I watched a programme last night claiming that drinking can cause liver damage. They had a mobile van, much like a burger van you see outside football matches, that went around the country offering free liver tests.They found out that more than fifty percent of people have damaged livers. You can watch it online here - http://www.channel4.com/4od/whatson/index.html.Now watching this I am a bit worried. Typically I'll have at least one night out a week where I drink 7-8 pints, a night in watching a film drinking about a bottle of wine. That would be the weekend. During the week I'd have one or two glasses of wine with dinner two or three nights week, maybe a beer sometimes. Probaby drink at least something 5 nights a week.So how much do you all drink? Do you think I will get liver damage? is the programme deliberately controversial/misleading? How can I prevent liver damage? Stop drinking? Drink a lot less? Do the same but have timeout periods?
There's probably a better board for this, but it probably is something some of us could consider a bit more.Typically I'll have at least one night out a week where I drink 7-8 pints, a night in watching a film drinking about a bottle of wine. That would be the weekend. During the week I'd have one or two glasses of wine with dinner two or three nights week, maybe a beer sometimes. Probaby drink at least something 5 nights a week.I'd say your weekend drinking is excessive, especially the 7 or 8 pints and a bottle of wine the night after. A quick Google will give you loads of information on alcohol intake and effects, but really they are averages and based on an "average person". Average limits are 21 units/week for men, something you could easily exceed with your 7 pints depending upon what you drink.Moreover, if you can drink this amount with no ill effects the following day, and do so regularly, you are probably going to be on the heavier side of what is cosidered healthy.http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/healthy_living/nutrition/drinks_alcohol.shtml is one place to start."Little and Often" is better than "lots and rarely", and "lots and often" is really bad.So how much do you all drink? Too much, 1/2 a bottle of wine most nights.Do you think I will get liver damage? Probably, if you keep on at that rate, but a lot depends on genetics, your size and metabolism, diet, etc.How can I prevent liver damage? Stop drinking? Drink a lot less? Do the same but have timeout periods?Either of the first 2 options help, probably more than the third one.Remember the old question..."Doctor, if I stop drinking, smoking, and womanising, will I live longer?""Hard to say, but it will certainly seem like it".Paul (scientist, not a clinician).
Again, agree there is probably a better board for this, but:I do think it's quite important to remember that the standard alcohol unit, by which we are supposed to monitor our intake, was defined many years ago. Since then, alcoholic drinks have on the whole got much stronger, and the mantra that is trotted out about one glass of wine or half a pint of beer being one unit of alcohol, is, IMHO, dangerously misleading. These measures are based on wine being 8% alcohol (and a glass being 125ml), and beer being 3%. The actual alcohol levels are often close to double that, and your average bottle of wine contains around 9 to 12 units, not the 6 that most alcohol calculators will tell you. Worryingly enough, a lot of medical practitioners will also quote the one unit = one glass of wine nonsense.Thankfully I stick rigidly to my 14 units per week, and am not ever, ever known for being "horizontal". ;-)Ph xx
Thankfully I stick rigidly to my 14 units per week, and am not ever, ever known for being "horizontal". Thankfully I stick rigidly to my 14 units per week, and am not ever, ever known for being "horizontal". Glad to hear it Phaedra - can be a bugger to drink from a glass when you're horizontal, unless you just pour it in...a programme last night claiming that drinking can cause liver damageThat bit's pretty uncontroversial - you just have to look at George Best to see what the booze can do to you. I didn't see the prog (was, umm, out drinking....) but I'd guess they probably overhyped things a bit in terms of taking the "liver stiffness" results from their machine and saying that half the population are doomed to liver failure. That said, you do wonder about some people - I've known someone living the "City" life get partial liver failure at 38. Not good. So how much do you all drink?It really depends. I guess you could say that my baseline when I'm on my own and not going out is that ~3 wine bottles make it into the recycling box a week. Roughly half a bottle a night (2 glasses) - sometimes a glass, sometimes 3. Actually, put like that, that's probably a bit of an overestimate - I have more 0 or 1 nights than 3 glass nights. Yes nights out add to that total - but then I do sort of compensate, I might go a couple of nights without wine with supper after a big night on the beers. And sometimes I can go for weeks without touching a drop on my own - I just don't fancy it. That's now I'm single though - it's much harder when you're living with someone, in which case it might be better to agree between you to eg take January off. Which is probably no bad thing after the excesses of Christmas anyway.And the 'excess' thing is critical as I understand it, it's 'overloading' the liver that does the damage. That's why the gov changed from 21 units a week for men to 3-4 units a day, because downing 21 units in a session (as you are with your gallon of beer on Saturdays) is AIUI much worse for you than drinking 4 units on each of the 7 nights. I've just looked and see that they now advise 48 hours without alcohol after a heavy session.So if I was being waggy-fingered about your pattern of drinking (which I'm not - let he who is without sin cast the first stone and all that ;-/) then I'd suggest that 20 units on a Saturday followed by 10 units in that bottle of wine the next day is about as bad a way of drinking as you can get as far as your liver is concerned - two heavy sessions with no 'recovery time' in between. Spacing out the load on your liver would help, as would reducing the size of the drinking 'peaks' - eg making two of those pints orange & lemondae or something.Of course that doesn't make it any cheaper, and it doesn't help much with the beer belly - 8 pints and a packet or two of crisps can add up to 2000-odd calories.How can I prevent liver damage?Drink less but better - which is where this board comes in ;-/ As an aside, it helps with the hangovers too....
"Drink less but better"Wise words to live by!
So how much do you all drink?Maybe 2 bottles a week , spread over 3 or 4 days - the allowances for women are less so still probably too much. Some weeks nothing at all, if I have some good wine in the house at the correct temperature then I am more likely to drink more. How can I prevent liver damage?Milkthistle is reputed to be good (DYOR, no advice intended etc). February can be a better month to give up as there are no festivities or overhang from festivities. On the plus side:Wine drinking can have positive benefits too:http://www.winepros.org/wine101/wine-health.htmhttp://www.wineanorak.com/health.htmThe key I suppose is boring moderation.The only problem is after two glasses I tend to forget that moderation is the key, after four no longer care and after six would have stopped counting.
Yeah I suppose 7 pints on a Saturday night isn't good for me. It isn't even that much though. It doesn't give you a hangover. It is about 16 units. So when you say it like that, yeah, a lot. During the week I find it easy to enjoy a glass of wine with a meal but at the weekend I like to drink more. If I'm out with friends stopping at a couple of drinks isn't much of a night out. If I'm staying in with a bird then a bottle between you isn't really enough, it is much more fun if you can crack in to a second one....and finish it. I really enjoy having a good few beers with the gang on Saturdays or getting pleasant with wine on a weekend night in....but if there is a good chance that will do serious damage to your health it has to stop.I suppose I often drink to get pleasantly drunk. Nobody likes being vertical but I like being pleasantly sozzled at the weekends. Just a fun night.
someone living the "City" life get partial liver failure at 38. Not good.The Medical Profession have now agreed that an Alcoholic is someone who drinks more than their Doctor. So if you live on the West coast of Scotland keeping under 1 bottle a day should do.But liver damage can probably occurr with a constant level of alcohol consumption which does not even make the consumer "stocious" or horizontal. I try to keep inside ( or perhaps that should be outside ?) 4 half bottles of wine a week eg 4 bottles shared, plus the odd drop of Malt, with 2 or even 3 "dry" days. Doubtless some would say this is too much.I think that the Government honking on about very low levels is counter productive as folk just dismiss it as nannyish.
Just a fun night. That's what I used to say to myself as I was throwing up down the bog. Mind you, I soon drank myself past that stage.Nobody likes being verticalReally? What about those of us who can't remember being vertical, and when being reminded of it, laugh and say "Just a fun night"....but if there is a good chance that will do serious damage to your health it has to stop.That's right. If it's damaging your health, you should stop. Mind you, it's doing nothing to mine, so get another round in and I'll have a wee chaser too, why not?I suppose I often drink to get pleasantly drunk.So said George Best.Good luck mate.Jim
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