Our top women’s integrated health expert looks at natural ways to avoid a hangover…
For a long time now it has been clear that as a nation we have a pretty unhealthy relationship with alcohol.
While the French are able to enjoy alcohol in moderation, the English seem to find moderation an illusive goal.
One of my life philosophies is that I want to be able to enjoy a tipple for many years to come so I don’t want to over do it now. My approach to drinking has always been that part of a balanced life is losing balance occasionally, but that doesn’t mean you can habitually push things too far. Habitual misuse of alcohol is likely to impact negatively on all but the very robust among us
Women and men are quite different when it comes to drinking because women have less body water than men. So if a woman weighing 70kg drinks a unit of alcohol a man could drink one third more to match blood alcohol levels. It is advised that men drink no more than three to four units of alcohol per day and women two to three. Two alcohol free days a week are advised with 48 hrs of abstinence after a heavy drinking session. But despite government guidelines there is no advice on safe limits of alcohol and a great deal of uncertainty surrounds what constitutes ‘safe drinking’.
This is caused by ethanol in the alcohol in your drinks, which is a chemical that makes you urinate more, leading to dehydration.Symptoms include; headache, dry mouth,dizziness and constant nausea. Your body only starts to feel better as the chemical leaves the body and you become more hydrated again.
Alcohol is a hormone disruptor because it taxes the liver which is responsible for eliminating excessive or waste hormones from the body. If the liver is busy dealing with breaking down alcohol is unable to fulfill the important roll of ridding the body of waste hormones.
Never drink on an empty stomach.
The liver processes alcohol moreeffectively when you have eaten
In Chinese medicine, the liver is associated with anger and hostility, and keeping its energy free-flowing is very important.Learning to keep your cool and not to get too hot headed about things is important for liver health. Equally, deeply held resentments and hostility can put pressure on the liver. Learning to deal with your anger and practicing forgiveness are very important for keeping the liver healthy. Our liver energy is said tobe healthy when we have strong vision of where our life is going and the ability to carry out what is in our mind’s eye. When this is thwarted, we become frustrated and the pressure builds internally.Yoga, tai qi, acupuncture and reflexology are all useful to improve liver health. But reducing alcohol, changing our approach to life as well as having good support from a partner(associated with higher levels ofoxytocin) are also vital.
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