How to Cure a Hangover with an IV
I think all of us know all too well the symptoms of a hangover … some more than others. Some with a more recent reminder than others. I won’t point any fingers or name any names here. Let’s just talk about how to fix it.
The amount of cottonmouth, headache, fatigue, brain fog, nausea, and hot flashes are usually directly proportional to the amount of fun that you had the night before. I’m not saying that the amount of alcohol consumed should equate to the amount of fun that you have, but let’s be honest here, they correlate very well.
There are several reasons for the “hangover.” Simply put, it can be divided into 3 main causes: dehydration, acid build-up, and toxin accumulation. Therefore, the treatment is rehydration, acid removal, and detoxification which can be done with a Glutathione Infusion and additional intravenous fluids.
Dehydration is the leading problem with a hangover. Your body is 80% water, and your trillions of cells have the remarkable ability to shrivel up. They donate their internal water supply in order to keep enough water in your blood stream. Your cells know that if blood flow stops flowing, nutrients aren’t delivered and death is inevitable. Therefore, they will give every drop that they can in order to survive. How much would you pay a shipping company to bring you water in the desert when you’re dying of dehydration? Everything you own!
Do you notice that you urinate excessively when drinking? It’s not just because of the amount of fluid that you’re drinking, it’s that alcohol is a diuretic and increases urine output. Thus, you’re urinating more than you’re drinking. Plus, alcohol dilates the blood vessels of your skin, causing extra water to be lost through sweat. Even if you don’t feel sweat, your skin is always sweating microscopically.
Dehydration is the reason your mouth is dry when you’ve drank too much. Your body cannot afford the water required to make saliva because it’s using all of its water to maintain blood volume. It’s also why you get hot flashes. Your body cannot afford to lose water as sweat, so you’ve lost your cooling mechanism. Therefore, your blood vessels in your skin dilate bringing your hot blood to the surface of the skin to cool your body off.
When you are dehydrated, your kidneys cannot filter as much fluid nor eliminate as many toxins. It begins saving water by decreasing urine production. When it saves water, it also cannot waste toxins, and they get recycled into the bloodstream. When you’re dehydrated, your body is basically drinking its own urine. …yeah, and you just thought you’ve never drank your own urine.
In my opinion, dehydration is the number one reason for feeling ill when hungover. So re-hydrating is a huge factor when trying to cure a hangover.
Alcohol is metabolized into energy particles called ketones. These ketones cause an acid build-up in the blood stream. It is similar to the “ketogenic diet.” Your body creates ketones. If you have ever truly gone into “ketosis,” you will know that it’s not exactly fun in the beginning. Your body has an amazing ability to deal with acid build-up over time, but it can only handle so much at one time. When the body gets too acidic, it tries to get rid of the acid. It eliminates as much as it can through urine, which is why it may burn when you urinate after drinking (in addition to dehydration). When acid builds up, it can also be eliminated through vomiting. Your stomach generates acid quickly, so vomiting is an easy way for your body to expel acid. It is why you feel low-grade nausea while hungover (in addition to dehydration).
When your cells become acidic, its energy producing ability begins to diminish. It’s very similar to lactic acid build-up when intensely exercising. Lactic acid builds up and the body fatigues.
Acidic blood feels terrible. If you don’t believe me, ask an insulin-dependent diabetic what it feels like to run out of insulin for a few days. This causes a well-known phenomenon of vomiting and fatigue called Diabetic Ketoacidosis, which used to be fatal before insulin was invented not that long ago. Did you notice the key words in the name? Keto-acidosis
Keto = ketones
Acidosis = Acid build-up
When alcohol is consumed, the body furiously begins detoxifying it. Alcohol is a toxin, an anesthetic, a blood thinner, and a neurotoxin. You’ve probably seen old movies where soldiers got really drunk before pulling that arrow out of their leg. Alcohol kills living cells, which is why we use alcohol swabs to kill bacteria on the skin. It doesn’t kill humans because we have the ability to detoxify it, but it still causes damage in the process of being broken down.
When you get drunk, the body gets preoccupied detoxifying alcohol, and it neglects some of the byproducts of energy production. Your body is constantly producing byproducts that need to be cleared similar to a running car creating exhaust, except we don’t have exhaust pipes. We humans have to prepare toxins for exit through urination or stooling. Needless to say, toxins begin to accumulate.
Moreover, alcohol creates extra free radicals during breakdown. These highly volatile molecules cause damage to nearby structures like DNA, cholesterol, and cell walls. Glutathione helps protect the body from these free radicals, but your body’s glutathione stores get depleted during heavy alcohol consumption. Thus, these free radicals are more likely to damage DNA, causing cancer or oxidizing cholesterol, causing plaque build-up.
In addition to this, the kidneys begin recycling toxins, as they are not able to properly excrete them out when the body is in a dehydrated state as mentioned above.
With all of this being said, how do we reverse this horrible syndrome we call a Hangover? The quickest treatment to cure a hangover is intravenous hydration with normal saline and glutathione. The intravenous fluids helps restore the body’s blood volume and allows cells to swell with fluid, so they can resume normal cellular function. Meanwhile, glutathione helps scavenge the free radicals and toxins that have accumulated in the system, clearing the backlog so to speak. This procedure can be easily done in the office at Oubre Medical. An IV is inserted into one of your arm veins, and a liter of Normal Saline is infused with 2,000mg of glutathione added. Depending on how much fun you’ve had – you might need 2 liters of fluids to cure a hangover.
Many healthcare workers will think of a “banana bag” when they think of alcohol intoxication. The banana bag has thiamine, magnesium , and other micronutrients which are notoriously low in chronic alcoholics who are not eating food and are “drinking their nutrition.” This banana bag is not as useful for the non-alcoholic hungover patient who has a normal eating pattern. However, adding a Myers Cocktail with extra B Complex vitamins, Vitamin C, and Magnesium to a Hangover Cocktail (Glutathione and Normal Saline) may add benefit to help cure a hangover. This concoction will still be the infamous yellow color that got the banana bag its nickname, and it will pack a better hangover 1-2 punch.
Vitamin Infusions will continue to be on sale with giveaways per our March Madness Promotion. Call our office if you need to cure a hangover or have any other medical needs.
Purchase your vitamin infusion on our Online Store before March 31, 2016 to take advantage of this offer!