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Can You Get A Fever After Drinking Alcohol?

Written By: Erika Dalton, LCSW
Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Rahul Gupta, MD
Last Updated: June 10, 2024

Alcohol consumption is a common social activity worldwide, but its after-effects vary widely among individuals. While some experience mild symptoms like headaches, others might face more severe reactions. Can drinking alcohol lead to a fever? Alcohol abuse can lead to uncomfortable side effects that may be the sign of an underlying issue.

If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol addiction, Buckhead Behavioral Health can help. Call us now at 470-460-6789 or verify your insurance.

Does Drinking Alcohol Increase Your Body Temperature?

Alcohol has immediate and noticeable effects on the body. Upon consumption, it causes blood vessels to dilate, creating a sensation of warmth. However, this perceived increase in body heat doesn’t necessarily translate to an actual rise in core body temperature. In fact, alcohol can impair your body’s temperature regulation, potentially leading to hypothermia in certain environments.

Research shows that while you might feel warmer, your body might be losing heat more rapidly.

Recommended: What is the Lethal Blood Alcohol Level?

Can You Develop A Fever After Drinking Alcohol?

A fever is a temporary increase in body temperature, often due to an illness. It’s natural to wonder if alcohol, which impacts so many bodily systems, could induce a fever. The answer is nuanced. Directly, alcohol doesn’t cause a true fever. However, excessive alcohol use can trigger inflammatory responses in the body and, in severe cases, lead to conditions like alcohol-induced hepatitis, which can present with fever-like symptoms.

man with a fever after drinking alcohol

Recommended: Alcohol Poisoning Symptoms Vs. Signs of Being Drunk

How To Treat An Alcohol Hangover Fever

A hangover follows the subsiding effects of alcohol, marked by a constellation of symptoms including:

  • Headaches
  • Dehydration
  • Body aches

These symptoms are your body’s reaction to alcohol withdrawal, dehydration, and chemical imbalances. Managing a hangover involves rehydration, rest, and possibly over-the-counter medication for relief. However, if symptoms are severe or unusual, such as a high fever or prolonged illness, it’s crucial to seek medical attention.

Recommended: How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System?

Alcohol Hangover vs Alcohol Withdrawal

Understanding the difference between an alcohol hangover and alcohol withdrawal is crucial, as they are distinct conditions with different implications for health and treatment.

What is an Alcohol Hangover?

An alcohol hangover refers to the uncomfortable symptoms experienced after the intoxicating effects of alcohol wear off. Usually occurring after a single episode of heavy drinking, hangovers are temporary and typically resolve within 24 hours.

Symptoms of an Alcohol Hangover:

  • Headache and Dizziness: Caused by dehydration and the body’s reaction to the toxic by-products of alcohol metabolism.
  • Nausea and Stomach Discomfort: Alcohol irritates the stomach lining and increases acid production.
  • Fatigue and Weakness: Resulting from poor sleep quality and the depletion of vitamins and nutrients.
  • Mood Disturbances: Like irritability or anxiety, which are reactions to the physiological stress of a hangover.

What is Alcohol Withdrawal?

Alcohol withdrawal, on the other hand, is a series of symptoms that can occur in individuals who have been drinking heavily for weeks, months, or years and then suddenly stop or significantly reduce their alcohol consumption. It’s a physical and psychological response to the absence of alcohol in a person who has developed dependence.

Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal:

  • Tremors and Shaking: Typically starting within 5 to 10 hours after the last drink.
  • Anxiety and Agitation: As a result of the nervous system adjusting to the absence of alcohol.
  • Insomnia and Sleep Disturbances: Common in the early stages of withdrawal.
  • Severe Symptoms: Such as hallucinations, fever, seizures, and delirium tremens (DTs) in extreme cases.
man with anxiety during alcohol withdrawal

Recommended: Alcohol Withdrawal Symptom Timeline

How to Find Help for Alcohol Addiction

Recognizing the signs of alcohol addiction is the first step toward recovery. Seeking help can be daunting, but it’s crucial for long-term health. The first step is finding an alcohol detox program.

While moderate alcohol consumption might be harmless for many, it’s important to be aware of how your body reacts and when symptoms might indicate a more serious issue. Remember, moderation is key, and seeking help, especially in cases of addiction, is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Recommended: Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Find Alcohol Rehab in Atlanta Today

At Buckhead Behavioral Health, our alcohol rehab in Atlanta offers numerous resources. We have tailored outpatient rehab programs, and support groups provide a community of understanding and shared experiences. Contact us today to start alcohol rehab in Atlanta, Georgia.

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