Excessive alcohol consumption is very dangerous to your health and can have serious consequences. Excessive intake can cause liver damage, stomach ulcers, other stomach related conditions and some forms of cancer. Prolonged excessive alcohol intake can cause blood pressure to rise increasing the risk of heart problems and increasing the risk of diabetes, whilst causing mental health and wellbeing to decrease significantly.
Alcohol is a part of our culture and is used as a form on entertainment and social aspect of our lives but it should be consumed sensibly. The alcohol guidelines in the UK have recently changed (January 2016). The alcohol limit for men has been lowered to be the same as for women. The UK’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) guideline for both men and women is that:
- You are safest not to drink regularly more than 14 units per week. This is to keep health risks from drinking alcohol to a low level
- If you do drink as much as 14 units week it is best to spread this evenly across the week
There is new guidance also around alcohol and pregnancy. The Chief Medical Officer guidance is that pregnant women should not drink any alcohol at all.
- If you are pregnant or planning pregnancy, the safest option is not to drink alcohol.
- This is to keep the risks to your baby to a minimum. The more you drink the greater the risk to your baby.
There is often confusion about what a unit actually is and how many units are contained in your favourite drink, this handy link here will contain all the information you should need to know.
If you are worried about your drinking levels and/or your family and friends then call Lifeline on 0151 944 5334 or 01704 534 759 and they will advise you on the best steps to take.
For further information about sensible drinking then please visit the NHS choices or Drink Aware websites.