Nature is kind. It doesn’t like being interfered with too much, but has inbuilt systems to get you right
If you are having a heady festive season, here are a few ideas to help you cope with liquid goodwill. Hangovers are usually self inflicted. But you can do a lot to make yourself feel more human on the morning after the night before.
Whether you are an occasional social drinker, or one who hits it regularly, the same principles of treatment are worth trying.
Another drink will not cure the evil effects of the previous ones. “Everyone will have come across the chap who insists that the only cure for a hangover is a stiff drink,” the British Medical Journal reported. “A hair of the dog that bit you,” to use the common phrase.
But that extra drink doesn’t cure. Another gin will probably calm the stomach’s jumpy nervous lining, but does little to get rid of the symptoms.
The simplest and quickest way to alleviate a thrashing headache is to take a couple of 500mg paracetamol tablets. They usually bring relatively good relief within 30-40 minutes and are best taken after food. They may be repeated, if symptoms recur, every three to four hours. Take the smallest amount that brings relief, and repeat as infrequently as possible.
This cheap and effective analgesic is probably less severe on the stomach lining than aspirin products, which tend to aggravate any pre-existing inflammation. However, if you prefer aspirin products, the usual dose is two 300mg tablets. Take after food, because on an empty stomach they often cause nausea (the very thing you’re trying to eliminate). The soluble forms may act more quickly. Having a hot drink at the same time will enable quicker action, because the tablets will be absorbed quicker.
A high fluid intake is also a good idea. Fluid removes unwanted toxins from the system. Alcohol’s chief effect is on the brain cells. Here it acts firstly as a stimulant, giving a sensation of wellbeing and euphoria, and removing barriers. It generates happiness and confidence, which is why it is such a success at parties.
But this, sadly, is only short-lived. Soon after, it has the opposite effect. Many find it becomes a sedative; others find it causes depression, anxiety or aggression.
The picture is varied, but the same type of reaction usually occurs each time in any particular individual case. The metabolism of the brain cells becomes temporarily altered.
By flushing all of these toxins from the brain, the chance of feeling mentally brighter and fitter improves. Simple water-based fluids are best. Ideally, chilled water is one of the best. Fruit juices are also excellent. Lemon juice, orange, pineapple or tomato juices (best chilled) replace fluid losses and remove the toxic metabolites.
This can restore a feeling of mental peace and tranquillity, help remove head pains, depressions, tensions and other symptoms.
Many find that increased vitamins also help improve the spirits. Vitamin Bl, and the Vitamin B complex are probably the most important. However, many multivitamin products are available. The fizzy ones that contain the lot, plus a variety of essential minerals, can readily be made into a pleasantly flavoured soft drink. Try this once or twice a day.
Many continue this throughout the entire festive season. It can do no harm. Excessive vitamins that the body cannot use are usually eliminated via the urine which generally turns a vivid yellow. Don’t be alarmed, this is perfectly natural if you’re on a very high vitamin intake.
Ice cold packs to the head are also a good idea. This tends to constrict superficial blood vessels, and may give some relief to the violent throbbing which is pretty common the next day. Try this for 20 minutes and repeat every hour for a while. Usually, you have nothing much to do the day after Christmas, so it’s worth taking time to care for your ailing frame.
Some claim that sitting with the feet in hot water “takes the blood from the brain.” However it works, it often brings relief from a splitting headache.
If you are sensible, you’ll go for a good long walk, the quicker you walk the better; or you may care for a short jog, or a game of tennis or squash! Exercise will increase the heart rate and improve general body circulation. This helps eliminate unwanted body toxins through the sweat system as well as the urinary system. If you have the energy and inclination, these simple measures will make you feel a lot better.
Upset stomachs are best left alone. Give them a rest. Do not continue to fill them with exotic foods against which they readily rebel. Fluids for 24 hours are a great healer.
If you still feel queasy and uneasy, a simple antacid will often bring relief. This helps calm the inflamed stomach lining; helps you burp unwanted gas, which gives a feeling of fullness and nausea. There are an enormous number of brands around, and they are all effective in most cases. Make sure you have some handy before the shops shut for the holiday weekend.
A few early nights and some sleep is also a good natural cure, probably the best way to make you feel human again.
Nature is kind. It doesn’t like being interfered with too much, but has inbuilt systems that will automatically get you right, if you are sensible enough to give them a chance.
A final note of caution: Too much alcohol reduces the blood levels of testosterone, the male sex hormone. So, too much of a good thing could markedly impair your man’s sex performance.