"amps up the immune system and detoxifies the liver”,
File this one under Woo. Borderline dangerous woo.
Australia's health authorities have started cracking down on “hangover clinics” after someone's morning-after quick fix landed them in hospital. New South Wales Health kicked off the investigation over the weekend, ordering the Sydney iv.me operation to close after a visitor to the clinic was taken to St Vincent's Hospital …
Not entirely woo. Part of the hangover experience is simple dehydration - putting saline into the blood will fix that, plus it reduces the concentration of toxins by simple dilution. It's one of the few hangover cures that will actually cure the hangover.
The vitamin stuff is woo though. Most vitamin supplements are, oral or IV - there are a some exceptions, but the vast majority of people get what they need in their food and adding more gives no benefit. It could at least be considered forgiveable woo as, unlike most woo, it does have a plausible mechanism of action.
The cannula should be made from oxygen-free copper and be plated with 99.99% pure silver. The saline + vitamins solution should have been stored for twenty four hours under a green light, to achieve the required activation state for this particular treatment. Unless they've done that then its not going to work properly.
The vitamin stuff is woo though.
A single dose of B-complex goes a long way towards curing hangover. Tested. Multiple times (in my younger and wilder days). Any vitamins apart from C however can be quite dangerous when overdosed. While the B family is nowhere near as bad as A, D or E (these are lethal when overdosed), it can still be quite nasty.
By the way - absolutely no point to do it as an Iv - B and saline absorb fine so no need to go nuclear.
It's a pity the anti-salt warriors made a gluten-infested dog's breakfast out of OxO and Knorr so these stopped working as a hangover cure. It used to be - you have two cups and you are as good as new (hydration + salt and a significant contribution to your daily B-allowance). Not any more.
Look at what you're getting: someone is sticking a cannula into a vein, and running a litre or two of saline plus other additives into your vein. This is about as invasive as a treatment can get; you are reliant on the operators being clean to hospital standards or above (they won't have a crash team and hospital pharmacy on hand to sort out any inconvenient infections or cardiac arrests on hand) and careful to hospital standards or above.
Even if running glucose saline fresh from a medical supplier, using fresh equipment each time and trying their damndest to keep everything ultra-sterile was all they were doing, they would still be doing something bloody dangerous. Instead they're mixing in other stuff into the glucose saline, which requires a skilled and aseptic lab to do this in, and this is not at all easy to do.
It is even less easy to do on a large scale, and do it repeatedly and to a high standard of accuracy and cleanliness. Even hospitals can't do this, and generally don't do this. If a hospital wants to run, say, some paracetamol solution into a patient, then they set up a known-sterile glucose saline drip, and run a known-sterile bottle of the paracetamol solution into the input stream of the glucose saline.
The hospital will try their best to keep everything clean, but if a patient does get an infection, they can sort this out. This cowboy clinic is taking people in, running in litres of saline, then discharging them before it is know whether the patient has caught anything from the procedure.
Quite frankly, I'm amazed they haven't killed people by now.
IIRC the only way of overdosing on vitamins is to exceed the level at which if becomes toxic in the blood which is something over 150000% of the Recommended Daily Allowance.
Yes, that is (over) one hundred and fifty thousand times the RDA. This frankly is somewhat difficult to do accidentely.
As Dr Dan Holdsworth mentions above through, poking holes in people to put in IV's when not required however...
Although your arithmentic is out by a factor of 100, I'd like to see you walk a few days after 1,500 times your RDA of vitamin A or D, let alone 150,000 x RDA!
As it happens the article is talking about rehydration and Vitamins B and C. I suspect that you could achieve the same effect by drinking a litre or more of carbonated fruit juice before walking to the clinic. (The carbonic acid will open the pyloric sphincter allowing the juice to rapidly enter the small intestine where it will be absorbed. That's how sparkling wine gets you drunk so quickly.) By the time you've got to the clinic, you'll be rehydrated and your brain will be working sufficiently to realise that this is just a shortcut to your bank account.
Personally, I like the greasy breakfast cure. Alcoholics prefer the hair of a dog.
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Getting a cannula is no minor thing. Especially when after an hour and ten goes the nurses send for an ultrasound machine. It's mind blowing that people would take these kind of risks rather than just drink a little less the night before.
That's all you need to read to know that it is either worthless, dangerous, or both.
The body is well set up to detoxify itself (or none of us would be alive right now) in all but extreme circumstances, and then, you'd better be under a doctor's care, since the cure is usually nearly as dangerous as the condition.
Some of the treatments include a vitamin C dose that will
“super saturate your cells and get you feeling better from that cold or flu, as well as give your skin, hair and nails the love they deserve” give you expensive piss. Like all other water soluble vitamins, excess vit C will be peed out. (If you have scurvy you should consider getting some more vit C. If you don't, you can probably waste money in more fun ways.)
an “anti-ageing infusion” that
“amps up the immune system and detoxifies the liver” even in marketing material we can't actually claim is anti-ageing. Cos it isn't. So we'll make random, unprovable claims, as they have no basis in fact, which means we can't be held to them!
"prevention against aging": I know of only one way to stop getting older. Sounds like at least one patient required the attentions of a hospital and it's attendant expensive machines to allow the aging process to continue.
I hope, without much in the way of expectation, that those in charge of such scams are appropriately prosecuted.
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Actually it sort of is a loss of saline. Specifically, the dehydration is the result of an imbalance in salt levels in your body caused by a combination of imbibing large volumes of non salty liquids like beer and mixers, and the diuretic effect of alcohol causing you to excrete saline in the form of urine. Drinking water doesn't really address that imbalance, which is why you crave the sort of 'unhealthy' foods that are high in salt content after a bout of drinking and/or the next day.
If you're planning on downing way too many pints some night try taking a dozen salt pills a couple hours before your first beer (not all at once, it may give you a bit of an upset stomach and put you off drinking that night...they're best taken with food) That will raise the salt levels in your body 'too high' so your body will try to equalize the salt levels by retaining water from what you imbibe - a bonus meaning that you don't need to piss as often while drinking all those pints!
You'll feel much better the next day, because your salt levels will be better balanced. You still won't feel perfect because that's not all a hangover is, but I find I can function pretty well the day after a marathon drinking session when I've taken the salt pills beforehand versus laying around feeling miserable and doing pretty much fuck all if I haven't.
Of course this requires advance knowledge of a bender, so it is more appropriate for those past their 20s where benders tend to be planned rather than something that is equally likely to happen on any normal night out without any way to tell ahead of time.
As for the negative health effects of salt ingestion on blood pressure etc. that's up to you to work out if you're overweight or otherwise have high blood pressure. I'm not a doctor but dated one for several years (and it is she who taught me this highly valuable anti-hangover technique)
Unfortunately, the explanation from the doctor you dated is a bit simplistic to the point of being wrong in terms of the electrolyte imbalance. Here's a reference to get you started if you are interested in the actual science behind this. Abstract attached.
Emerg Med Clin North Am. 1990 Nov;8(4):761-73.
Electrolyte abnormalities in the alcoholic patient.
The acute effect of ethyl alcohol ingestion is to induce diuresis with excretion of free water and preservation of electrolytes. This occurs as the blood alcohol concentration is increasing and is due to the suppression by alcohol of the endogenous release of ADH. During a steady blood alcohol concentration, alcohol acts as an antidiuretic, causing retention of water and electrolytes. While at steady state, additional doses of alcohol will produce progressively smaller and eventually absent diuretic responses. The chronic effect of alcohol is to promote isosmotic retention of water and electrolytes due to increased ADH levels. Excess water and electrolytes are acutely excreted in response to additional alcohol ingestion. With the cessation of alcohol intake, this excess will be excreted over several days. Routine parenteral fluid administration to chronic and withdrawing alcoholics should be avoided. The role of potassium and magnesium in the genesis of specific manifestations of the alcohol withdrawal syndrome is not clear.
Good reference. This is why people who are not chronic alcoholics are dehydrated after drinking alcohol because of reduced retention of water and an osmotic diuresis, whereas chronic alcoholics are not dehydrated but have low sodium because of increased retention of water, decreased sodium intake and increased sodium excretion in urine (in an attempt to increase water excretion to counteract the increased water retention because water follows sodium along the osmotic gradient between blood and urine across cell membranes in the kidney).
I wasn't trying to imply (nor did she say) that it was a salt imbalance alone. Just that taking care of that to fix the problem of your body excreting water to balance salt levels on its own handles enough of the hangover symptoms that you aren't miserable the next day - just a little run down.
Your link is interesting but I was speaking from the point of view of the occasional binge drinker, not a chronic alcoholic. When I have college friends come into town a few times a year for a football game I'll drink more on the Friday night and subsequent Saturday day/night than in the previous month, so all I want is something that will leave me feeling reasonably OK on Sunday. I found from experience the alternative without taking the salt tablets is not feeling reasonably OK until Monday no matter how much water I drink (or whatever I eat along with it) on Sunday!
I'm sure this 'cure' (or rather prevention, since it must be done in advance) could be improved by adding some other stuff to better balance electrolytes etc. but I'm not drinking like this often enough that's its a big concern. Besides, I figure you should have to pay a little something for drinking to such ridiculous and glorious excess....if it didn't hurt at all it would be too tempting to do it all the time and then I'd be in that chronic alcoholic category and this cure apparently wouldn't work anymore :)
I figure you should have to pay a little something for drinking to such ridiculous and glorious excess
I don't. Hangovers are a waste of time.
The single most important aspect to avoiding hangovers, IMO, is being fussy about *what* you drink. How much doesn't matter - but if you drink shite, you'll feel like shite.
Being properly hydrated, and walking a good half-hour home from the pub are also useful tips to a better morning after :-)
Ah yes, one of those who believes that drinking top shelf vodka (or scotch or gin or what have you) makes you immune to hangovers in a way that drinking cheap vodka does not. I've never noticed any difference in that regard, I think it is an excuse people like to tell themselves since they know if challenged they pass a double blind test between the cheap stuff and the expensive stuff once its been drowned in mixer.
Ah yes, one of those who believes that drinking top shelf vodka (or scotch or gin or what have you) makes you immune to hangovers
Well - I don't get hangonvers. Ever. You, apparently, do.
I think it is an excuse people like to tell themselves since they know if challenged they pass a double blind test between the cheap stuff and the expensive stuff once its been drowned in mixer.
If I'm drinking decent spirit, it doesn't get any mixer. IMO, if I need to mix a drink to make it palatable, it's probably not something I wish to drink.
 I don't drink spirits all that much - but I do have a nice collection of scotches and gins for when I'm in that sort of mood.
Err, no. Alcohol is diuretic and some forms like beer have added "woomf" from other stuff. So you lose _BOTH_ salt and water. Just drinking pure water (unless it clanks like Perrier) will make your hangover much worse.
If you want to go "natural" to cure your hangover you need salt + water + something to keep your liver occupied so it stops making ketones and aldehides out of alcohol while your body gets rid of it via sweat or normal kidney function.
In order of effectiveness the natural cures are:
1. Tripe soup - as made on the Balkans, Caucasus, Turkey and (if memory serves me right) Iran. It is actually quite nice if done right by the way.
2. A couple of cups of stock cube + boiled water. Used to be more effective before the war on salt. Thew new "improved" cubes which have lower salt content need extra salt to restore potency.
3. Hydration + eating something with salt to spare (feta, etc).
Indeed. Many CCR divers cultivate welders as friends because they have the gas :-)
 We use tiny amounts of gas - about 1l/min on average. So my 3l cylinder could theoretically give me nearly 12 hours on-loop. But we need high pressures to fill those cylinders - so the top of a J is ideal, but the rental on the cylinder is prohibitive unless you dive commercially.
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I believe El Reg ran a report a few years ago showing that a bacon sarnie was a good hangover cure
I'm not sure how effective this is, but I take the view that even if it doesn't cure the hangover you'll probably still feel better about the world with a bacon sarnie in one hand and a cuppa in the other :)
From what I've read, fatty foods are best taken before drinking. The idea is to coat your insides and provide absorptive mass. Both help to slow down the rate of alcohol going into your bloodstream, so the bender comes more gradually making it easier to handle.
Also, I hear eggs are good thing to have after a hangover. Apparently, the aminos in the eggs are good for breaking down the alcohol byproducts that contribute to hangovers. Poultry in general is supposed to have some good stuff. As for electrolytes, don't forget the potassium along with the sodium, meaning a banana or some yoghurt wouldn't hurt.
PS. Did you know that Gatorade was originally invented as a hangover cure? It's still useful for that purpose today, as it's meant to rehydrate and replenish electrolytes.
From what I've read, fatty foods are best taken before drinking.
I often drink a pint of milk before going out on the lash. It seems to work for me.
Did you know that Gatorade was originally invented as a hangover cure? It's still useful for that purpose today, as it's meant to rehydrate and replenish electrolytes.
Isn't that Brawndo?
I often drink a pint of milk before going out on the lash. It seems to work for me.
The milk probably coats your stomach, though I think not as well as solid lipids.
Isn't that Brawndo?
In all seriousness, Gatorade was invented by the University of Florida (thus the "Gator") to treat their football players who kept showing up for practice hung over.
> if you're sober enough to remember to drink a pint of water
I appear to be in the fortunate situation where I've never lost my awareness while inebriated. I might lose common sense but I've always known what I was doing..
 3 bottles of 15% red wine in 6 hours can do that. No hangover but I did feel a little fragile.. Or (in the old days) playing draughts with whisky. Followed by some pints to re-hydrate..)
I find drinking a pint of water with some electrolyte tablets in before you sleep is a good way of reducing the hangover, especially if you then have another pint containing some caffeine electrolyte tablets when you wake up in the morning.
So you're basically whipping up homemade Gatorade?
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"One popular belief among boosters of hangover clinics is that they ingredients they use is harmless, so at worst they're a placebo."
What absolute bollocks. The worst case is not a placebo, at worst you cause an air bubble and nearly instant death, or you inject such a massive dose of something supposedly harmless that the blood effectively stops being blood, or you cause permanent nerve damage or serious bleeding from screwing up insertion of the needle, or you give people all kinds of funny diseases by not sterilising the equipment properly, or you have a contaminated batch and poison everyone, and so on and so on. Even if a substance is effectively harmless when ingested because it's impractical to eat enough to cause problems, all bets are off once you start sticking needles in people. All substances can be deadly if you inject a large enough amount, but that's hardly even relevant given the long list of obvious dangers IV has regardless of the specific substances involved. Those dangers are relatively low and considered acceptable when IV is used for a good reason in a proper medical setting. But when administered by idiots and frauds who don't even acknowledge those dangers exist? Anyone involved with these things should be in prison for malpractice.
As I have said before, regardless of how harmless the ingredients are, it is the administration method which the likeliest cause of harm. Human beings have very good immune systems in their guts which only a select few food poisoning organisms can get past. By contrast, if you inject something intravenously, you bypass this immunological safety system.
That these companies are doing this is in its self a form of placebo woo. The only reason for running fluids via an IV drip is when the patient needs fluids urgently, and cannot drink them normally for whatever reason. People with hangovers are not medical emergencies of this kind; there is no earthly reason to expose them to the hazards of an IV line.
If you want to medicalize the process of giving someone fluids, then at most a nasogastric tube could be used. This is however rather an unpleasant way of getting fluids into a person who is perfectly capable of swallowing liquids normally.
All these hung-over morons actually need is a large dose of water with the correct electrolyte mix to be most rapidly absorbed; correctly-formulated oral rehydration mix or any of the rehydration sports drinks will do the trick nicely. The sports drink variants even have the advantage of tasting quite nice, too. Granted, you don't get the placebo effect of a bloke in a white coat sticking a needle in your arm, but you also don't run the risk of septicemia from an iv-sourced infection.
The human part of me can't help but feel sorry for the poor saps that got fubared by these shysters, but if you're going to stick a needle into yourself for non-medical reasons, you're asking for trouble.
For those who haven't figured it out already,
the "secret" hangover cure formula is as follows.
It is taken orally, no needles required.
Follow this up with 1500g H2O to be sipped over the course of the next hour or two.
You'll be right as rain, (well, you will feel a boatload better).
So in other words, a pint and a half of water, a heaping tablespoon of sugar, two pinches of epsom salt, and a pinch each of table salt and salt substitute?
PS. How quickly does it act once ingested? I think part of the craze for IVs is to reduce the time needed for the stuff to go into effect since they want to cut the hangover QUICKLY before they have to explain themselves to the boss or the significant other.
PSS. Going back to IVs, if anything is going to be used as an IV treatment for drunkenness in a supervised medical setting, I think the preferred substance is a solution of sodium lactate.
"So in other words, a pint and a half of water, a heaping tablespoon of sugar, two pinches of epsom salt, and a pinch each of table salt and salt substitute?"
And a shot of the hair fo the dog (which kills the withdrawal symptoms).
There's a lot to be said for a Bloody Mary the morning after the night before (and a scalp massage)
> There's a lot to be said for a Bloody Mary the morning
Too true <sigh>.
"Stop trying to massage my scalp, woman! How many times do I have to tell you!?! I've got a pounding headache, sandpaper tongue and my breath smells like a tramp's armpit. Leave me alone, ffs!!!"
Obviously, I don't /actually/ give her a bloody nose, so, really she's just the /usual/ Mary, but bloody hell!
Bloody Mary <sigh>.
When I was working as a nurse 20+ years ago the junior doctors preferred Dextrose Saline 500ml IV. (4% Dextrose, 0.18% NaCl) Worked well too going from barely functional to apparently alive in 20 minutes.
Looking back on it it is a bit of a worry that we had hungover junior doctors coming on shift.
Hmm...I guess the Dextrose provides carbs which mean energy to get over the tired sensation. I can see its uses. Looking it up, I find it's possible to combine the two and end up with a combination Dextrose Sodium Lactate Saline solution: Dextrose for energy, Sodium Lactate to stabilize the blood (it's isotonic with blood), and Salt to replenish electrolytes.
Up until very recently (about the last 10 years) Intravenous Vitamin C (IVC) was considered by the rest of the world practically as voodoo, thanks largely to hit and run opinion pieces like this which amounted to nothing more that shoddy science and fear mongering. The data has been mounting ... Tom Levy's books (like Primal Panacea) have been chronicling the compounding data as properly recorded in peer review journals now over 1000 of citations supporting most of the contentions IVC supporters have had. Not just "opinions", not just "Dr. X of XYZ hospital said" sort of worthless data ... but statistically significant data from over 1000 of peer reviewed studies in respected medical journals. Critics have fought loud and hard but on the world stage in the last 10 years the reputable ones have been largely silenced by the compounding evidence that the disparaging studies done in the 80's (mostly the Mayo clinic studies where they used oral doses, and low ones at that, instead of the recommended protocols) were the wrong protocol. If you want to keep looking like a backward nation with it's head in the sand keep publishing junk like insinuating that the Mayo clinic says it causes diarrhea and other complications (which actually doesn't happen with IVC, but oral megadosing when done improperly). The "expensive urine" quote ... oh the horrors! What ... did you think all 50+g was going to converted to collagen in the body?! Idiotic. Or H2O2 - even worse - that would kill the patient. Are these IV clinics substandard care? I don't know ... I follow the numbers, have never needed an IV and know nobody in the IV industry ... but by following the numbers I know that stomach aches and low BP from IVC is completely unheard of. There are occasional complications, which is avoided with proper care (the iron thing - hemachromatosis, should be identified first, same for those with renal issues, or GP6D deficiency). Australia news outlets make a fuss about this with at least a monthly hit piece. They're the only country that still does. Even the medical journals have moved on ... the latest IVC criticisms being "the jury is out" made by those who used to scream that it was horrible and deadly until they've finally softened to "the jury is out". It isn't out ... it's in, and it's bad news for those who want to keep people sick.
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