Myths and facts about treating a hangover

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Are you celebrating the first day of 2023 with a hangover?

If so, you may be looking for A way to relieve your suffering. There are indeed many so-called hangover remedies, some dating back centuries.

“The ancient Greeks believed that eating cabbage would cure illness. hangover, Dr. John Brick, former research director of the Center for Alcohol Research, Education and Training at Rutgers University in New Jersey, said: handbook. ”

“Today, some Germans believe that a hearty breakfast of red meat and bananas cures a hangover. French drink strong coffee with salt, Chinese drink spinach tea. may be,” he said. “A more unusual hangover remedy is used by some people in Puerto Rico, rubbing half a lemon under their drinking arm.”

In fact, according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the only cure for a hangover is time.

According to the Institute, “People need to wait until the body removes the toxic byproducts of alcohol metabolism, rehydrates, heals inflamed tissues, and restores normal immune and brain activity. The process can take up to 24 hours.

Is there anything I can do to ease the transition? Perhaps, experts say, many common hangover “remedies” can make your hangover worse. How to distinguish fact from fiction is as follows:

Drinking another drink, or “the hair from the dog that bit you,” is a popular hangover cure, right? No, experts say.

The reason some people believe it works is that when the sedative effects of alcohol wear off, the hangover brain becomes overstimulated. for this reason.)

Dr. Robert Swift, Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University Warren-Alpert School of Medicine, said: in Providence, Rhode Island.

“If you look at the brain of someone with a hangover, they may be tired, but the brain is actually I’m too excited,” he said.

Consuming more alcohol causes the brain to normalize again “because you’re adding sedatives to an agitated brain”.

Depending on your hangover symptoms, the answer is yes, said Brick. There is a possibility

but coffee It can irritate the lining of your stomach, which is already inflamed by alcohol, Brick said.

“If you have a hangover, drink a quarter cup of coffee,” Brick suggested. “See if it makes you feel better. It takes about 20 minutes for the caffeine to start having a noticeable effect.

“If coffee doesn’t make you feel better, don’t drink it anymore. Obviously, it’s not a hangover cure.”

Forget eating a greasy breakfast late at night after drinking alcohol. Swift said it would add insult to injury.

It doesn’t make much sense to eat greasy food. The alcohol we drink, called ethyl alcohol or ethanol, is usually a by-product of the fermentation of carbohydrates and starches in certain grains, grapes, berries, etc. Brick says.

“It cuts through the grease in your stomach the same way it removes grease from an oily car part,” he said.

Instead, experts suggest using food to ward off a hangover by eating it before having your first drink.

“Eating foods high in protein and carbohydrates can significantly slow the absorption of alcohol,” Brick said. “Shock” slows down.”

Because alcohol dehydrates you, headaches and other hangover symptoms may be partly due to constriction of blood vessels and loss of electrolytes and essential minerals such as sodium, calcium and potassium that the body needs.

Vomiting can lead to further loss of electrolytes, leading to fatigue, confusion, irregular heart rate, digestive problems, and more.

Replacing lost fluids with water or a sports drink with added electrolytes can help you recover from a hangover, says Swift.

Experts say taking over-the-counter pain relievers can be dangerous, especially if you drink too much when you’re drunk. Taking acetaminophens such as Tylenol can further damage an overloaded liver, while aspirin and ibuprofen can irritate the stomach lining.

“You shouldn’t take alcohol with acetaminophen or Tylenol,” Swift said. “In fact, an overdose of Tylenol can cause liver damage.”

But aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen are fine “in theory,” he added.

“They tend to be anti-inflammatory, In the body, it can cause stomach irritation,” said Swift. Always take anti-inflammatory drugs with meals. ”

Most alcohol is processed in the liver, but small amounts are unchanged by sweat, urine, and respiration.

Get up, do some light stretching and walking, and drink plenty of water to encourage urination, Brick says.

“Before you go to bed and when you wake up, drink as much water as you can comfortably drink,” he said. You can also take a multivitamin “before you shower in the morning” to replace lost vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

If you want something warm and comforting, Brick recommended soups or homemade soups.

“They also help replace lost salt, including potassium and other substances,” he said.

Store shelves are full of so-called hangover remedies. Unfortunately there is no evidence that they work. In 2020, researchers announced what they called the “world’s largest randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled” trial of supplements containing vitamins, minerals, botanical extracts and antioxidants, but the hangover symptoms No real improvement was seen in

Experts say even if one solution works, it won’t cure all symptoms.

“The effects of alcohol and alcoholic beverages are very complex, very complex,” Swift said.

What works for hangovers? time. Experts say it takes time for your body to release all the toxins that are causing your misery.

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