Hangover cures

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By ELI CANGANY

features@thedepauw.com

The junior could barely focus on her test — she needed to vomit.

"I had to turn [the test] in early so I could run into the Julian bathroom and throw up because the professor doesn't let you go to the bathroom during a test," she said.

The day before, the junior had been productive all day and felt good about her test, so she went out with some friends. After taking too many Jello shots she woke up the next morning just in time for the test, but throughout the test her mind was elsewhere.

"[I kept thinking] ‘Please don't throw up, please don't throw up.' I had to close my eyes and put my head down a few times," she said.

Once she finished her test and made it to the bathroom a familiar face greeted her.

"There were people in the bathroom but I didn't make any throwing up noises. So I just pretended like I went to the bathroom and washed my hands like everything was normal," she said. "Especially because one of the girls in the bathroom was a friend of mine so I was like ‘Hey how are you?' I didn't mention anything about being hungover or throwing up, I just played it cool."

Junior Alfredo Paolo Naval woke up one morning with a glass of water behind him and a trashcan next to him, soon to hear many stories of the night before.

"My housemates said I woke up at five threatening to run out [of the house]," Naval said. "It is a scary thought. It was the first time I woke up where it was the next day. I just felt lost and uncomfortable. I've definitely curbed my drinking since then."

The medical cause for hangovers is unknown but there are many theories.

"No one knows for sure what causes a hangover. There are likely multiple causes," said medical director of the Wellness Center, Scott Ripple. "Some of the leading theories include, alcohol's inhibition of vasopressin, which leads to excessive urination and subsequent dehydration."

Ripple also pointed to sleep disturbances from alcohol or its metabolites and temporary withdrawal symptoms from the sedative properties of alcohol as potential contributing factors.     

Naval has one trick he believes cuts his hangover in half.

"I drink two to three glasses of water before bed. I just chug it," Paolo Naval said. "That is the difference between my worst hangover and just the haze."

The junior woman has experienced many different symptoms from hangovers, which include stomachache, headache and shooting pains in her eyes. After her test she went back to her room to sleep.

"I was extremely nauseous all day and couldn't eat. The world was moving at a much faster pace than I could keep up with so I just slept all day," she said.

According to Ripple, there are only a few ways to cure a hangover.

"Lots of fluids and sleep," Ripple said. "I think it is best not to cause potential stomach damage with ibuprofen or aspirin and not to further burden the liver further with Tylenol. After you have hydrated and are feeling better, I think a limited amount of physical activity makes people feel better."

Naval thinks students should be more alarmed about their hangovers because they act as a warning signal.

"Students should take them more seriously," he said. "They are a sign."

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article included the name of the junior woman. She wishes to remain anonymous, and was not properly informed of the extent to which she would be quoted during the reporting process.