Holiday Hangovers: What Works?

How to cure a holiday hangoverWe’re heading straight for the holidays – are you prepared? You may say “yes” while thinking of meals, entertainment, and gifts. However, we’re talking about preparing for that all-too-common holiday hangover. So here are a few ‘relationship tips’ for how you and alcohol should relate over the coming weeks.

It’s pretty obvious, but stil worth saying that if you want to avoid a hangover, don’t drink at all – or limit yourself to one or two drinks over the course of the evening.  Dr. Sharon Horesh Bergquist, a doctor at Emory Healthcare and an assistant professor of medicine, states,”The problem is, we still don’t know exactly what about drinking causes a hangover, so it’s difficult to know exactly what will prevent one, other than drinking little or not at all.” Still for many, the holidays are a time to cut loose, and moderation is not a strong suit. What is life like with a hangover?

Those with a typical hangover wake feeling exhausted, thirsty, with a splitting headache and sensitivity to light and sound. What’s going on inside when a person experiences a hangover?

Excessive drinking causes the following bodily responses and their symptoms:

  • Light-headedness and thirst: Because of increased bathroom trips, the body can actually become dehydrated, causing uncomfortable symptoms.
  • Tiredness and lack of focus: The immune system actually has an inflammatory response to alcohol, which results in a foggy mind.
  • Nausea: Alcohol irritates the lining of your stomach.
  • Shakiness and weakness: Excess alcohol can cause your blood sugar to fall. Severe cases can even cause seizures.
  • Headaches: Blood vessels react to alcohol by expanding, which can cause that splitting feeling.

With time though, a hangover passes.

What can you do to improve your hangover symptoms while your body recovers?

  • Drink water: Before, during and after alcohol consumption, drinking water can help improve many uncomfortable symptoms of a hangover.
  • Eat: Having a bit of food in your stomach often improves nausea. But it is a myth that greasy food ‘soaks up’ alcohol. In fact, they may irritate your stomach even more. Stick to lean proteins and whole-grain carbohydrates.
  • Painkillers: Taking an OTC pain reliever like ibuprofen can relieve head and body aches.
  • Rest: Ultimately, rest is the cure for a hangover. The body suffers stress and damage when given too much alcohol to process; rest allows the body time to heal.

Soon, you’ll be back to your old self, perhaps with a new year’s resolution to drink a little less.

Most importantly, whether you drink a little, a lot, or none at all, be safe this holiday season. Be responsible for yourself and those around you; never operate a vehicle after you’ve been drinking.


Speak Your Mind