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``Hangover soup`` poses hazard to stomach

Posted April. 09, 2001 17:06,   


A considerable number of people complain of a bad stomach caused by various kinds of stresses, drinking too much and overeating. The most common symptom is inflammation of the stomach causing slight boils on the mucosa.

Inflammation of the stomach is easy to cure and it rarely develops complications. A glass of milk works a little because the alkaline milk dilutes or neutralizes the stomach acid. Both antacid and milk neutralize stomach acid for the moment, but prompt the secretion of acid in counter-reaction. Therefore, it is not desirable to drink too much milk or take antacids unconditionally.

It does not matter if you drink one or two glasses of milk as long as you get medical treatment after determining the cause of the sour stomach. But it is not a good custom to drink milk or antacids habitually for this problem. Such habits may cause stomach cancer, the most common cancer among Koreans. We have witnessed many people whose stomach problems developed into cancer while the only treatment they sought was drinking milk or taking antacids. If adults aged 40 or older have stomach problems, they are advised to undergo examination by endoscope.

Koreans prefer taking broth or bean sprout soup to beat a hangover on the morning after drinking too much. These foods are helpful chase the effects of too much alcohol, but salty or spicy soups are not recommended.

It is quite natural for Koreans who are fond of spicy foods to take a spicy broth to beat a hangover in the morning. They have been accustomed to spicy foods for a long time and these foods are helpful to appeasing a bad stomach after heavy drinking. However, spicy food adds a burden to the stomach mucosa that was damaged the previous day. From a long-term viewpoint, gruel or soups that aren`t spicy are recommended after heavy drinking.

There are many kinds of beverages on the market that the makers claim will help beat a hangover. Although these drinks have positive effect, as a doctor I cannot recommend them. Such beverages are not as effective as drinking less and there is a limit to the amount of help such remedies can provide.

Kim Chul-Hwan, Professor of family medicine at Inje University Paik Hospital in Seoul