When your doctor asks you how much alcohol you drink do you give him/her a straight answer? No? Then you are not alone – one in four patients admit to fibbing to their doctor about their alcohol intake. Not only do we want to avoid a telling-off but many of us are confused about how what exactly a “unit” of alcohol looks like and how much we are “allowed” to drink without harming our health.
So let’s begin by clearing up those alcohol “guidelines” – the UK has invested heavily in research into the effect of alcohol on our health – as a result the government has revised the guidelines to just 14 units a week. In practical terms this means that one should drink no more than a bottle and half of wine a week and have several alcohol free days. Of course for some of us “moderating” our consumption in this way is impossible (as we do not possess an “off” switch) so we have to abstain completely.
BTW one of the best kept secrets is that for some of us quitting completely is SO much easier than trying to moderate – alcohol is an addictive substance after all!
In a society where drinking alcohol has become so normalised it is easy to forget that over-indulgence in alcohol is dangerous in many ways. The short-term dangers include memory loss and hangovers as your body tries to rid itself of the toxins of the night before. On a long-term basis, there is a serious risk of diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, high blood pressure and cancer – that is if you haven’t been injured in a car crash along the way.
We actually have some excellent news for those of you who are reluctant to spill the beans about how many bottles of wine you are putting away each week. The news is that we have our very own Tribe Sober doctor who has a particular interest in alcohol related health matters. You can write to her confidentially (anonymously if you wish) with your problem and we will get her answer right back to you. We will also publish a Doctor’s Q & A section.
This service will be offered to Tribe Sober members who will also be able to access a “chatroom” and a “recovery rocks” section where they can read members’ stories. To sign up for membership just click HERE