By Dr. Jagruti Parikh, Endocrinology
Alcohol can cause a variety of health problems for both men and women.
“Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture widely are accepted moderate drinking is up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men.
The recommended levels for safe alcohol consumption are:
* 2 drinks per day for men between the ages of 21 and 65 years of age.
* 1 drink per day for men who are over the age of 65.
* 1 drink per day for women over the age of 21.
* Anyone who has ever had problems controlling their drinking should quit completely or begin with alcohol free days to reduce the dependence
Here is how regular drinking can affect your body long term even if it is not heavy drinking . Hence recommended safe may not be safe for everyone.
• Brain: Drinking too much can affect your concentration, judgment, mood and memory. It increases your risk of having a stroke and developing dementia. Drinking more than 2 standard drinks a day can seriously affect your health over your lifetime. It can lead to dependence and addiction, especially in people who have depression or anxiety, and can increase your risk of suicide
• Heart: Heavy drinking increases your blood pressure and can lead to heart damage and heart attacks.
• Liver: Drinking 3 to 4 standard drinks a day increases your risk of developing liver cancer. Long-term heavy drinking also puts you at increased risk of liver cirrhosis (scarring) and death.
• Stomach: Drinking even 1 to 2 standard drinks a day increases your risk of stomach and bowel cancer, as well as stomach ulcers.
• Fertility: Regular heavy drinking reduces men’s testosterone levels, sperm count and fertility. For women, drinking too much can affect their periods.
Certain people should avoid alcohol completely, including those who:
• Plan to drive a vehicle or operate machinery
• Take medications that interact with alcohol.
• Have a medical condition that alcohol can aggravate
• Are pregnant or trying to become pregnant