SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Headache? Nausea? Everything too loud and too bright? Must be a hangover.
New Year’s Eve is around the corner which gives many people the reason to bring out the champagne and toast to changes they hope for the future.
Medical officials such as Cindy Lewin, a nurse practitioner at UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine – Sergeant Bluff, said the best way to avoid a hangover is to not drink any alcohol, but if you do, to drink responsibly.
What is a hangover?
The term “hangover” actually refers to a set of symptoms resulting from drinking too much alcohol. Symptoms include fatigue, headache, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and many others that can vary depending on the person.
Doing a search for cures and treatments will bring up thousands of results that may or may not work. Below is a list of known treatments, according to medical professionals, proven to help deal with a hangover.
Cures & Treatments
Over-the-counter pain meds, but not Tylenol – taking aspirin, ibuprofen, and other anti-inflammatory drugs may help deal with the aches caused by a hangover, but can also irritate the stomach and make nausea worse, so take caution. Avoid medicine that contains acetaminophen like Tylenol. The combination of alcohol and acetaminophen can cause problems to the liver, including swelling and failure.
Drink fluids – Too much drinking can lead to dehydration which is why it’s recommended to drink water before going to bed. Sports drinks will help restore electrolytes and nutrients. Lewin added an important tip when it came to rehydrating.
“You’d want to stay away from like the Red Bulls that have a lot of caffeine in them, you wouldn’t want to do that. You want to do your electrolyte drinks,” said Lewin.
Eat carbohydrates – Toast or bagels will be easier on the stomach when experiencing nausea and will boost blood sugar levels. Many people tend to forget to eat when they drink which helps slow down alcohol absorption in the body.
Time – Many doctors reached the same conclusion when it comes to curing hangovers: time. There’s no magic pill or special drink that can be found on the internet that has been scientifically proven to cure hangover symptoms. Only the body will naturally remove all alcohol toxins in the blood after 24 hours or more.
Avoid this “cure”
“Hair of the dog that bit you” – drinking an alcoholic beverage the following morning is one of the earliest known “cures” for a hangover. While the idea may seem sound, medical officials advise against this treatment citing that while it will certainly take the edge off, it does not help with recovery and only prolongs the symptoms.
“If you’ve already drank enough alcohol, we don’t need to add more alcohol,” said Lewin.