My hangovers are much worse than they used to be, and they are also more delayed. These days, after a heavy night, I wake up feeling OK-ish, but then get progressively worse during the day, ending up with a migraine at around 3pm followed by vomiting until 7pm, and no desire to eat or drink. It used to be white wine that had this effect, but now it's sadly all types of alcohol in excess. Why should this be?
It sounds as if your liver is being damaged by your excessive alcohol consumption – no hunger, no thirst, nausea and vomiting are all possible indicators of liver problems. The delay in getting over the hangovers is almost certainly because your liver is no longer as efficient as it was in dealing with alcohol. Alcohol in excess is a poison – sorry, but there is no other way of looking at it. As such, you must seek out medical advice on the state of your general health, and on that of your liver in particular. In the meantime, soft drinks can taste as good as alcoholic ones, and don't give you hangovers.
As I grow older, I'm finding that every now and then the two upper digits of my middle fingers become cold, white and numb, which as far as I know indicates a circulation problem. Do you think this may be caused by a dietary deficiency? I am 68, and otherwise very fit and healthy.
No, it isn't due to a dietary deficiency – it's excessive reaction to the cold in the small arteries in your fingers. The usual term for this is "dead men's fingers" – medically it's called Raynaud's disease. For most people, this is just a nuisance that can be dealt with by keeping the fingers warm. In a few people, however, it is a sign of a more general circulation disorder, though that's very unlikely if you are fit and healthy. Talk to your doctor about it. Past medical textbooks taught that such symptoms were most common in tram drivers, because of the constant vibration to their hands. They don't mention tram drivers now. If it gets worse, vasodilator drugs can help – your doctor will be able to assess whether or not you need them.
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