Dealing with a Hangover

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We definitely don’t want to encourage over-drinking. But if you do find yourself in that regrettable situation of a hangover, we might be able to help. Hangover effects can be varied. You can suffer from excessive thirst and get irritated at the slightest provocation. Things around you will appear brighter than usual and even normal sounds can get amplified. Moreover, though you are not sick in the conventional sense, your muscles feel so weak that you find it difficult to move and also experience bouts of vomiting. Yes, you are in the midst of a true and severe hangover and would need help.

A hangover occurs when you have imbibed alcohol in excess and the quantity is more than the body can handle. Excess quantity of alcohol acts in a variety of ways. It relaxes the blood vessels, makes your head heavy, irritates the sensitive lining of the stomach leading to bouts of vomiting and due to its diuretic action, the thirst craving goes up significantly. It also causes a sense of weakness and nervous anxiety.

Fortunately, these hangovers are not long lasting and you can get rid of them through some simple measures. However, besides knowing about what can provide relief, you also need to know about what can aggravate the hangover.

Let us look at them:

a) Eggs

These have the amino acid cysteine which tends to boost the function of the liver and helps metabolize alcohol in a quicker fashion.

b) Ginseng

This herb has been very famous and part of the Oriental medicine where it has been used for a variety of purposes from boosting memory and energy to enabling the immune system to perform at its optimum. Ginseng has been proved effective in the faster decomposition of alcohol, so taking it before the party will help. Moreover, it can also be taken the next day to help you kick lethargy.

c) Energy and other sports drinks

We know that they are used extensively by active athletes to rehydrate them selves after every hectic workout. They can therefore also be used to cure hangover and though some of you may not be able to cope with the sudden increase in sugar levels, these drinks are quite useful to help the body recuperate after a severe hangover. The reason is that they are usually packed with essential constituents like minerals, potassium, carbohydrates and all of these help in the process of rehydration. The increase of blood sugar levels is a major contributing factor towards this recovery.

d) Fruit juices

This is a no brainer as they contain essential vitamins, minerals, natural sugars which give the body an immediate surge of energy. However, make sure that you do not give in to the temptation of sipping artificial juices and take the natural ones in an undiluted form.

e) Vitamins

While all class of vitamins is useful, Vitamin B in particular has been known to dilate the blood vessels that had become constricted due to the alcohol. This vitamin also aids faster decomposition of alcohol. Reduce intake of Vitamin C as it can cause the diarrhea to increase. Generally however, intake of vitamins both before your drinking binge and on the morning of the hangover has been proved to be pretty useful.

f) Painkillers

Many of us are aware of the tremendous benefits of painkillers. It is however important to recognize that popping painkillers like Tylenol can be dangerous due to the acetaminophen chemical in it. It can spoil your liver due to the bloodstream already containing alcohol. Similarly other painkillers like ibuprofen, aspirin can also cause adverse reactions and may in fact aggravate the hangover instead of curing it.

Some additional things that you might want to know concerning hangovers:

1) Water
This liquid is the universal cure for almost anything related to health and since excess alcohol content leads to dehydration, water is the best cure in helping the body get rehydrated and aid in recovery.

2) Dairy products
Despite some of the dairy products consisting of Vitamin B that is generally good for curing a hangover, you still need to be careful about drinking milk when you are already feeling nauseous and are vomiting. It is advisable to stay away from any diary product till you are normal.

3) Spicy, fried and oily food
Fast foods are an absolute no as the greasy quality associated with such food will not help your stomach lining in any fashion. They are normally good to avoid hangovers but once you are suffering from one, they cannot be of any help. In fact, they can lead to more problems.

4) Coffee and other drinks with caffeine content
Caffeine has the quality of providing a surge of energy and making you active, but the boomerang effect is far worse and you will end up feeling very very exhausted. Caffeine also has the property of absorbing water and when you are already in a dehydrated state, this is the last thing you require.

Kicking the habit of drinking

This is the most desirable and obvious solution and is sure to be a hundred per cent effective. However, that is very difficult and cannot be followed consistently. So if you do wish to drink, make sure that you do not do so on an empty stomach as that can lead to a hangover that is severe. Also make sure that you fortify the body with enough water and if you happen to consuming hard liquor, do not mix it with cola or other sugar laden drinks since that can also lead to a hangover that could be difficult to shake off quickly.

Finally, if you are still unable to achieve control over hangovers, you have the one recourse and however empty that may be, it could be useful. That is to imbibe less quantity of alcohol, so that the body can cope with it.

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