Alcohol – how much do you drink?
Most of us like to have the odd alcoholic drink, but did you know it can be linked to more than 60 health conditions? Writes Tracy Hargreaves
We’ve all been there. We’ve had a stressful day and have a glass of wine or a beer when you come in from work as a one off to help you unwind. That glass of wine, turns into two, then half a bottle and before you know it, you are working your way through a bottle of wine. But how much can drinking daily affect you?
This year’s Alcohol Awareness Week runs from 13th to 19th November 2017 and aims to make people think about how much they drink and the affects it can have, not only on themselves health wise, but their families and society in general.
Health issues can include everything from high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, depression and different forms of cancer, not to mention an increase in weight and the change in your appearance.
With the festive season almost upon us, our alcohol intake usually increases, as we go to Christmas dos, office parties and entertain the family. But that doesn’t mean we all have to turn teetotal, in order to look after ourselves, we just need to manage our alcohol intake.
Almost three million people report drinking more than 14 units on their heaviest drinking days and alcohol harms are estimated to cost the NHS around £3.5billion annually. More young people are reportedly starting drinking from as early as 11 years old and drinking to excess or binge drinking can mean you find yourself not in control when you are out socially, putting yourself at risk. Victims believed the offender to be under the influence of alcohol in over half (53 per cent) of all violent incidents and alcohol related violence increasing at weekends and evenings.
There are, however some myths about drinking which aren’t true. Alcohol can make you feel sleepy and help you get off to sleep but it will stop you getting the deep sleep your body needs. Drinking during pregnancy is not ok, particularly in the first three months, so you are better to avoid totally if possible. Alcohol does slow down your reactions, hence you should never operate machinery or drive when you have had a drink. If you suffer from depression it can make it worse and it won’t boost your mood. Alcohol stays in your body for more than 12 hours so don’t think you will be safe to drive the morning after as you can still be over the limit. Don’t think having a shower or a strong cup of coffee will sober you up.
Look at how much you are drinking and moderate. Cutting back on alcohol can improve your health and wellbeing and that’s got to be good all round.