Monthly Archives: December 2006

Sayonara 2006 (The Suck)

For those of you prepping for a big bye-bye bash to the suckiest year ever (screw you 2006, because you sure screwed me and plenty of folks I know), I’ve found some helpful advice from the folks at The National Headache Foundation.

What I’m getting from this press release is we need to chug a pint of canola oil and chase it with a big glass of water before the party, then have some honey and bouillion afterward. MMMM, mmm good.
Happy New Year to everyone from
Squirrel Queen

HANGOVER HEADACHE

Tips to Ease Holiday Overindulgence from the National Headache Foundation
Throughout the year, many people look forward to celebrating the holiday season with family and friends. While these times can be joyous, they can also provide the opportunity to drink more than usual, which can cause the onset of a hangover headache. According to a recent online survey conducted by the National Headache Foundation (NHF), 92% of survey respondents noted that they have experienced a hangover headache.

This holiday season, 80% of survey respondents replied that they plan to consume alcoholic beverages, of which, 56% plan to consume at least three drinks. To help avoid or lessen the suffering associated with hangover headaches that often accompany these annual festivities, the NHF offers some advice and a headache-free drink recipe.

If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Try to sip your drink slowly. Mixed drinks containing fruit or vegetable juices will probably have less effect than straight alcohol. Avoid red wine, which contains naturally occurring chemicals called congeners. Forty-one percent of survey respondents listed red wine as the type of alcoholic beverage that most frequently causes headaches. Congeners impart the specific characteristic tastes to different types of wine and other alcoholic beverages. Unfortunately, they also may play a role in causing headaches. Congeners are more common in red than white wine. Also, it is advisable to reduce the actual number of alcoholic beverages you consume. Spend time catching up with an old friend at the snack table with a soda or glass of water.

Eat some honey. Honey supplies fructose, a sugar that helps the body metabolize alcohol, is rich in vitamin B6 and can reduce hangover symptoms. Two tablespoons of honey on a cracker or piece of toast, before or after drinking, may prevent a hangover. Tomato juice, another good source of fructose, also allows the body to burn alcohol faster. The sugar in fruit and fruit juices may also reduce some symptoms of hangover, so consumption of these products can be beneficial.

Drink fluids containing minerals and salts. Liquids rich in minerals and salts offer relief from the dehydration caused by alcohol consumption. A cup of broth or bouillon, for example, will replace fluid and will not cause nausea. In general, replacement of fluids with beverages, such as sports drinks or water, is helpful.

Drink a cup of coffee. Caffeine may provide some relief in alleviating the headache symptoms and decreasing the duration of pain. The caffeine acts as a vasoconstrictor and eases the dilated blood vessels. Consider drinking a cup of coffee as soon as you wake up the next morning.

Take ibuprofen. While aspirin is okay, ibuprofen is typically less irritating to the stomach and can also ease the pain of hangover headache.

Alternate non-alcoholic beverages with alcoholic beverages. Drinking one non-alcoholic beverage between each alcoholic beverage reduces overall alcohol consumption and helps replenish fluids. An easy way to achieve this is asking for a glass of water in addition to your alcoholic beverage of choice when ordering a drink at the bar. Just 36% of survey respondents said that they had tried alternating non-alcoholic beverages with alcoholic beverages to reduce the chance of having a hangover.

Eat greasy food before consuming alcohol. While it is wise to be health-conscious and avoid too much of these foods in general, this is a situation where eating fatty foods may be helpful. If consumed prior to drinking alcohol, these foods help line the intestines, which causes alcohol absorption to take longer. In other words, a burger or burrito before your beer or Bloody Mary might be beneficial. Only 22% of survey respondents stated that they have tried eating greasy foods before consuming alcohol.
While a headache caused by drinking too much may be more common at this time of year, chronic headaches can be a problem at any time. Headaches are a legitimate neurobiological disease, and are treatable. If you are experiencing headache pain that affects your life, make an appointment with your healthcare provider specifically to discuss your headache problem and seek accurate diagnosis and treatment.

The NHF exists to enhance the healthcare of headache sufferers. It is a source of help to sufferers┬╣ families, physicians who treat headache sufferers, allied healthcare professionals and to the public. The NHF accomplishes its mission by providing educational and informational resources, supporting headache research and advocating for the understanding of headache as a legitimate neurobiological disease.

For more information on headache causes and treatments, visit http://www.headaches.org or call 1-888-NHF-5552 (M-F. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT).