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Dry January

04 Jan 2019

Dry January grows in popularity year on year. It is a campaign by Alcohol Change UK, in which participants give up alcohol for the entire month of January. If done correctly,  this one-month booze-free challenge can have a significantly positive impact on your health.

Alcohol has proven to increase the risk of developing a range of health problems (including cancers of the mouth, throat and breast) and that risk increases the more you drink on a regular basis.

 

Ruth Kander, our dietitian looks at the what is considered a safe amount of alcohol consumption.

The UK Chief Medical Officers’ (CMOs) guideline for keeping health risks from alcohol to a low level for both men and women states that:

  • It is safest not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis.
  • Regularly drinking as much as 14 units per week, it’s best to spread your drinking evenly over three or more days. 
         – If you have one or two heavy drinking episodes a week, you increase your risk of death from long-term illness and injuries.
  • Cutting down the amount you drink, a smart way to help achieve this is to have several drink-free days a week.

A useful website for more information about alcohol is www.drinkaware.co.uk

What is a unit of alcohol?

1 Unit of Alcohol as recommended by Drinkaware - Fleet Street Clinic, London

– 1 Unit of Alcohol as recommended by Drinkaware

How long does alcohol stay in your body?

On average, it takes about one hour for your body to break down one unit of alcohol, however, this can vary, depending on:

  • Your weight
  • Whether you’re male or female
  • Your age
  • Your metabolism – how quickly or slowly your body turns food into energy
  • How much food you have eaten
  • The type and strength of the alcohol you have consumed
  • Whether you’re taking medication and, if so, what type
  • It can also take longer if your liver isn’t functioning normally

If I am on medicines can I drink alcohol?

People taking sedative drugs (like diazepam/valium) or antidepressants (like fluoxetine/Prozac) should avoid alcohol altogether.

There are some antibiotics; metronidazole and tinidazole which just do not mix with alcohol – drinking with these will make you sick. But for most commonly prescribed antibiotics, drinking is unlikely to cause problems so long as it is within the low-risk alcohol unit guidelines.

People taking long-term medications should be careful about drinking, as alcohol can make some drugs less effective and long-term conditions could get worse. Examples of long-term medications include drugs for epilepsy, diabetes, or drugs like warfarin to thin the blood.

(From www.drinkaware.co.uk)

What are the consequences of drinking too much alcohol?

  • Low mood/mood swings
  • Liver problems
  • Heart problems
  • Cancers (mouth, tongue, throat, oesophagus)
  • Weight gain
  • Poor sleep
  • Blood pressure instability

 

By Ruth Kander BSc(Hons)RD | Dietitian 

 


Ways to get in touch…

 

Phone: Get in touch: fleetstreetclinic.com Fleet Street Clinic Travel Specialists Travel Clinic in London

0207 353 5678 ^

^ Lines are open 9:00-17:30, Monday-Friday.

 

 

 

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