mette storheil - we all need help sometimes homeabout meservicespublicationsdirections to the officecontact info

Why, and how to deal with them

I plan to go to Norway for the summer, and as most of us, I know that I will be seeing friends and family, there will be parties, and in Norway it is very tempting to stay up late during those beautiful summer nights when the sun never sets.

There will be drinking, and sometimes I might be tempted to have that extra glass of snaps or wine, forgetting how it effects me the next morning. Is there anything I can do to make that morning better? The obvious answer is to drink less alcohol or to drink more water.

But who wants to drink a litre of water just before going to sleep? Who wants to spend the night running to the bathroom?

What causes the problem?

It is mostly the toxic compounds in alcoholic drinks that cause the problems. The liver needs water to get rid of the toxins and when the supply runs out it is forced to find it in the body’s reserves. This means taking water from other organs including the brain. In medical terms the description of hangovers sounds quite gruesome. The physical symptoms include fatigue, headache, increased sensitivity to light and sound, red eyes, muscle aches, vomiting, sleep disturbance and thirst.

Blood pressure can be raised and we may suffer rapid heartbeats, tremor and sweating. Mental signs of hangovers can include dizziness, a sense of the room spinning, mood disturbances such as depression, anxiety and irritability. A drinking session can effect us deeply and it can take the body 24 hours or more to recover and put things right.

What can we do to prevent hangovers?

  • Avoid drinking on an empty stomach.
  • Having food with our drinks slows down the absorption of alcohol and gives the body time to deal with it more effectively.
  • Drinking plenty of water reduces the dehydration caused by alcohol. Very often we drink because we are thirsty, but drinking alcohol only makes it worse.
  • Researchers have found out that the darker the drink, the worse the hangover. So, beware of red wine, brandy or port.
  • Mixing drinks is a fast track to misery the following morning.
    What can we do when we have a hangover?
  • What we can buy at the pharmacy may help, but not completely solve the problem, and aspirin should be avoided because it can cause stomach irritation or even bleeding.
  • Coffee does not sober us up, nor does it deal with the dehydration. Caffeine
    drinks may only make us feel better right away, but they cause further dehydration and loose bowels which only makes the hangover worse.
  • The sugar level in the blood is low and needs to be built up slowly. The best way to do this is to have some freshly squeezed juice.
  • Drink water.
  • Because the body is fighting to get back to normal, it needs food. A good breakfast should not be too sweet or too fatty. Juice, non-sweetened cereal or muesli, toast and marmelade might be worth trying.
  • Given a little time and more water, it will pass.

When we go out in the evening for ”one” drink, we all know that one may become many. If we plan ahead a little, we can make the next morning a little better. By making sure that we eat before we go out, have a little snack along the road, a drink of juice or water if we get thirsty.

Obviously, the best medicine for a hangover is to be found in a bottle or a can: the one we didn’t open. But given human nature, it is not a bad idea to leave the painkillers by the bed just in case.

    Copyright © 2005. All Rights Reserved Development by Studio 2005 mette storheil