Ask Sofia: Do I drink too much?
“If you think that you drink too much, there is a good chance that you do,” said Dr. Donna Block. “Many women tend to underestimate how much they drink – that’s why we ask about it during your annual visit – and underestimate the effects that alcohol can have on the body and mind over time. While it’s ok to celebrate on occasion, if you are struggling to get up in the morning and function well during the day, it’s time to talk with someone about your alcohol consumption.”
Moderate drinking consists of one drink per day for women and up to two for men, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ “Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020.” Binge drinking is a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration levels to 0.08 g/dL, or about four drinks for women and five for men in about two hours.
Affecting every organ in the body, alcohol is a depressant that is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. Reactions to alcohol vary based on age, gender, race, amount of food consumed, overall physical condition, speed of drinking, family history and other factors, which is why two glasses of red wine can impact you differently than it does your partner or friend. In addition to impaired function, alcohol abuse can lead to cancer, liver disease, stroke and other serious conditions.
“Ultimately, if drinking is affecting any of your relationships, your work or your health, then you may be consuming too much,” Dr. Block added. “We are always here to listen and to provide the resources and support you need to take better care of yourself.”