Year-end toasts paired with tapping glasses and plenty of cheers is a common sight these days in Korea, but waking up the next day can be a little rough.
“If I drink and have two bottles of soju, the next day I feel so tired. So I just have some ramen noodles.”
“If my stomach is hurting a bit, I usually have cup noodles or foods with soup.”
But for a growing number of heavy drinkers, these typical symptoms can quickly worsen to painful burning, vomitting, and sharp aches.
Upon closer inspection, this particular patient is suffering from chronic gastritis which includes inflammation and bleeding of the stomach.
“Throughout this month I was in the position where I was drinking almost every day. Then one day I had a very serious pain in my stomach. So I quickly came to get an endoscopy exam.”
According to Korea’s Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service, 72 percent of alcohol-related gastritis patients last year were men, compared to only 28 percent of women. The health agency also found that men in their 50s were at the highest risk of developing the gastric disease.
A large percentage of middle-aged Korean men said they took to drinking due to business reasons or high levels of stress.
Without proper medical treatment and reduced alcohol intake, gastritis can potentially lead to ulcers and bacterial infections.
“There are people who drink a lot of alcohol then take hangover drinks. But the effect of these hangover drinks on alcohol toxicity is not fully known. Therefore, it’s best to drink in moderate amounts over a reasonable amount of time.”
It’s recommended that you avoid eating spicy and salty foods when drinking, which could further irritate your stomach lining.
And remember, moderation is the key to enjoying another year of health and prosperity.
Paul Yi, Arirang News.