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    Consumer Health: When is a hangover an emergency?

holiday champagne glasses with ribbons and sparkleWhen is a hangover an emergency?
A hangover is a group of unpleasant signs and symptoms that can develop after drinking too much alcohol. However unpleasant, most hangovers go away on their own. But severe signs may indicate alcohol poisoning, which is a life-threatening emergency. These signs may include confusion, vomiting, seizures, low body temperature, and slow or irregular breathing. If you suspect that someone has alcohol poisoning — even if you don't see the classic signs and symptoms — seek immediate medical care. Here's what you need to know.


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Using a neti pot
A neti pot is a container designed to use salt water to rinse debris or mucus from your nasal cavity. You might use a neti pot to treat symptoms of nasal allergies, sinus problems or colds. If you choose to make your own saltwater solution, it's important to use bottled water that has been distilled or sterilized. Tap water is acceptable if it's been passed through a filter with a pore size of 1 micron or smaller, or if it's been boiled for several minutes and then left to cool until it's lukewarm. Learn more from Dr. James Li, a Mayo Clinic allergist and immunologist.

Slideshow: Choose the right foods for weight control
Strategically choosing foods based on their energy density can make all the difference in your weight control efforts. Energy density is the number of calories (energy) in a given amount (volume) of food. By choosing foods that are low in calories but high in volume, you can eat more and feel fuller on fewer calories. Are your energy density food choices helping you reach your goals?

Step it up: 7 quick stair exercises to do at home
You don't need expensive gym equipment to get a good workout. You may not even need to leave your home. Research shows that stair-climbing helps strengthen and tone your leg muscles. It keeps your leg arteries flexible, allowing blood to move more easily. Better blood flow in your legs equals a healthier heart and body. A simple stroll up and down the stairs gives you an aerobic workout. But you can get an even greater health boost by adding a few resistance- and balance-related moves. Step up your daily exercise routine with these seven simple stair exercises.

What is 'white coat hypertension?'
"White coat hypertension" occurs when the blood pressure readings at your health care provider's office are higher than at home or in other settings. It's called white coat hypertension because the health care professionals who measure your blood pressure sometimes wear white coats. It was once thought this phenomenon was caused by the stress that medical appointments can create. However, some health care professionals now think it might signal that you're at risk of developing high blood pressure as a long-term condition. Learn more from Dr. Sheldon Sheps, an emeritus Mayo Clinic hypertension and peripheral vascular diseases specialist.