Finally, the excuse employees around the world have used after a night of drunken antics is legit: A German court has ruled that hangovers are a disease.
The Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt made the decision in a case against an unnamed company that sold "anti-hangover" products. The ruling was handed down just as the nation's legendary Oktoberfest is getting underway.
According to the court, any minor disturbance in the body's normal functioning is considered an illness. Hangovers, which manifest in headaches, nausea and exhaustion (and often regret and a temporary disdain for booze, though those typically go undiagnosed), deviate from the bodily norm.
Therefore, the court ruled, a hangover is an illness.
"They do not occur as a result of the natural 'up and downs' of the body, but as a result of the consumption of alcohol, a harmful substance," the court said.
The company, then, cannot claim that its powders and shots can cure hangovers, the court ruled.
Hangovers can't be cured, but they can be helped
As for a cure for a hangover, there probably isn't one. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says there's no way to kill a hangover, and the only way to prevent one is not drinking in the first place.
But there's hope yet for the hungover. Eating foods rich in vitamin A, potassium and zinc can replace lost nutrients alcohol stopped the body from absorbing, physicians have told CNN. Downing water the morning after is important, too, since alcohol is dehydrating.
Oh, and definitely skip that "hair of the dog" trick the next morning, the experts said. It might delay a hangover a bit, but the storm will surely hit later in the day.