Party-goers who celebrated with alcoholic beverages on New Year’s Eve, having fun with friends and ringing in 2017, may find the festivities can come at a cost of the dreaded hangover come Jan. 1.
Even though there are a lot of myths out there on how to take care of a hangover, according to many different medical websites, the only true cures are not drinking or sleeping it off.
“There is no cure for a hangover,” Barton County Health Director Shelly Schneider said. “If you do get a hangover get plenty of rest. Only time will cure it. If you do have a hangover, take care of your symptoms with over-the-counter medication.”
The best plan is to plan ahead before drinking so as not to get a hangover in the first place.
“Drink in moderation and try to drink water in between your drinks because water flushes the system,” Schneider said. “Also eat prior to going out and stay hydrated.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, hangover symptoms typically begin when your blood alcohol drops significantly and is at or near zero. These are usually in full effect the morning after a night of heavy drinking.
Depending on what and how much you drank, you may notice:
• Fatigue and weakness
• Headaches and muscle aches
• Nausea, vomiting or stomach pain
• Poor or decreased sleep
• Increased sensitivity to light and sound
• Dizziness or a sense of the room spinning
• Decreased ability to concentrate
• Mood disturbances, such as depression, anxiety and irritability
• Rapid heartbeat
In the meantime, there are few things people can do to help themselves feel better:
• Fill up a water bottle. Sip water or fruit juice to prevent dehydration. Resist any temptation to treat your hangover with more alcohol. It’ll only make you feel worse.
• Have a snack. Bland foods, such as toast and crackers, may boost your blood sugar and settle your stomach. Bouillon soup can help replace lost salt and potassium.
• Take a pain reliever. A standard dose of an over-the-counter pain reliever may ease your headache. But aspirin can irritate your stomach. And if you regularly drink alcohol to excess, acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) can cause severe liver damage even in doses previously thought to be safe.
• Go back to bed. If you sleep long enough, your hangover may be gone when you awaken.