Monday, August 8, 2022

Five things you need to know: How to handle your holiday hangover

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Let’s be honest. 2020 gave everyone plenty of reasons to drink.

According to a study by the RAND Corporation, the overall frequency of alcohol consumption as of this September increased by 14% among adults over age 30, compared to the same time last year.

And with the promises of bubbly champagne this New Years Eve, many more people will be sending off the old year with a toast or two.

So here are a few tips to keep your stomach from getting pumped and your hangover from being… well, bad.

  1. Replenish what you’ve lost: This involves drinking water and getting electrolytes back in your system. Alcohol is considered a diuretic, according to Healthline.com, which means it quickly dehydrates your body. Dehydration can cause dizziness, headaches and even vomiting and diarrhea. Getting electrolytes is an efficient way to replenish the nutrients you lost quickly. Examples of drinks with electrolytes are Gatorade, Pedialyte and treated bottled water like Smart Water or Essentia.
  2. Know when enough is enough: Alcohol poisoning, also called acute alcohol intoxication, is a medical condition caused by drinking too much alcohol. Symptoms include decreased heart rate, low body temperature, difficulty breathing, episodes of vomiting and in some cases, coma or even death. So know what your limit is, pay attention to how many drinks you consume each hour, and never drink alone. When you feel you have reached your limit, switch to water and eat something.
  3. Eat good, healthy food: While it may be tempting to eat fried, greasy food like French fries or burgers, health experts suggest eating something bland and easy to digest such as toast or crackers. “Bland foods, such as toast and crackers, may boost your blood sugar and settle your stomach,” according to the Mayo Clinic. Eating the proper foods before you start drinking can also help your body work off the effects of alcohol, according to an article from Healthline.
  4. Take ibuprofen or other medicine for headaches: Sometimes you need a pop a pill or two when things hurt. This GoodRX blog details how several anti-inflammatory medications such as Advil can help reduce “hangover severity” and cautions against using Tylenol, since it’s not an anti-inflammatory and won’t help as much.
  5. Give it time or just take a nap: The alcohol levels in the body decrease around 0.03 percent per hour so if you had one drink an hour ago, your body is still metabolizing the alcohol, which means you will feel the symptoms later, said Andrea Cooper, emergency room manager for Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital. After a night of drinking and debauchery, sometimes your body just needs a day (or night) off. “The body’s got an amazing capacity to heal on its own,” Dr. Charles Cutler said in an interview with Health.com.

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