there is hope !!
(with recognition to GlaxoSmithKline and Healthy Home Newsletter as on http://www.gsk.com.au/gskinternet/publishing.nsf/Content/HealthyHome+-+Jun+2005 )
A hangover usually refers to the after-effects of drinking too much alcohol.
The familiar symptoms, thirst, headaches, sensitivity to light and noise,
feeling unwell, diarrhoea, nausea and even vomiting, have been described
throughout history from ancient Greece to present day literature and media. You
would think by now we would have learnt to avoid these symptoms either by not
drinking alcohol or at least by finding an antidote. For after all, alcohol is a
Another factor contributing to hangover is the levels of congeners (other alcohols and by-products from the alcoholic fermentation) in the beverage. Spirits containing high congeners levels, such as bourbon and brandy, are more likely to cause severe hangover symptoms than vodka or gin.
Other substances in the alcoholic beverage, such as tannin in red wine, or flavour compounds in dark beers are also reported to worsen hangover symptoms. Also, genetics can contribute to the severity of a hangover, since some people have a reduced capacity to eliminate one of the toxic substances (aldehydes) produced in the body from alcohol. Build up of these substances may cause flushing, a throbbing headache, nausea and other symptoms. Additionally, psychological factors can alter a person's perceptions about the severity of their symptoms.
Prevention and cure
As with most things, prevention is better than cure, but if you are imbibing:
A number of medications can provide symptomatic relief, for example antacids to reduce nausea and gastritis, and paracetamol or non-steroidal inflammatory agents (e.g. ibuprofen and naproxen) to treat headache. There are also a variety of other 'cures', such as caffeine and vitamin B6, which are anecdotally effective but have only limited scientific backing.
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