Do we believe in hangover cures?

by Karolina Przeklas

Why are the mornings after a good night out so hard to deal with?  In an attempt to answer this question, Roam conducted a survey looking in to the best ways of dealing with ‘delirium tremens’.

Sacha Gatica

NHS Direct says that hangover cures are “generally myths”. But 70% of the people in our sample believe differently…

Drinking causes damage you can’t see

“Alcohol is a powerful nervous system depressant that is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream,” says nutritionist Susana Montenegro. “The liver can only get rid of a small amount of it at the time, leaving any excess to cause havoc in the body.”

An old truth tells us that the best way not to have a hangover is simply not to drink alcohol at all.  As much as 50% of our sample agreed, so for the remaining half that don’t believe the old adage, could food be an answer?

Bring on the bacon

“Full-fat coke and a bacon sandwich always work for me,” says post office worker, Andy Armitage. Only 17% agreed with this opinion and answered ‘always’ when asked if greasy food always works as a hangover cure. On the other hand,  54% said “only sometimes” and 17% think that “it depends on what you have drunk the night before”.

“People mistakenly think can of sweet fizzy drink will help, the carbon dioxide actually gets the alcohol to the brain faster and the rush causes you to crash later on,” Montenegro says.

What about water? Chemist Raj Patel chemist says keeping your liquid levels high is important. “I recommend a high dose of vitamins B and C, lots of water and Milk Thistle, preferably before and after sessions.” Only 19% agreed, saying that a glass of water before bed always works as a hangover cure. What’s more, half of our interviewees said “no'” when asked if vitamin tablets relieve hangovers, and 15% don’t take vitamins at all.

Who let the dogs out?

How about the good old hair of the dog? Does like cure like? Charity fundraiser Kelly Kay often drinks after a night of drinking. “Hangover cures? Mine are Bloody Marys,” she said. Only 10% of our participants agreed, with 47% believing that the hair of the dog is not the way to cure a hangover.

Other things that could help are exercise and painkillers. We asked our participants and as many as 80% disagreed, what’s more almost 10%  admitted to not exercising at all.

In fact, sweating out the booze probably does nothing for hangovers at all. Too much exercise could do untold damage, especially if you are already dehydrated from too much drink.

Sex is best

So how about sex? Seventy percent of those surveyed said “no” when asked if sex is the best cure for a hangover, with 11% saying “yes” and 26% saying “sex is best for everything”.

Around the world in 40 remedies…

Our cultural search for hangover cures took us through some interesting and unusual remedies. Here are just a few we found:

  • In Poland, stomachs are lined with a thick chicken broth before drinking, and have a glass of pickle juice or eat sauerkraut the morning after.
  • In Germany, eating pickled herring called “rollmops” is used as a next day remedy.
  • The Scottish swear by Irn Bru,  while Bavarians have “Weisswurst Fruhstuck”, which is a sausage in pretzel followed by a beer.
  • In Chile, a glass of “pisco sour”, an alcoholic drink with line, is consumed, followed by a doughy empanada.

If the non-drinking option is not for you, we hope that Roam’s recommendations will ease your pain.

Please remember drinking can have a detrimental effect on people’s lives. There are organisations and other support groups that can help,  for example don’t let the drinks sneak up on you, part of Change for Life campaign, set up by the NHS.


Check out other pictures and drawings created by Sacha Gatica, an artist who kindly donated the above drawing. One of our lucky readers, who completed the printed version of a crossword, had the chance to win this drawing for keeps.


Getting to know all about Sickle Cell Anaemia

By Soraya Downie

Living with the disease

Emmanuel Bola, 37, a driving instructor from Brixton in South London, has been living with Sickle Cell Anaemia since he was a child. He has been in and out of hospital since the age of two.

“It’s painful at times but I’ve just accepted that it’s been a part of my life for so long and it always will be.”

A recent episode left Bola in hospital for two weeks and was the most painful one he had experienced in his life so far.

“People will think, as you get older, you are more likely to bare the pain. There’s no truth in that at all, pain is pain, whether you’re five or fifty. I just think children wouldn’t be able to deal with it, as well as young people and adults do.”

A recent survey conducted by Roam showed that 40% of people are unaware of what the disease is, but a quarter of us knew someone with it.

Sickle Cell Pie Chart

Sickle Cell Pie Chart by Roam

Sickle Cell is an inherited disease, which is incurable.


The disease is inherited through each parent, but some people have been diagnosed with Sickle Cell Trait.

This is where they have inherited Sickle Cell from one parent and do not experience the symptoms that people with Sickle Cell Anaemia do.

Red blood cells form an abnormal crescent shape, known as the ‘sickle’ and differ significantly from the typical disc shape.

The abnormality is caused by the haemoglobin S, a type of protein found within red blood cells that carries oxygen.

The haemoglobin S therefore changes the usual shape of the red blood cells and delivers less oxygen to the body’s tissues.

These sickles can even get caught in small blood vessels in the body and break into smaller pieces, which can interrupt a person’s blood flow. This can cause a massive decrease in the amount of oxygen flowing through the body.

What sufferers experience

Sickle Cell is painful from the initial stages when it is first detected and diagnosed, but it can become worse overtime. A person with Sickle Cell can experience periods of fatigue, paleness, rapid heart rate, shortness of breath and outbreaks of jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin).

Some people with Sickle Cell can suffer from other complications or ‘comorbidities’ such as: congestive heart failure or heart attacks.

Younger children are more likely to have attacks of abdominal pain, ranging from mild to very severe have to spend time in hospital.

Most likely to be affected

The disease is much more common among African and Caribbean communities and other cultures such as South and Central America and the Middle East.

Georgia Oakley, 28, a nursery nurse, from Stockwell, knows the affect of Sickle Cell on children as young as three years old.

“I often see many young black children who will have to take off and go hospital to get the necessary help. Their parents will phone and say, he or she won’t be in till next week and it usually involves a lot of abdominal pain.”

The affects on the disease differs from person to person, but Sickle Cell Anaemia can have a lot of complications.

Press Says No to Royal Charter But the People Say Yes, A New Survey Reveals

Screen Shot 2013-04-27 at 12.04.32Since 2011 newspapers have been under severe scrutiny after several accounts of phone hacking by News International were uncovered. All through last year, public hearings were conducted by Lord Justice Leveson to review the culture and ethics of the British press.

In a report published last November, Lord Justice Leveson declared the then- current regulator PCC, unsatisfactory recommending a new independent body with more power to apply fines as well as rule to what extent apologies and corrections should be carried out.

The reaction to the report was quite controversial. David Cameron was one of the first to show his disapproval in implementing a new form of legislation and most newspapers followed suit backing up the Prime Ministers opinion. However, a new survey conducted in London suggests that public opinion lies in favor of a new independent regulation backed up by the Law.

The Survey:

Over half of those that answered the questionnaire said they would feel at large risk if the press were to continue being regulated by them-selves.

The poll involving just over 100 people shows that 82% of the participants wants more transparency between politicians and the media.

Just over half of those interviewed believed Lord Leveson’s recommendations should be implemented in full.

The lack of confidence in the press was widespread with only 5% saying Lord Justice Leveson recommendations should not be implemented.

Follow the link  and have a look at our Interactive Chart.

After several months of discussion and impasses between PM David Cameron and the other parties the three main political parties in the UK were able to reach a deal on the 18th of March. The plan was to introduce a new independent regulator backed by a royal charter.

Copy and paste the following link to view the questionnaire if the hyperlink fails to work:


The Press  response and Hacked Off:

However, the press had other plans, they announced they would set up a regulator under a royal charter of their own. According to protesters and victims group, Hacked Off, this option should be fiercely opposed.

Director of Hacked Off Brian Cathcart

Director of Hacked Off Brian Cathcart

“I’ve been a journalist for thirty years the things that were uncovered during the Levenson inquiry is not journalism it’s vandalism,” says Brian Cathcart, director of Hacked Off.

“I think too much power in one place is not a good thing, and we all saw the results of that, a huge scandal involving bribery and corruption through out the news papers industry. I think it is time for them to be regulated by law,” says freelance writer and journalist Anne Winston, 27.

Hacked off, replied with a post declaring newspapers have learnt nothing from past events and said that by rejecting the charter they also rejected the only regulation that would be fully able to protect the general public from abuses like the phone hacking scandal ever happening again.

“We don’t need another useless body like the PCC, people needs to be protected from all this,” says protester, Paul Griffiths, 33.

So, whats next?

MPS will now vote this Tuesday in order to decide if they are or not backing up the press.

Listen to the clip below for our exclusive  Q&A conference with Brian Cathcart director of Hacked Off, and find out more about the Leveson inquiry and Hacked Off campaign in favour of victims of the press.

A review of Leveson’s Key recommendations:

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How does people feel about all this? Watch the video below and find out.

Let us know what you think.

We Aim Too High As Women?


Are ethnic minorities having trouble finding a job in the UK or is it a general issue about the rise of unemployment? The latest Survey of Ethnic Minority’s Unemployment Problem shows the reality across London. With a growing concern about the economic crisis in the UK, youth-unemployment and cultural subgroups struggling to find a job, a new survey has found that there is a huge amount of unemployed ethnic minority women. Some are even considering changing their appearances and going against their religion to find a job. Immigrants of East London, especially women around the area, are the perfect example of the unemployment problem in the UK. This was recently under- lined by the parliamentary report. Being an immigrant in a different city can be a hard feeling, and being jobless can make this much harder, making many feeling hopeless and desperate.

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Some women go as far as removing their hijabs Muslims, Jews etc. or making their names sound more English. 17.6% of people would consider changing their names in order to get a job, and some would also change their physical appearance, but 88.2% wouldn’t do this, even if they stay jobless for a long time. They did not want to be ashamed of their own cultures and traditions or religion. Fazilah Kilinc, 32, a London School of Economics (LSE) graduate on Global Media said, “I’ve worked for the BBC and never had any problems with my hijab or with my name. I don’t know other industries or sectors, but I don’t believe people would consider changing their names or surnames for only a job. We are what we have in our past, and if we are going to ignore our past or our cultures, we are not going to have a future at all.” Over half of people stated they do have problems, and only 35.3% of people think that it is difficult to find a job in the UK, even if you are not an ethnic minority.

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26-years-old Mine Gul is a graduate student from Central Saint Martins, and is now working as a Fashion Assistant in London. “Even as a British citizen, it was so hard to get a job. Even after I had graduated from an amazing Fashion college, and had my own designs and clothing lines, I still haven’t found my dream job. I don’t think it is about ethnicity. In these days it is
a main problem for all European cities.”

The report illustrated that 17.7% of Black women and 20.5% of Bangladeshi and Pakistani women are unemployed and are seeking a job, compared with only 6.8% of white women. It also showed that if you have an Asian, Middle Eastern or African background, it is nearly impossible for you to find your dream job. Walking down the bohemian East London streets, the reality is clear. A recently conducted survey shows just how hard it is for an African, Asian or Middle Eastern woman to find a job 
in the UK.

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Despite being jobless or unemployed, Londoners are still hopeful, and many don’t believe there is real discrimination in the UK’s job market. Still, they admit that these problems were based on the economical crisis and not specifically discriminating ethnic minorities. Over half said that it is a typical unemployment problem like every other country but 35.3% of people think the real problem is the person’s ethnicity. Ultimately, whichever person we asked about
the problem of unemployment, they all still had hope. The facts this survey found out show that ethnic minorities are still the orphans of British society, and that being an ethnic minority woman is even harder.

Ethnic groups in London boroughs;

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Interactive Data Map Link;

Follow N. Seyda Yilmaz on Twitter @nseydayilmaz