RISKS OF ALCOHOL USE
The Dietary Guidelines define moderate drinking as no more than one drink a day for women and no more than two drinks a day for men.
Drinking above these guidelines can increase the risk for motor vehicle crashes, weight gain, insomnia, high blood pressure, stroke, violence, suicide, and certain types of cancer. Alcohol use is also linked to birth defects if a woman drinks during her pregnancy. Cancer: Alcohol consumption increases the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, colon, and breast among women. The risk of breast cancer increases as alcohol use increases (CDC).
Benefits of Alcohol Use
Drinking moderately may lower the risk for coronary heart disease among women over age 55. However, other lifestyle behaviors such as exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking can lower the chance of heart disease. Excessive alcohol use can actually damage the heart muscle. It is not recommended that women start drinking for cardiovascular benefits!
There seems to be a lot of confusion regarding the definition of a drink.
A drink is 12 ounces of beer with 5% alcohol, 5 ounces of wine with 12% alcohol or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits with 40 percent alcohol.
If you would like more information or feel you may be drinking excessively please schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider so that we can provide resources.