So you’ve heard that alcohol can provide certain health benefits, but you also know alcohol can be detrimental to your health. Confused? April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and a good time to learn about the effects of alcohol on your health.
• Firstly, a drink is commonly defined as 12 ounces of beer, 8 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, defines drinking in moderation as no more than 1 drink per day for a woman and no more than 2 drinks per day for a man. Heavy drinking is defined as more than 1 drink per day on average for a woman and more than 2 drinks per day on average for a man. Binge drinking is defined as 4 or more drinks at a time for a woman and 5 or more drinks at a time for a man. Heavy drinking and binge drinking are both considered excessive alcohol consumption.
• Some studies have shown that for some people, consuming alcohol in moderation may help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and gallstones.
• However, alcohol can be detrimental to your health simply because it impairs judgment and puts you at an increased risk for accidental harm including falls, traffic accidents and drowning. In addition, impaired judgment can sometimes lead to risky sexual behavior, which can result in disease.
• And excessive alcohol use can be harmful to both mental and physical wellbeing. Over time, it can contribute to depression, anxiety, heart problems, dementia, stroke, cancer, liver disease and other serious medical conditions.
If you struggle with alcohol addiction or have an alcohol-related health concern, The Medical Center of Plano is here to help. Begin by talking to your primary care physician. If you need a referral to a physician, call 1-855-665-TMCP.