What’s the best way to deal with a hangover from excessive drinking?
A. An alcoholics handover can cause a painful headache as well as a sick, woozy feeling. Functionality, a hangover usually does not last for more than a day, but it can be a day of sheer hell. There are several things you can do to reduce the pain and discomfort.
First, an ice pack applied to your head will relieve the pain of a throbbing headache Caffeine, found in coffee and tea, will constrict the blood vessels in your head, which will also help relieve some of the pain. In fact, the hangover cure of all may be a cup or two of strong tea with honey. According to the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke, honey speeds up the alcohol metabolism, which means that it will help your body break down the alcohol more quickly.
I do not recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen, or Naprosyn, since these drugs can irritate the stomach lining which may already be irritated from the alcohol, and could even cause bleeding. Instead, use Alka-Seltzer which is easier on the stomach and contains a combination of aspirin (combats headache), sodium bicarbonate (neutralizes excess stomach acid), and citric acid (reduce nausea). Do not take excessive amounts of acetaminophen (Tylenol) after consuming alcohol. The combination of alcohol and acetaminophen can produce kidney damage, especially on an empty stomach, which can be lethal.
Prescriptions headache drugs such as Ergotamine, which is used to treat migraine headache, have also been shown to cure the hangover headache. If you happen to have a prescription headache drug on hand, ask your doctor if you can take it for a hangover. Part of the discomfort of a hangover is from a state of dehydration and electrolyte depletion, so try to drink plenty of liquids, especially those like consomme, which have salt of to which you can add salt. Contrary to popular belief a shot of alcohol does not “cure” a handover, it will only make you feel sicker.
Marianne J. Legato, MD, Ph. D. (hon. c.), FACP is an internationally renowned academic, physician, author, lecturer, and pioneer in the field of gender-specific medicine. She is a Professor Emerita of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical School. Dr. Legato is also the Director of the Foundation for Gender-Specific Medicine, which she founded in 2006 as a continuation of her work with The Partnership for Gender-Specific Medicine at Columbia University. She received an honorary PhD from the University of Panama in 2015 for her work on the differences between men and women.
At its core, gender-specific medicine is the science of how normal human biology differs between men and women and how the diagnosis and treatment of disease differs as a function of gender. Dr. Legato’s discoveries and those of her colleagues have led to a personalization of medicine that assists doctors worldwide in understanding the difference in normal function of men and women and in their sex-specific experiences of the same diseases.
She began her work in gender-specific medicine by authoring the first book on women and heart disease, The Female Heart: The Truth About Women and Coronary Artery Disease, which won the Blakeslee Award of the American Heart Association in 1992. Because of this research, the cardiovascular community began to include women in clinical trials affirming the fact that the risk factors, symptoms, and treatment of the same disease can be significantly different between the sexes. Convinced that the sex-specific differences in coronary artery disease were not unique, Dr. Legato began a wide-ranging survey of all medical specialties and in 2004, published the first textbook on gender-specific medicine, The Principles of Gender-Specific Medicine. The second edition appeared in 2010 and the third edition, dedicated to explaining how gender impacts biomedical investigation in the genomic era, won the PROSE Award in Clinical Medicine from the Association of American Publishers in 2018. A fourth edition is forthcoming.
She also founded the first scientific journals publishing new studies in the field, The Journal of Gender-Specific Medicine, and a newer version, Gender Medicine, both listed in the Index Medicus of the National Library of Medicine. She has founded a third peer-reviewed, open access journal, Gender and the Genome, which focuses on the impact of biological sex on technology and its effects on human life.
Dr. Legato is the author of multiple works, including: What Women Need to Know (Simon & Schuster, 1997), Eve’s Rib (Harmony Books, 2002), Why Men Never Remember and Women Never Forget (Rodale, 2005), Why Men Die First (Palgrave, 2008), The International Society for Gender Medicine: History and Highlights (Academic Press, 2017), and most recently, The Plasticity of Sex (Academic Press, 2020). Her books have been translated into 28 languages to date.
As an internationally respected authority on gender medicine, Dr. Legato has chaired symposia and made keynote addresses to world congresses in gender-specific medicine in Berlin, Israel, Italy, Japan, Panama, South Korea, Stockholm, and Vienna. In collaboration with the Menarini Foundation, she is co-chairing a symposium on epigenetics, Sex, Gender and Epigenetics: From Molecule to Bedside, to be held in Spring 2021 in Italy. She maintains one of the only gender-specific private practice in New York City, and she has earned recognition as one of the “Top Doctors in New York.”