Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Oh, the Dirge Hangover

The party is fun, but what about tomorrow?
   In any discussion with a person that has had a cocktail or two, there is a mention of the dreaded hangover.    Every party has the potential for a serious set back the next morning.     It is a well known fact that people who do not drink will never know the dirge of the hangover.    For those of us that do drink ourselves into a drunken stupor, the hangover is the predetermined price you pay for over indulgence.    Now that we have gotten ourselves into this fix, what are we going to do about it?   

Stomach rolling like the ocean?
     What is a hangover?   The symptoms are caused by a combination of the toxic by products of alcohol metabolism, dehydration, and Vitamin A, B (Specifically B6), and C depletion as a result of the chemistry of alcohol and the functions of the body.    Symptoms usually include dry mouth, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, and the dreaded headache.    These are the same symptoms of a mild depressant drug overdose.   This is the effect of flushing a large amount of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from your body and causing a degree of metabolic shock that your body will take the next 8 to 24 hours to recover from.  
     There are thing that do and do not work to relieve the symptoms, but the cure lies in replacing the elements that were flushed away by the alcohol you consumed.    Things like a "hair of the dog" really is a myth, because your adding to the problem with more alcohol that will continue the process of flushing essential fluids.   Coffee just makes you a wide awake drunk and does nothing for the hangover, greasy foods is just a "wives tale" and will most likely do more to irritate the stomach and the intestines than cure a hangover.

Feel like you are playing with fire sometimes?
     Then what are the options that really do help?     The only true cure for a hangover is time, but some of the symptoms can be relieved.   Water and drinks that are high in electrolytes help to replace the fluids flushed away by the alcohol.   Aspirin and Ibuprofen can help relieve some of the pain, but under certain circumstances cause problems that will make the nausea worse.    Fruits, fruit juices, poached eggs, bouillon soup and bananas all help to replace vitamins and minerals lost as a result of the metabolizing of the alcohol.

     The bottom line is that if you keep yourself hydrated while you are drinking, as well as after you have stopped drinking for the evening you can soften the symptoms of the hangover substantially.   Remember that you are playing with fire when you fuel  your body with too much alcohol that hasn't been diluted with water and electrolytes.   Keep it together by keeping your body hydrated is the best cure, prevention is a lot easier than trying to cure it later.   ;o)