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Family Life: Help to get over your New Year hangover; Body and Soul DON'T let hangovers spoil your New Year celebrations. Here MARIE TURBILL checks out the best ways to prevent and cure them...


IF you are planning a few drinks this New Year's Eve then spare a thought for the morning after the night before.

One too many could leave you feeling sick, head banging and muscles aching.

"There are two main reasons people get a hangover," says Julie Birch, GP at Guisborough's Springwood Surgey.

Alcoholic drinks contain ethanol which is broken down by the liver, producing free radicals.

"These can cause some of the symptoms of a hangover such as headaches, muscles aching and feeling sick."

Drinking a lot of alcohol also causes dehydration.

"This is what gives you the headache the next day," she says.

Other symptoms such as an upset tummy can be caused by the alcohol damaging the lining of your stomach. And it can affect your balancing mechanism causing dizziness.

"The main way to avoid a hangover is not to drink too much in the first place," says Dr Birch.

If you are planning a New Year tipple, go for drinks that are less concentrated such as spritzers or alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks. Food can also help mop up that excess alcohol.

"Drinking with a meal is better than drinking with an empty stomach."

If you have had too much she says drink a large glass of water when you get home to replace some of the lost fluid.

As for cures Dr Birch says there is no medical evidence that any hangover cures work.

"There are a lot of cures that individuals feel makes them better but no medical evidence has been found.

"Some remedies involve drinking more alcohol the next morning but that is just putting off the inevitable."

Contrary to popular belief she says there is no medical evidence that coffee helps.

"In theory coffee makes you lose fluid as it is a diuretic, like alcohol, so it shouldn't work."

To ease the symptoms of a hangover she says the simple things work best. Drink water, have some food and take a couple of paracetamol for the headache.

For more tips on hangover prevention and cures check the NHS Choices website at


ADVICE: Dr Julie Birch, left, says the main way to avoid a hangover is not to drink too much in the first place Picture by ANDREW GRAY
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Dec 30, 2008
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