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Reviewed by Louise Chang on December 01, 2009


Yoon, Y-H. NIAAA's Epidemiological Bulletin No. 40, Winter, 2003.

© 2006 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved.

WebMD Archive

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Narrator: It was fun while it lasted, but now you're paying the price for your night of debauchery.

Amy Edwards: My main hangover remedy would be not to drink anything.

Narrator: She does have a point. In fact, hundreds of people die each year as a direct result of over-drinking or alcohol poisoning:

Michael Smith, MD: Symptoms of alcohol poisoning would essentially be someone who passes out, they're not able to wake up. That's really a medical emergency and if you find someone that seems to be severely intoxicated you really need to get them to the emergency room.

Narrator: So rule number one: know your limit and be careful not to go past it. Still there are times when the occasion gets the better of us. in times like those when you stumble into our tried and true hang over remedies. but do any of them really work?

Scott Anderson: Best cure I know of is hair of the dog that bit you.

Narrator: Perhaps it'd be easier to take the bite out of a night of heavy drinking if we understood what alcohol does to our bodies in the first place.

Michael Smith, MD: Alcohol has a dehydrating effect on your body because it actually stops production of a hormone that helps you retain fluid.

Narrator: So, rule number two: drink plenty of water:

Michael Smith, MD: You can have a glass of water between each drink, not only does that keep you hydrated, it helps prevent you from over-drinking as well…

Narrator: Like water, food can also help prevent a hangover… Rule number three: never drink on an empty stomach…but say we forget to eat or drink water the night before, then what?

Todd Rushing, Restaurateur: The end result is that the body needs to recover from the amount of damage that you did to sleep.

Narrator: And that brings us to rules four and five: sleep if you can and take two aspirin the night before and when you wake up.

Michael Smith, MD: That will help relieve some of the headache, it will help relieve some of the inflammation that alcohol can cause.

Narrator: And please make sure that a hangover is the worst thing that can happen by not driving after you've been drinking. For WebMD, I'm Damon Meharg.

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