We’ve all been there before. The alarm blares, making it feel like a thousand elephants are stampeding over your head. You crack your eyes open to find out that you still have the clothes you wore the night before, or lack any clothing at all, your breath could kill, you didn’t make it all the way into bed, and can’t remember how you even got there.
The night before is a blur because you had just a little too much to drink.
A hangover is your body’s way of saying that you met, and surpassed its tolerance for alcohol.
“Alcohol is a drug that effects your reflexes, thinking, and inhibitions,” Ruth Egnater, a registered nurse and clinic director of gateway community services, said.
According to webMD.com, alcohol acts as a sedative and depresses the nervous system when taken in large amounts. The more alcohol you drink, the more control over your mind and body you lose, and the more drunk you get.
The more drinks you have, the more abuse your body is taking from having to process it.
“The body processes alcohol through the liver, and that’s why so many alcoholics have psoriasis,” Egnater said.“When we wake up with a hangover, it’s from all the work our bodies have been doing to get rid of the drug in our system.”
Marina Levine, certified addictions and substance abuse counselor, said that alcohol has no nutritional value and that it is in fact a drug.
People have been dealing with hangovers throughout history and one article on webMD.com reported sighting that ancient Romans used to eat fried canaries to deal with them.[chaser]
Other remedies include drinking water while drinking alcohol, eating greasy foods before drinking, eating bread after drinking, taking a few aspirin before and after drinking, just drinking more alcohol, drinking Gatorade, or taking Vitamin B after drinking.
“Alcohol dehydrates your body, so that’s why you have to urinate so much,” Egater said.
So how do you cure a hangover?
Apparently, that’s the sixty-four billion dollar question, and if you have a sure-fire solution, my e-mail is at the bottom of this page.
In an article by Sean Sweat, on webmd.com, he quoted Jeffrey Wiese, MD, said that prevention is the only sure-fire hangover cure, followed closely by moderation and not drinking on an empty stomach.
Jonathon Yanca, a brew master junior at U of M said that the best cure is to prevent one. “Drink a glass or two of water, or proportionally to how much you drank, and you will feel great the next day,” Yanca said. “That’s what I do and I’ve been fine for a long time.”
Furthermore, he said he always starts the day off with a lemon-lime Gatorade and takes 600 mg of Ibuprofen. “I always make sure I eat something too,” Yanca said. “Something like a Nutri-grain bar, or the best remedy is just to sleep some more.”
Melissa Mackey, an adversiting senior, said she does several things to help with her hangovers. “I start by taking preventative measures, such as drinking on a full stomach and in the morning, pacing myself,” Mackey said. “Plan on eating warm soup, drinking a gallon of water, and taking in some serious R&R. Truth is there is no cure; you just have to ride it out.”
Other options some people might consider to cure their hangovers, is to take the well-known Chaser pill that’s out on the market. The Chaser pill works by absorbing the congeners that are in alcohol, using calcium carbonate (better known to you and me as chalk) and charcoal that attract congeners and soak them up like a sponge before they can do their damage helping you wake up refreshed and ready to go.
However, both Levine and Egnater said that the Chaser pill does not work and the best cure is to drink in moderation to prevent hangovers. “Just don’t drink. Coffee and cold showers don’t work,” Levine said. “You just have to wait it out.”
One drink takes a half-hour to two hours to be processed by the body, through the liver and being expelled by urinating and breathing. “Two percent of alcohol is eliminated through sweat, eight percent through breath, and the liver eliminates about 90 percent,” Levine said. “The rate of elimination depends on the weight of the person, what they’ve eaten before drinking, and many other factors.”
So the bottom-line? There’s no real cure for hangovers, except not drinking, but I’m sure many MSU students won’t take that road just yet. The search continues.

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