I DON'T normally drink much but I have a few parties lined up for Christmas. Do you have any advice for treating hangovers?

The best way to treat a hangover is to avoid getting one!

Most of the symptoms of hangover are cause by dehydration. Alcohol causes dehydration due to the loss of salt and minerals from the body.

Pace your drinking and ensure you take drinks of water or fruit juice along with any alcoholic ones.

Treatment of hangovers involves rehydrating the body and dealing with the painful symptoms.

Over-the-counter analgesics will help to cope with the pain of headaches and muscle cramps. Paracetamol-based remedies are preferable as aspirin may further irritate the stomach and increase nausea and sickness.

There is evidence to suggest that fructose, a natural sugar found in fruit juice and honey, helps the body to process alcohol faster.

Bouillon soup (a thin vegetable-based broth) is also a good source of vitamins and minerals (including salt and potassium) to top up the body’s depleted resources.

You can also replace these lost salts and minerals by drinking plenty of bland liquids such as water and soda water. Some isotonic drinks are now available in most shops, which replace lost salt in the body.

CAN I pick up a prescription for my elderly neighbour if the weather is too bad for her to get out herself?

You can collect a repeat prescription for a friend, or relative, from the GP surgery.

You will usually be asked to confirm the name and address of the person you are collecting the prescription for.

The GP surgery is not legally required to check your identity, but it is considered good practice to check in order to prevent the wrong prescription being given out to a patient.

Your local pharmacy may offer a prescription collection service, which means that a pharmacist will collect your prescription from the GP surgery for you.

They need to be able to confirm their identity and prove that they are acting on your behalf and with your permission.

Pharmacists, like GPs, have a responsibility to make sure that all patients' details are kept confidential.

WHAT is Bulimia?

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder and mental health condition.

People who have bulimia try to control their weight by binge eating and then purging the food from their body by being sick or using laxatives.

As with other eating disorders, bulimia can have a number of different underlying causes, including depression, low self-esteem and stress.

Eating disorders are characterised by an abnormal attitude towards food that causes someone to change their eating habits and behaviour.

It can be difficult to understand how an eating disorder develops.

Everyone has their own eating habits.

For example, people with a food intolerance need to avoid eating certain foods to stay healthy. However, the habits of people with eating disorders are motivated by an overwhelming fear of getting fat.

People with bulimia tend to alternate between eating excessive amounts of food (bingeing), and then making themselves sick or using laxatives (purging) to maintain a chosen weight. This is usually done in secret.

People with bulimia purge themselves because they feel guilty about the binge eating, but the bingeing is a compulsive act that they feel they cannot control.