Prepare to pay a price for St. Patty’s Day fun

BY SUSAN SIMPSON Modified: March 16, 2010 at 8:21 am •  Published: March 16, 2010

Irish pub owner Sean Cummings has heard some crazy ideas over the years about how to avoid a post-St. Patrick’s Day hangover.

Coat your stomach with castor oil. Take aspirin before drinking to help flush toxins. Treat nausea with raw egg and beer.

Cummings doubts the remedies work.

His advice: just expect to feel green after a night of overindulgence.

"Irish people plan all year for St. Patrick’s Day,” he said. "We are more accepting that we will feel lousy the next day.”

Dr. Stephen Prescott, president of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, says there’s a reason for that raging headache and upset stomach.

Much like St. Patrick is credited with driving the snakes out of Ireland, hangovers are the result of our bodies trying to drive the toxins from alcohol out of our systems.

"There is a direct toxic effect of alcohol in our bodies,” Prescott said. "Drink too much, and you end up with compounds in the blood that are very similar to those you find in the flu.”

The dry mouth that drinkers often experience the morning after a binge is a symptom of dehydration, a staple of the hangover. Dehydration means you have a low blood volume, leading to dizziness and a racing pulse.

To make matters worse, your body makes even more poison getting alcohol out of your system.