Healthcare Professionals’ Tell All: The Hangover Guide

Hangover

‘It was for a good cause.’ Ringing in the new year is a fun time to gather with your loved ones and say goodbye to last year and hello to a season for new beginnings. Better to ring in the new year than wake up with that ringing in your head that makes you feel like you’ll never be normal again. We’ve all been there. We’ve talked to some medical and healthcare professionals to give you this Hangover Guide. How to prevent, combat and move on.

What Are We Battling?

11161707_10206293588832896_511584142770341814_o (1)According to Zein Al-Atrache, a 3rd Year medical student finishing his PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology, we have documented hangovers from over 3000 years ago in ancient Indian textbooks.

“You kinda have to be drunk to say it, but the legit medical term for a hangover is ‘veisalgia,'” Al-Atrache said.

“There are tons of studies out there exploring what causes hangover symptoms (experimentally, this is defined as alcohol levels reaching 0 after injections of alcohol). Based on these studies, a predominant hypothesis is that free radicals form in the cells of the brain and the liver that can cause long-term damage while, in the short term, a metabolite of alcohol processing by the body called acetaldehyde, can cause the shitty short term feelings.”


Prevent the Hangover

Electrolytes

vendorimagesB000ARPKB2-pedialyte-1-l._CB352139553_The main reason people suffer from hangovers is because their electrolytes are off and their bodies are dehydrated. Maintain your electrolytes throughout the night to thank yourself in the morning.

PathologistPedialyte is a great way to balance your electrolytes if you know you’ve been drinking. Drink one midway through your night or once you’ve finished for the evening to help yourself feel more refreshed in the morning,” Dr. Ben Stueben, MD, said. Dr. Stueben is a board-certified pathologist in New York City. He works for BoardVitals as the lead editor for all question banks. He edits and responds to questions and comments on our banks to make sure our content is up-to-date and accurate.

Hook Up With Free Spirits

Nick-headshotAccording to Nick Angelis, CRNA, MSN, is a nurse anesthetist and the author of How to Succeed in Anesthesia School (And RN, PA, or Med School), alcohol with gluten can be hard for your body to process and thus leave you with a gnarly hangover the next day. If you stick to Gluten-Free alcohol , your body will thank you in the morning. Examples of gluten-free alcohol include: Gluten-free beer; organic wine; potato- or grape- based gin; potato-, grape- or corn-based vodka; rum; tequila; champagne; ciders; ouzo; bourbon; junmai sake

Pro-tip: Stay away from sugary mixers, those are a killer.

Dr. Gabrielle Francis“Good news: Wine is an excellent source of antioxidants and anti-aging compounds. Bad news: It can be loaded with pesticides. The key is to look for organic or biodynamic varieties. No options, no problem. Choose Old World brands from France, Spain or Italy, which contain fewer toxins,” Dr. Gabrielle Francis, MD said. Dr. Francis is a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor, Acupuncturist, and Licensed Massage therapist practicing in New York City as The Herban Alchemist. She also operates Backstage Alternative, which is her natural medicine road show that provides chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, nutrition and herbal remedies to performing artists on tour.

“Good news: Wine is an excellent source of antioxidants and anti-aging compounds. Bad news: It can be loaded with pesticides.”

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Measure

Maybe a DUH, but measuring your drinks helps you control your intake. Each type of alcohol’s serving size is different. For example, one serving of liquor is 1.5 ounces, wine is 5 ounces and beer is 12 ounces. Keep track of your drinks and make sure you’re moderating it.

Water

Before you start celebrating, drink a glass of water. Lussier says this is the key to avoiding a hangover. Start with a glass of water and drink one full glass in between each subsequent drink. The major factor of a hangover is being dehydrated, so nip that in the bud.


Combat The Hangover

Whether you took that advice or not, you may still be finding yourself hunched over in the fetal position. Welcome to 2017! Here are some doctor-approved remedies you can try:

There’s nothing quite like needing to be at work when you have a hangover. It must be very stressful to be late for rounds as a medical student while you’re carrying around last night’s drink in your head.

“During med school, I used to start an IV on fellow med students who came in hungover. Give them the fluids they lost the night before really quickly so we would make it to rounds,” Dr. Stueben said.

“During med school, I used to start an IV on fellow med students who came in hungover. Give them the fluids they lost the night before really quickly so we would make it to rounds,” Dr. Stueben said.

Dr. Spice LussierDr. Spice Lussier has given us four supplements that can help you combat your healthy tissues so you’re back up and going. Dr. Lussier is a licensed Naturopathic physician in Arizona and medical director of Desert Wellness Center in Arizona. Her specialties include anti-aging medicine, hormone balancing, and weight loss.

  1. Choline is a B vitamin that helps your liver repair its fatty tissue.
  2. Pancreatin is a compound of enzymes that helps your body restore and breakdown food.
  3. Beet Greens offer many antioxidants which stop free radical damage from a hangover and helps your body produce bile.
  4. Black cohosh soothes the nervous system to help you recover faster and regain strength.

As Dr. Stueben mentioned earlier, electrolyte imbalance can really lengthen the time of your hangover.

Chris_Delgado“A liter of coconut water post drinking day will keep the hangover away. Coconut water is filled with potassium, sodium, and magnesium along with plenty of hydration. It will help replenish the electrolytes lost from excessive drinking,” Christopher Delgado, RN BSN OCN, said. Christopher Delgado is an Oncology certified nurse practicing in San Diego, California at UCSD Hospital.

Sleep is an obvious remedy for any hangover, seeing as that’s all your body really wants to do anyway. However, getting out for a 20-minute walk or jog can help speed the process up by sweating out the toxins you ingested the night before. You might try taking a steam or hitting a sauna for optimal toxin depletion.


It seems unlikely that we’re on the road to cracking the code to our hangovers, however, these remedies may help you get back up and moving quickly.

“It seems as if there is no be-all end-all for curing a hangover so the best thing to do is just not get one in the first place (lame, I know ?),” Al-Atrache said.

“It seems as if there is no be-all end-all for curing a hangover so the best thing to do is just not get one in the first place (lame, I know ?),” Al-Atrache said.

We hope that 2017 brings you all the things you are hoping for. Whether you wake up feeling fresh and ready or in full-hangover mode, you’ll get through it and come out the other side.

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