How Much is Too Much?
Like to enjoy a glass or two of wine or beer every night? Regularly get friends over to laugh over your favorite TV show but often drink a bit more than you planned?
Just how much is too much?
If you are a man, more than four drinks per session or 14 drinks per week classifies you as a heavy drinker. For women it’s even less – three drinks per session or seven per week.
Sounds like you?
Alcohol and Your Heart: More Lethal Than Beneficial
Heavy drinking is BAD for your heart. It can lead to high blood pressure, heart failure, stroke, cardiac arrhythmias (out-of-sync heart beats) and sudden death.
Your Liver is the Biggest Loser
Heavy drinking affects our liver’s ability to break down fats. As a result, fat accumulates causing fatty liver disease. Relentless drinking progresses fatty liver disease to alcoholic hepatitis, causing tissue damage and symptoms such as loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, and jaundice (skin, eye yellowing). Eventually, hard scar tissue replaces healthy soft liver tissue, and irreversible cirrhosis of the liver occurs. But the good news is that early stages of liver damage can be reversed. Aim to have several alcohol-free days per week if you do chose to drink. And avoid drinking to excess!
Blackouts and Being Oblivious to Dangers Lurking in the Night
Driving while intoxicated, vandalism, fighting, gambling, and spending money you don’t have are just some of the things that can go wrong.
In addition, rape, illegal drug use, and unprotected sex putting you at risk of unwanted pregnancy or a sexually transmitted disease are unintended effects of too much drink. Enough said?
Drinking Because You Are Sad or Sad Because You Drink?
It’s not uncommon to turn to alcohol to numb the pain of loved ones lost or dull the stress caused by financial woes. Trouble is, a couple of drinks leads to a couple more. Sooner or later drinking each night is just something you do. Sometimes, night stretches into early morning, as well.
But alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that just fuels the burn inside of you. Any ‘drowning of your sorrows’ is only short-lived and alcohol only makes depression worse.
Disease of Kings or Disease of Overindulgers?
Gout is one of the most painful types of arthritis. It occurs when excess uric acid builds up around joints – most commonly the big toe, but also in the feet, ankles, knees, wrists and elbows – leading to episodes of intense pain, redness and swelling. Historically, it was called “The Disease of Kings”, because kings were the only ones who could afford the copious amounts of alcohol and rich foods that typically bring on the condition.
Nowadays, gout is much more common in everyday folk. Even modest amounts of wine, beer or hard liquor can bring on the condition in people who are susceptible.
When Drinking Gets On Your Nerves
Almost half of all heavy drinkers develop a condition called alcoholic neuropathy. Although the exact cause is unknown, it is likely due to a direct poisoning of the nerve from alcohol and nutritional deficiencies that are common in people who drink excessively.
Alcoholic neuropathy can cause numbness in the arms or legs or “pins-and-needles” in the fingers or toes, as well as muscle weakness, incontinence, constipation, erectile dysfunction, and numerous other problems. Symptoms usually develop gradually and worsen over time
Not What Your Baby Deserves
Alcohol and pregnancy do not mix. Alcohol consumption while pregnant easily crosses the placenta, reaching your unborn baby within seconds. Unborn babies can’t break down alcohol like we do, so they quickly end up with levels much higher than their mothers. Drinking during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. It can lead to brain damage, hyperactivity disorders, aggressiveness, and mental health issues in your child that may not become apparent until later on in life. NO amount of alcohol is considered safe during pregnancy. The take-home message is this: if you are pregnant, DO NOT DRINK.