Hangovers can be mistaken for long Covid symptoms, experts warn

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A hangover can be annoying and disrupt day-to-day activities, but will eventually go away on its own.

How intense these symptoms are is often blamed on getting older, and while there’s evidence suggesting that the impact of hangovers may indeed be felt more intensely as we age, there might be more to it.

A recent study has shed light on another possible culprit to exacerbated hangover effects: long Covid.

People experiencing the lingering effects of a Covid infection reported heightened hangover symptoms, indicating that the virus may exacerbate post-drinking discomfort.

Researchers at Stanford University conducted interviews with individuals still experiencing lingering symptoms months after infection.

Read more: Six foods to help cure a hangover – next time eat them before drinking

They discovered that all participants reported experiencing more severe hangovers.

One participant, a 49-year-old woman, shared her experience of suffering from long Covid for 11 months.

She described how even drinking wine now leaves her feeling incapacitated, unable to move.

The impact of long Covid on drinking habits is evident in various age groups.

For instance, a 40-year-old who used to consume seven cocktails a night now struggles to handle even one, having experienced long Covid symptoms for the past three months.

Similarly, the drinking patterns of a 60-year-old male and a 36-year-old female before and after Covid infection were also scrutinised.

The peer-reviewed study reached a conclusion that patients with long Covid are encountering novel alcohol reactions and heightened sensitivity triggered by the virus.

The virus weakens inflammation in the body, which in turn weakens the blood-brain barrier.

This weakening of the barrier leads to increased susceptibility to alcohol-induced nausea, exacerbating hangover symptoms.

“The patients highlighted in this report, despite varying demographics and health backgrounds, share a new-onset sensitivity to alcohol post-Covid-19 infection, triggering unprecedented symptoms at similar or lower alcohol consumption levels,” the study, seen by Metro, concluded.

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