Dr Ghosh’s column: Being aware of your alcohol intake

Health / Tue 1st Aug 2023 at 11:21am

Our clinical column: Being aware of your alcohol intake

Alcohol Awareness Week, from 3-9 August, was an opportunity to focus on alcohol harm and how to support your health.

Reducing the amount of alcohol you drink can have benefits including:

In the short-term:

  • Increased energy
  • Better mental health and concentration
  • Brighter skin
  • A sense of achievement
  • Saving money

In the long-term:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower risk of stroke, hypertension, cancer and liver disease
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Better mood, memory and quality of sleep
  • Help with weight management

Did you know?

To keep health risks from alcohol to a low level if you drink most weeks:

  • men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis
  • spread your drinking over three or more days if you regularly drink as much as 14 units a week
  • if you want to cut down, try to have several drink-free days each week
  • 14 units is equivalent to 6 pints of average-strength beer or 10 small glasses of lower-strength wine

If you drink less than 14 units a week, this is considered low-risk drinking. It’s called ‘low risk’ rather than ‘safe’ because there’s no safe drinking level.

The type of illnesses you can develop after 10 to 20 years of regularly drinking more than 14 units a week include:

  • mouth cancer, throat cancer and breast cancer
  • stroke
  • heart disease
  • liver disease
  • brain damage
  • damage to the nervous system

Useful tools

There is also evidence that regular drinking at high-risk levels can make your mental health worse.

The effects of alcohol on your health will depend on how much you drink. The less you drink, the lower the health risks.

For more information, please visit www.nhs.uk. Additionally, The Institute of Alcohol Studies features important information about alcohol harm >

You can also contact your GP for further support, such as an assessment of your liver by a non-invasive Fibroscan (an ultrasound to measure inflammation in your liver).

Best wishes

Dr Deb Ghosh

Consultant hepatologist

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5 Comments for Dr Ghosh’s column: Being aware of your alcohol intake:

Not my King
2023-08-01 12:36:16

Same "Addison House continues to be one of the worst surgeries in the UK to see your GP." 26 Jan 2023. (YH headline) as featured in photo? Attended yesterday but both hand dispensers were empty at entrance. Reception is all male now but still easily confused. Good luck everyone.

David Forman
2023-08-01 23:15:58

For those who wish to drink beer but cut out the alcohol I can thoroughly recommend Erdinger alcohol free: https://uk.erdinger.de/beer/alkoholfrei.html

Bruce Downey
2023-08-02 09:17:03

If that doesn’t put you of alcohol, I don’t know what will.With David on this alcohol-free, taste like the real thing and enjoyable without the health worries.

Not my King
2023-08-07 18:24:32

Well, it's been a week since last visit to Addison (litter strewn dump still) House and those (still both) dispensers are still empty. Male Receptionists still struggle to cope but at least he did ask a woman for advice this time who managed to almost help. #Risible

Not my King
2023-09-06 17:48:24

Addison Letter dated 24/08/2023 arrived today 06/09/2023. Formal complaint procedure available from the Practice Manager. Mrs Geraldine Acraman.

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