alert: If you don’t know what’s in a drink or if it’s blended with energy drinks, avoid it.
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