Alcohol & Health

Alcohol & Health

Alcohol & Health

Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol daily, such as two 12-ounce beers or two 5-ounce glasses of wine, offers some health benefits, especially for the heart. It can reduce your risk of developing heart disease and peripheral vascular disease, lowers your risk of developing gallstones, and possibly reduces your risk of stroke and diabetes. Anything more than moderate drinking can lead to serious health problems, however, including strokes; pancreatitis; cancer of the liver, pancreas, mouth, larynx or esophagus; heart-muscle damage; high blood pressure; and cirrhosis of the liver. 

Recently Answered

  • 1 Answer
    A
    A , Addiction Medicine, answered
    The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism suggests the following steps to help people cut back on their drinking:
    • Put it in writing. Making a list of the reasons to curtail your drinking -- such as feeling healthier, sleeping better, or improving your relationships -- can motivate you.
    • Set a drinking goal. Set a limit on how much you will drink. You should keep your drinking below the recommended guidelines: no more than one standard drink per day for women, as well as men ages 65 and older, and no more than two standard drinks per day for men under 65. These limits can be too high for people who have certain medical problems or for some older adults. Your doctor can help you determine what's right for you.
    • Keep a diary of your drinking. For three to four weeks, keep track of every time you have a drink. Include information about what and how much you drank as well as where you were. Compare this to your goal. If you're having trouble sticking to your goal, discuss it with your doctor or another health professional.
    • Don't keep alcohol in your house. Having no alcohol at home can help limit your drinking.
    • Drink slowly. Sip your drink. Take a one-hour break between drinks. Drink soda, water, or juice after having an alcoholic beverage. Never drink on an empty stomach.
    • Choose alcohol-free days. Decide not to drink a day or two each week. You may want to abstain for a week or a month to see how you feel physically and emotionally without alcohol in your life. Taking a break from alcohol can be a good way to start drinking less.
    • Watch for peer pressure. Practice ways to say no politely. You do not have to drink just because others are, and you shouldn't feel obligated to accept every drink you're offered. Stay away from people who encourage you to drink.
    • Keep busy. Take a walk, play sports, go out to eat, or catch a movie. When you're at home, pick up a new hobby or revisit an old one. Painting, board games, playing a musical instrument, woodworking -- these and other activities are great alternatives to drinking.
    • Ask for support. Let friends and family members know that you need their support. Your doctor, counselor, or therapist may also be able to offer help; several medications are available to help curb the urge to drink.
    • Guard against temptation. Steer clear of people and places that make you want to drink.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    A Healthy Way to Get Drunk
    The color of alcohol predicts whether you will be hung over. Learn more on this topic in this video of Dr. Oz and Jimmy Fallon.


  • 3 Answers
    A
    A , Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    In general, moderation means ingesting no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. One drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 1/2 ounces of distilled liquor.
    See All 3 Answers
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    There’s nothing wrong with having a cocktail or two, but it’s easy to overdo it. The next time you’re your sipping on something with friends, consider these points:
    • Cut back: Having only two glasses of red wine as opposed to four translates into saving about 300 calories a night. Over the course of a year, that’s 21 cups of sugar, equating to a 5-pound weight loss.
    • Make smart swaps: Instead of wine, try a vodka and soda. You’ll save around 100 calories. Flavored vodka with soda water provides a bubbly burst of sweetness without the excessive sugar or calories.
    • If your drink of choice is white wine, try creating your own spritzer: Use about 4 ounces of white wine with a big splash of lemon-lime seltzer water for around only 100 calories.
    • Go virgin: Don’t forget, you can still toast with classy cocktails sans alcohol.
    This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    Your best defense against a drunk driver is to buckle up every time. Every person in every seat should be buckled up on every trip. Seat belts reduce serious injuries and deaths from crashes by about 50%. 

    The presence of the CDC logo and CDC content on this page should not be construed to imply endorsement by the US Government of any commercial products or services, or to replace the advice of a medical professional. The mark “CDC” is licensed under authority of the PHS.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    Ignition interlocks prevent drivers who were convicted of alcohol-impaired driving from operating their vehicles if they have been drinking. Interlocks are effective in reducing re-arrest rates from drinking and driving by about two-thirds while the device is on the vehicle. Also, drivers with interlocks had fewer alcohol-impaired driving crashes than drivers who had their drivers’ licenses suspended because of a DWI conviction. 

    The presence of the CDC logo and CDC content on this page should not be construed to imply endorsement by the US Government of any commercial products or services, or to replace the advice of a medical professional. The mark “CDC” is licensed under authority of the PHS.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    At sobriety checkpoints, law enforcement officers stop drivers to assess their level of alcohol impairment. Checkpoints do more than simply increase arrests; they deter impaired driving by increasing drivers’ perceived risk of arrest if they choose to get behind the wheel after drinking. 

    Research has shown that checkpoints prevent impaired driving. A review of more than 20 studies shows that checkpoints resulted in a median 20% decrease in impaired driving crashes and deaths.

    The presence of the CDC logo and CDC content on this page should not be construed to imply endorsement by the US Government of any commercial products or services, or to replace the advice of a medical professional. The mark “CDC” is licensed under authority of the PHS.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    At sobriety checkpoints, police stop drivers to judge if they are driving under the influence of alcohol. More widespread, frequent use of these checkpoints could save about 1,500 to 3,000 lives on the road each year.

    The presence of the CDC logo and CDC content on this page should not be construed to imply endorsement by the US Government of any commercial products or services, or to replace the advice of a medical professional. The mark “CDC” is licensed under authority of the PHS.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    To help prevent drinking and driving, employers can set policies that immediately take away all work-related driving privileges for any employee cited for drinking and driving while using a company or personal vehicle for work purposes.

    Employers can also use workplace health promotion programs to communicate the dangers of drinking and driving, including information directed to family members. 

    The presence of the CDC logo and CDC content on this page should not be construed to imply endorsement by the US Government of any commercial products or services, or to replace the advice of a medical professional. The mark “CDC” is licensed under authority of the PHS.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    Drivers with previous driving while impaired (DWI) convictions pose a substantial risk of offending again. Data shows that legally impaired drivers involved in fatal crashes were eight times more likely to have a prior DWI conviction than drivers who had not been drinking.

    Ignition interlocks, or in-car breathalyzers, are devices that can be installed in vehicles to prevent persons who have consumed alcohol from driving. They are typically installed after a driver has been convicted of DWI.

    The presence of the CDC logo and CDC content on this page should not be construed to imply endorsement by the US Government of any commercial products or services, or to replace the advice of a medical professional. The mark “CDC” is licensed under authority of the PHS.