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Health

What's your post-Christmas hangover cure?




The St. Regis Signature Bloody Mary cocktails are served during 2013 World Snow Polo Championship on December 20, 2013 in Aspen, Colorado.
The St. Regis Signature Bloody Mary cocktails are served during 2013 World Snow Polo Championship on December 20, 2013 in Aspen, Colorado.
Jason Bahr/Getty Images for The St. Regis A
The St. Regis Signature Bloody Mary cocktails are served during 2013 World Snow Polo Championship on December 20, 2013 in Aspen, Colorado.
circa 1956: A woman, still dressed in her nightgown, makes a distressed morning visit to her bathroom, feeling unwell & sufferring from the effects of a hangover.
Sherman/Getty Images


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For years, the medical community abstained from studying hangover cures because doctors didn’t want to be seen as encouraging overindulgence of alcohol.

What helped change that was grasping the severity of the problem: it’s estimated that painful hangovers cost the U.S. economy $148 billion annually. Recovering revelers either call in sick or show up with headaches, nausea, decreased skills and general misery. Now, scientists are calling for more research into cures.

What about tequila shots or a bottle of wine actually causes the pain of a hangover? Dehydration was blamed in the past, but that’s changing.

"There is an element of dehydration while the alcohol is in your system," said Dr. Sharon Orrange of USC's Keck School of Medicine. "What we are now seeing is that what happens with an alcohol hangover is an immune system activation. So if we measure inflammatory markers in a person's bloodstreams we're actually seeing that it's similar to a viral illness."

What influences a hangover?

Hangover Cures:

Guest:

Dr. Sharon Orrange, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at USC; Also has a private practice in Internal Medicine at USC