Substance Use

Can You Get a Fever After Drinking Alcohol?

woman with fever and thermometer

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Can Drinking Alcohol Increase Your Body Temperature?

There are a number of side effects of heavy drinking, and a fever could be one of them. Here’s how the effect of alcohol can lead to uncomfortable side effects and more information on how those side effects could be a sign of a bigger underlying problem.

Are you or someone you love suffering from alcohol addiction? Zinnia Health can help. Call our addiction help hotline at (855) 430-9439 to learn more about our flexible and personalized treatment programs.  

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Can You Develop a Fever from Alcohol?

Drinking alcohol can lead to the illusion of warmth, but a person’s body temperature doesn’t actually increase in most cases. In fact, alcohol consumption usually lowers body temperature. This means developing a fever just because you had some alcohol is very unlikely.

However, studies have shown that alcohol can reduce your body’s ability to control its temperature, which, combined with other factors, could lead to a fever.

While drinking alcohol in itself might not lead to a fever, there are other associated events that might. For instance, after a night of heavy drinking, you may experience a hangover the next day accompanied by fever-like symptoms.

This would mean that your body temperature is elevated and you may feel fatigued, but your temperature reading wouldn’t actually be high enough to count as a fever (which is marked by a temperature over 99 degrees Fahrenheit).

Lastly, if you have been drinking alcohol for some time, especially in excess, you may go through a period of alcohol withdrawal if you drink less or stop drinking. During the withdrawal process, you may experience a number of symptoms, including fever, chills, fatigue, and tremors.

How to Treat an Alcohol Hangover Fever

If you drink enough to suffer from a hangover the next day, there are a number of uncomfortable side effects you may experience. The most common hangover symptoms include headaches, trouble concentrating, and low energy.

As your body works to flush the alcohol from your system, you may also experience dehydration and/or low blood sugar. These conditions come with side effects of their own and they can be dangerous, which is why it’s important to keep an eye on your health. 

If you’re suffering from a hangover, especially one that has led to a fever, you can help your body feel normal again by:

  • Drinking lots of water to rehydrate
  • Taking electrolytes, which will speed the absorption of water and help re-balance your system
  • Take Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen), which can help relieve headaches and reduce the fever
  • Check your blood sugar levels and take glucose if your levels are low, and make sure to follow up with a doctor to figure out what caused the hypoglycemia
  • Avoid additional alcoholic beverages and try not to drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages, which can dehydrate you further
  • Take supplemental vitamins to support your immune system as taking alcohol can trigger an immune response, contributing to your fever

A minor hangover is an expected side effect following a night of drinking, but if you’re experiencing severe hangovers, you may be drinking too much and putting extreme strain on your body. It’s also possible that you’re confusing the signs of alcohol withdrawal with hangover symptoms.

Alcohol Hangover vs. Alcohol Withdrawal

The effects of a hangover can sometimes be confused with the effects of alcohol withdrawal, but they represent two very different processes in your body’s system.

A hangover typically lasts 8-24 hours and the symptoms peak when your blood alcohol levels return to zero.

The symptoms may include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Vertigo
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • High blood pressure
  • Irritability
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms aren’t just uncomfortable, they can also be life-threatening. In addition to affecting your core body temperature, which may have you feeling like you have a fever, alcohol withdrawal can cause tremors, sweating, anxiety, high blood pressure, and heart palpitations are all common. Seizures and hallucinations may also be experienced.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms happen when a person who has become physically dependent on alcohol stops or reduces their drinking.

They may feel like a severe hangover at first, but the symptoms will last far longer, often for days or weeks depending on the person’s history of alcohol consumption. Getting medical attention is important to prevent the body from going into shock.

Zinnia Health knows that finding confidential, customized care is essential for overcoming addiction and staying sober. If you have questions about the treatment process, our team would be happy to help. Call us today at (855) 430-9439 for more information. 

How to Get Help With Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol use disorder, sometimes called alcohol addiction, is a serious condition that can affect people of all ages and backgrounds. You may have only developed a drinking habit over the past few weeks or months, but it doesn’t take long for alcohol consumption to get out of hand.

Once you begin drinking habitually, it’s only a matter of time before your body becomes physically dependent on it.

Physical dependence on alcohol means that quitting “cold turkey” simply isn’t a safe or viable option. If you try to stop drinking on your own, you may experience a number of symptoms that are both uncomfortable and potentially dangerous, including seizures and hallucinations.

This is why it’s highly recommended that you undergo alcohol addiction treatment with a team of medical professionals.

Ultimately, with the right people by your side, you can overcome alcohol addiction and achieve long-term sobriety, but it’s important to partner with the right team.

If you or someone you love is facing addiction, our caring staff at Zinnia Health can help. Our supportive inpatient and outpatient treatment programs are flexible, personalized, and research-based. When you’re ready to take the next step, reach out to our 24/7 helpline at (855) 430-9439

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