Puffy Eyes in Alcoholics

Drinking leads to multiple trips to the bathroom. This is because consumption of alcohol causes a decrease in a substance called anti-diuretic hormone (ADH). This hormone is normally responsible for retaining fluid by regulating urine production.

As blood alcohol levels rise, less ADH is available, and more water is excreted by the kidneys.

This situation reverses itself, however, when blood alcohol levels begin to fall. Our body begins to compensate for the temporary, alcohol induced dehydration. ADH levels rise, urinary output decreases, and you become thirsty.

By the time the hangover gets into full swing, you are actually retaining fluid, as evidenced by the puffy eyes and face that may occur after a night of drinking. This fluid retention, also known as edema, may also contribute to the hangover headache and body aches.

A person may have other symptoms such as tiredness and feeling listless. These symptoms are not very specific to any particular disease and may be seen with so many different kinds of diseases. But there are certain possibilities that are more likely than other. There may be some kind of hormonal disturbance.

ADH is secreted by the pituitary- the master endocrine gland of the body. Since pituitary controls most other hormonal systems of the body, its disturbance may lead to various symptoms. Thyroid gland abnormalities also cause tiredness, lethargy and lack of energy. Thyroid gland is controlled by pituitary, hence any abnormality in any of these two glands may cause such symptoms.

Anemia may also cause a feeling of tiredness and weakness.

Other possibilities include disorders such as fibromyalgia – chronic fatigue syndrome etc. But these are diagnosed only after ruling out other diseases.

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