After 25 plus years of giving patients important medical advice, I now have another way to interact with people — my own blog!
As I sat in my office and debated what topic to choose — because all health issues are important — I realized it is drinking and spending money that hurts people most this week. I can't help you with your pocketbook pains, but I can try to help with hangovers.
This story has baffled many great scientific minds; hundreds of opinions have been developed and thousands of volunteers have donated their time and livers all in the quest to find "A SOLUTION TO THE HANGOVER CURSE."
First, a few facts. Alcohol, while sometimes socially acceptable, can lead to significant health problems such as obesity, diabetes, psychological effects, as well as alcoholism. Drinking in moderation, pacing yourself and choosing an appropriate drink are all important.
BUT HOW TO PREVENT A HANGOVER?
Most scientists would agree that alcohol consumption could lead to dehydration. (Let's face it, everyone is always running to the bathroom.) Therefore, it is important that people drink adequate amounts of water before, during and after alcohol use. And spend a few extra bucks on top shelf liquor. It may cost you an extra dollar or two, but better quality liquors not only taste better, but are less likely to cause bad reactions.
Trick yourself. You know how some of us are always checking out the bartender because we think he or she is not giving us our fair share of alcohol? Well, you're right. It appears that by using a tall skinny glass one tends to pour about 20-30% less alcohol in a drink. Less alcohol, less chance of getting drunk. Trust me, you will thank me in the morning.
Here are some simple things to keep in mind:
BEFORE YOU GO OUT —
• Eat (Don't drink on an empty stomach)
• Hydrate (Drink lots of water)
WHILE YOU ARE OUT —
• Choose your alcohol
• Alternate alcoholic drinks with water
• Consume less than one drink per hour
MORNING AFTER THE PARTY —
• Stay in bed and rest
• Don't drink alcohol
• Be careful with coffee
Don't forget to watch FOX News Channel. And, please feel free to write to me at DrManny@foxnews.com and tell me what you think. Ask a question, share a thought, share a remedy. We'll try to answer all of your mail online or on the air.
On that note, here are some e-mail messages I received from viewers after Tuesday's segment on FOX News Live:
"Hey Dr. Manny, I just watched your piece on hangovers with Martha. As a former New Mexico state police officer, I recognized you need to tell the rest of the hangover story. Getting drunk, consuming alcoholic beverages, etc., and hangovers are the same. You of all people should TELL folks that they are still under the influence of the consumed alcoholic beverage(s) after their drinking parties and should not drive and/or operate machinery until all of the alcohol is out of their system. I arrested as many hung-over drunks as I did those who were on the absorption side of the curve. Maybe you should bring a chart showing the curve of absorption vs. dissipation, then maybe you would not have to explain so much about hangovers." — Anonymous
"Dr. Manny, If one is to consume large amounts of alcohol, one should consume bananas prior to drinking. The reason for this remedy is that the bananas will taste as good coming up as they did going down." — George
"This hangover remedy works for me: eating two to three over-easy fried eggs." — Robert (Bartlesville, OK)
"Try a baked potato dry, no butter, no sour cream. It immediately activates the salivary glands. This remedy was given to me by my elderly mother who NEVER drank!" — Ben (Sioux Falls, SD)
"Dear Dr. Manny, I enjoy your advice very much. Here's a couple of tips: My mother owned a bar in San Francisco in the '30s. Not wanting to offend a customer that offered to buy her a drink, she would first down a tablespoon of vegetable oil so she wouldn't absorb the alcohol. As you know, people use up their vitamin B when they imbibe. So taking a B complex 50 Balance with breakfast helps the next day symptoms. I'm 75 and am only getting gray around the temples. Happy and healthy 2006!" — Doris
Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. For more information on Dr. Manny's work, visit AskDrManny.com.