New Year's is right around the corner, but before you pop the champagne, you might want to think about what could happen the next day: the dreaded hangover. NY1's Jill Urban filed the following report on how you can beat a hangover, and maybe even prevent one.
New Year's is a time to celebrate, but if you plan to raise a glass to toast 2014, be mindful, as the headache, shakes, dizziness and nausea of a hangover can haunt you.
"A hangover is your body's reaction to alcohol, and alcohol is a toxin," says Dr. Lewis Marshall, the chairman of outpatient services at Brookdale Hospital. "Alcohol is metabolized by the liver and does not let your body to metabolize or maintain your glucose levels. Alcohol also effects a hormone in your body that causes you to urinate a lot, so that when you're drinking, you urinate, you become dehydrated. The dehydration and the low glucose create the symptoms that you have."
No one likes a hangover, so NY1 asked Marshall for some advice on how to avoid one and treat one. Obviously, the best way to avoid a hangover is to just not drink at all, but for some, all it takes is one glass, so you need to know your limit and plan ahead. He says it helps to have a large meal before you drink, and remember to stay hydrated.
"Drink water or drink soda in between," he says. "Try to alternate instead of having drink after drink after drink. The other think you can do is limit yourself to one drink an hour."
If you still wake up feeling wretched, he says that pain meds are OK, but stick to ibuprofen like Motrin® or Advil, not acetaminophen or Tylenol, because like alcohol, it's metabolized by the liver, and the two mixed together can be dangerous.
And don't believe that myth that the cure for a hangover is another drink. He says that that just prolongs in the inevitable and could make the hangover worse.
The key is to hydrate. There's no need for Gatorade or special drinks, just a lot of water.
"Some people say if you take vitamin B, vitamin C, that that will sometimes help, but there is no proven studies that show that that really helps," he says. "Eating sometimes helps, certainly a protein meal, but again, there is no proof that it works. But it makes people feel better."
So before you go out to celebrate, remember to be responsible and careful, and keep these tips in mind so that all the excitement of New Year's doesn't leave your head in a spin.