Alcohol can harm even when you don’t drink too much


Thirty odd years ago I went from active sports mad teenager to some body unable to walk across a room due to unbearable pain. Thankfully good health care, heavy duty drugs and private health insurance means I have a good quality of life.


My drinking is not checked regularly

So every few months, I get blood tests to make sure the drugs I take have not affected my liver. I even take other drugs to protect my liver, but only once in 30 years have I had a decent alcohol drinking check , where I actually had to confess what I drank! Given my serious liver risks, I would have thought my drinking would be checked regularly.

We all know alcohol affects the liver. Our good friend, addiction counsellor Rolande Anderson tells us , there used to be a GP screening programme for alcohol, but funding cut backs means it no longer exists.


Nobody ever tells us about the impact of alcohol

So we never really get informed about alcohol and the impact it has on our health until too late. We think we have to be a raving alcoholic before it can do harm to us. In Ireland the youngest woman diagnosed with alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver was just 18 years old.
Alcohol causes and worsens so many illnesses. Over 1,500 beds of our 11,000 hospital beds are occupied by people with an alcohol related illnesses, every single night. Most of these people are not alcoholics.


Did you know alcohol can cause high cholesterol ?

For example, did you know alcohol can cause high cholesterol which in turn causes other health problems?
Alcohol also does not work well with a common drug used to treat high cholesterol -atorvastatin
Alcohol can also cause many problem with a wide range of other drugs from warfarin, to antidepressants.


You don’t have to drink too much to have an alcohol health problem

So before you tell yourself, I’m ok, I don’t drink much,

  • check out the safety leaflet on any tablets, even over the counter tablets you may be using to see if alcohol should not taken
  • check out our short video highlighting the effects alcohol has and see whether you have any of these side effects. Remember once you start reducing your drinking, you reduce these side effects. Every little helps!

This post was written by Carol

As some who gets hangovers lasting a week, Carol never drank too much - Once she got to a sensible age! However as a patient with an auto immune illness, since she was a teenager she has to drink very little. So she really understands how Irish society makes this very difficult. Carol is responsible for all aspects of Lifewise operations that Valerie and Angela do not cover.

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