Christmas is a time for celebrating with family and friends, but it is easy to lose that festive cheer when too much booze leaves you with a huge hangover.
Health bosses on the Fylde coast have put together some helpful hints to make sure your Christmas party season is as enjoyable as possible – and urged people if they do have a hangover to look after themselves in the appropriate way.
As a diuretic drug, alcohol removes fluids from the body, which can cause dehydration and it is this that causes many hangover symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness and sickness.
Speaking on behalf of NHS Fylde and Wyre and NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Groups and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Thornton GP Dr Tony Naughton said: “In all honesty the best hangover cure is not drinking in the first place.
“But we know that is unrealistic, certainly at a time of year when people are keen to celebrate, so there are a few things you can do to limit the suffering.
“It is best to take actions to reduce the risk of a hangover before than attempt to cure it once it occurs.
“So please follow these handy hints and if you do end up with a hangover, please look after yourself at home and don’t put extra pressure on the hospital or your local doctor at a time when demand will already be on the increase.”
In order to reduce the risk of a hangover it is important to be aware of how much you are drinking and try to keep your body rehydrated.
Revellers are urged to:
- Limit the amount you drink on a single occasion;
- Drink slowly;
- Eat food that is high in carbohydrates, such as rice or pasta;
- And alternate your alcoholic drinks with water or non-alcoholic drinks – but avoid fizz as this speeds up the rate at which the body absorbs alcohol;
- Hydrate yourself before bed by drinking a pint of water and keep a glass by your bed to sip during the night.
However if you do get a hangover, the main treatment is to rehydrate the body to help it deal with the painful symptoms. You can also:
- Use over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol to help with headaches and muscle cramps;
- Replace lost fluids by drinking water and other bland liquids such as soda water or isotonic drinks;
- Try some bouillon soup – a thin vegetable-based broth. This is a good source of minerals and vitamins which is easy on the stomach.
Dr Naughton added: “Whatever you do, don’t go for the ‘hair of the dog’. It just doesn’t work. If anything, if you have a hangover, give your body a couple of days to recover.”
- Think! Why A&E? is a joint campaign between NHS Fylde and Wyre CCG, NHS Blackpool CCG and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Self care – Minor illnesses, ailments and injuries can be treated at home. Coughs, colds, sore throats, upset stomachs and aches and pains can be treated with a well-stocked medicine cabinet and plenty of rest.
- Pharmacy – Pharmacists offer a range of health services. As well as dispensing prescriptions and other medicines, your pharmacy can provide free confidential expert advice and treatment for a variety of common illnesses and complaints, without having to book a GP appointment. You can find your nearest pharmacy by visiting the ‘services near you’ section of nhs.uk.
- NHS 111 – This is a free telephone service, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You should call 111 if you urgently need medical help or information, but your situation is not life-threatening. When you dial 111, you will be directed to the best local services to make sure you get fast and effective treatment.
- Walk-in or same day centres – These centres provide consultations, guidance and treatment for minor injuries and illnesses, as well as emergency contraception and sexual health advice. There are two centres on the Fylde coast, (locations can be found at whyaande.nhs.uk) both operating seven days a week from 8am onwards.
GP surgery – If you have an illness or injury that won’t go away, make an appointment with your GP. They provide a range of services by appointment, and when absolutely essential, can make home visits. If you need to see a GP outside of the surgery’s normal opening hours, telephone the surgery and your call will be forwarded to the GP out-of-hours service.