Excessive alcohol consumption during Christmas can be harmful to your liver. The holiday season is a time of togetherness and celebrating and often times celebrating is associated with alcohol consumption. Whether you’re toasting champagne or sipping on wine alcohol becomes a large focus during the holidays. You may not think that drinking for a few holiday parties can harm your liver, but excessive drinking in a short amount of time definitely can.
Aside from the get-togethers the holidays can also be a very stressful time and so many people turn to alcohol as a means to relieve stress which adds to the harm to your liver. It’s important then to moderate drinking during this hectic time for overall good health.
Recommended Christmas alcohol drinking limits for low risk
Experts recommend the following suggestions in order to reduce your risk of harm associated with alcohol.
- For healthy men and women limit alcoholic beverages to two on a daily basis in order to reduce long-term risk
- On a special occasion, healthy men and women should limit their alcohol consumption to four standard drinks
- No persons under the age of 18 should consume alcohol in any amount
- For pregnant women, breast-feeding women or those planning a pregnancy alcohol is not recommended
Health effects of Christmas drinking
Aside from harming your liver, alcohol-drinking can have other health effects as well including the following:
- Damaging stomach lining and causing diarrhea or sickness
- Promote shakiness or feelings of anxiety due to withdrawal effects which impact the brain
- Negatively changes mood, skin, weight and sleep
These negative health effects usually can be immediately changes by practicing healthy lifestyle changes after drinking but consistently consuming excessive alcohol can have long-term effects.
For those who consume 15 units of alcohol (7.5 pints of four percent beer for example) can suffer from Holiday Heart Syndrome. The condition causes the heart to beat irregularly, cause shortness of breath, raise blood pressure, increase the risk of heart attack and even lead to sudden death.
Other effects of long-term alcohol consumption can contribute to liver or mouth cancer, chronic pancreatitis and diabetes. Lastly, mental health, too, can become negatively impacted.
The effects of alcohol can be quick where a person immediately begins to feel happy or excited but overtime inhibitions and judgment become reduced which can lead to reckless decision-making. Reaction time and behavior can become delayed or changed as well increasing the risk for injury or violence. Lastly, in high quantities alcohol can act as a depressant and cause sleepiness which causes a person to blackout making them vulnerable to danger.
Tips for individuals to drink safely in festive season
Here are some tips for individuals to drink safely during the festive season.
- Plan for alcohol-free days where you only consume water or juices
- Pour your own drinks so you can monitor how many you have had and how much you are having
- Eat before and during drinking
- Alternate alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic ones
- Plan activities which do not involve alcohol like outings to show that you can all still have a great time without revolving around alcohol
- Set goals – New Years is a great time to make plans to reduce alcohol consumption and make healthier choices
- Avoid drinking on an empty stomach
- Drink plenty of water
- Look out for family and friends and ensure they are not drinking too much – or that they don’t operate a vehicle afterwards (arrange taxis or allow them to sleep over)
- Avoid combining alcohol with energy drinks
- Drink slowly and stick with beverage of lower alcohol content
- If heading out to drink, set a budget on how much money you will spend on alcohol in order to limit consumption
- Avoid refilling half-empty glasses
- Check alcohol content of alcohols
By following these tips you can ensure you protect your liver and your overall health from the negative effects of alcohol. The holidays are meant to be enjoyed and not left sick from nights of too much drinking. Making plans and knowing your limit can save you from groggy days and feeling sick throughout the holiday season.
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