How to minimize hangovers


The indulgences of summer can come back to haunt you. Hangovers can cause headaches, nausea and an overall horrible feeling. Scientist and emergency physician Dr. Clare Atzema says, all that drinking leaves you dry. It’s mostly dehydration that’s causing that terrible headache that you feel. And you have a lot of alcohol by-products that break down and make you feel that terrible and naseous way the next day. So does the type of alcohol you drink or the order you drink it make a difference? You always you hear, beer first versus wine but it’s most a wives tale and if you have enough alcohol it’s going to make you feel terrible either way. Your gender, weight and ethnicity does matter. In general, women and those of asian descent have a much lower tolerance to alcohol and drinking in the sun or after exercise can also make things worse by escalating your dehydration. If you’ve consumed way more alcohol than you should have, only hydration and time will help you. But if you’ve only overdone it a little bit, Dr. Atzema has four tips to help minimize the morning hangover. Number one is milk thistle. Milk thistle is a herbal medication that’s been shown in studies to decrease the liver enzyme levels in patients with hepatitis. So if those patients their liver can be helped by this, the thinking is that if you’re drinking alcohol, it can help prevent your liver from suffering any more damage. She says to take one tablet before you go out and another before you go to bed. Tip two: drink lots of water. That’s in between alcoholic drinks to prevent dehydration. And that leads to tip three. Instead of regular water, make it mineral water because mineral water is a little bit basic, and the acid by-products from alcohol can be cancelled out a little bit by that basic nature of the mineral water. And tip four: eat some saltine crackers before bed to help balance out all the sodium you lose along with the fluids when drinking. If you are taking certain medications like antibiotics or statins, Dr. Atzema says you should avoid alcohol altogether to prevent any dangerous interactions. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist first. And as for taking a painkiller before you go to sleep to prevent the morning headache, Dr. Atzema warns not to. Acetaminophen is broken down by the liver, which is already working hard to break down the alcohol. If you wake up with a headache, reach for an ibuprofen in the morning instead. And of course never mix alcohol with driving, boating or swimming. You want to make sure a hangover is the worst thing you face the next day. With Sunnyview, I’m Monica Matys.

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