Hangover Fever: A Deeper Look Into The Morning After

Hangover Fever

The feeling of a fever, known as hangover fever, is a potential risk on your morning after alcohol consumption. With over a decade of research, we’ll explore everything you need to know about a hangover fever, can a hangover cause a fever, dispelling myths, and the science behind it.

Hangover Fever

The medical definition of a fever is the state of elevated core body temperature, above the regular range of 98.6 to 99.9 F).¹ While alcohol rarely causes a literal fever, rather a “hangover fever” refers to the feeling of a fever after drinking alcohol.²

With a hangover fever, you might feel the chills, headache, dehydration, and muscle aches.²

Symptoms Of A Hangover Fever

Symptoms of a hangover can overlap with the feelings of a hangover. After a heavy night of drinking, these symptoms may appear the night of or even more commonly the morning after.

Symptoms Of A Hangover Fever:³

  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Muscle aches
  • Dehydration
  • Tiredness
  • Feeling weak
  • Loss of appetite
  • Irritability
  • Dehydration

Most notably, the chills, headaches, and body aches from a hangover can be most commonly correlated with the likes of a fever.

Can A Hangover Cause A Fever?

Generally speaking, a hangover does not commonly cause a medically defined fever, but can cause the feelings of a hangover fever.

That being said though, drinking alcohol can have a negative impact on your immune system, and even the gut which is directly tied to body’s immunity. It therefore could trigger a fever or make you more susceptible to viruses.⁴

In addition, according to Chinese Traditional Medicine alcohol can heat us up, including opening blood vessels that increases blood flow.⁵ This factor may lead to some hangover fever feelings such as the chills, headache, and feeling hot in the face.⁶

Can A Hangover Cause Flu Like Symptoms?

Yes, a hangover can cause flu-like symptoms.

While a hangover does not cause the flu, it can lead to symptoms similar to the flu also referred to as “bottle flu.” The after-effects of the toxins in alcohol can increase ​​cytokines and inflammation in the body, which has similarities to the flu.

Those flu-like symptoms may include:

  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue or tiredness

Some research shown by WIRED magazine has shown that a hangover may actually be caused by the inflammatory response from alcohol, or elevated cytokines levels which are immune system related.⁹

Why Do I Feel So Hot With A Hangover?

Some might feel hot in the face, or even around the body the day after drinking.

You can feel hot with a hangover commonly for two different reasons, either from the heating properties of alcohol or from Asian Glow (Asian Flush).

2 Possible Reasons For Feeling Hot With A Hangover:

  • Asian Glow is caused by the lack of the enzyme that help metabolizes alcohol (aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 ALDH2). It’s most commonly found in Eastern Asians, estimated to affect 35% to 40% of them.¹¹

  • Heating is a property of alcohol according to Chinese Traditional Medicine. Alcohol can increase your circulation, raise the heart rate, and give a feeling of warmth in your body.¹⁰

TIP: Hovenia Dulcis, also known as Japanese Raisin, has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries to help relieve damp heat and thirst.¹²

Why Do I Get Chills After Drinking?

Can a hangover cause chills? Yes.

Just like the symptoms of a hangover fever, the chills after drinking is a common one.

The main cause is likely that drinking too much has been found to trigger the immune system. It releases cytokines, which when in higher levels are found to cause the chills, nausea, and headaches.¹³

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1. Defining Fever
2. Can You Get A Fever After Drinking Alcohol?
3. Fever
4. Understanding Alcohol And Our Immune System
5. Treatments for Alcohol-Related Disorders in China: A Developing Story
6. The Effects of Alcohol in Chinese Medicine
7. Drinking alcohol to excess causes ‘bottle flu’ symptoms
8. Flu Symptoms & Complications
9. Everything Science Knows About Hangovers—And How to Cure Them
10. Bottoms Up: Chinese Medicine and Alcohol Consumption
11. Asian Flush and Alcohol: How Asian Glow Pills Work?
12. Three new bisflavonols from the seeds of Hovenia dulcis Thunb. and their anti-RSV activities
13. What happens to your body when you have a hangover