Swapping alcohol for a running high

Swapping alcohol for a running high sounds a little extreme. But this week people are talking about it as the film Brittany runs a marathon is released.

Based on a true story

Brittany is 28 years old, a heavy drinker who is overweight and does not feel good about herself. She visits her doctor hoping to get some Adderall tablets, but he tells she is unhealthy and needs to lose 55 pounds.

Self-sabotage is so common

Brittany tried to join a gym, but it’s far too expensive. She finds a pal with the same unhealthy lifestyle and they start running or is it walking! In one scene, a crowd of toddlers pass them by. Eventually they decide to run the marathon but Brittany keeps doing stuff that stops her reaching her goals. It’s called self-sabotage. This is very common amongst people who drink too much and often have low self-esteem.

A death in the family

It becomes clear that Brittany is still grieving the death of her Father. She has never come to terms with it. So it’s a major reason why she’s living such an unhealthy lifestyle. It’s often struck me that our modern fast paced lifestyle does not allow much time for grieving. We expect people to get on with it far too quickly. So people often numb grief with alcohol.

Catriona spent 10 years grieving

Jenny Valentishe describes how Caitrona Menzies-Pike saw herself as a “gin addled bookworm” who used to eye runners with suspicion as she nursed a latte and hangover. Then it struck her that she spent the 10 years grieving after the sudden death of her parents focused on distance (running away) and endurance (drinking lots). So perhaps the actual answer was running which requires the same qualities.

Swapping alcohol for running

The running helped her process her parent’s death and she started to sleep better and drink less. If there is only one thing you can do to manage your drinking, physical exercise is the one to choose. There are just so many benefits to do it as we mentioned here.

Park Runs are all round the county

You don’t have to be super fit to be a runner, or even look like a runner in all the figure hugging gear. If you go to Park Runs  available in 93 locations around the country you’ll find people of all levels of fitness and body sizes. There’s a very friendly atmosphere and park runs are free. Many people even walk the route. So why not visit a park run to see for yourself whether swapping alcohol for running works for you?

Or to get yourself in the mood, why not go see the film? The reviews are good. You can see a trailer below.

Her drinking was Amelia’s dirty little secret

Amelia feels really guilty about her drinking.  She feels like she has to maintain secrecy about her drinking. She does not want to be out of touch with her friends. She wants to have a normal social life. To feel connected to other people. But after a lot of thinking she’s decided to come clean.

 

Why did she feel the need to drink?

She tried to figure out why she felt drinking was so essential to her role as a Mother. So she was not one of the 630,000 Facebook group members of “Moms who need wine”. But she did feel the urge to keep drinking. After all Motherhood is stressful and we need the wine to relax at the end of a long exhausting day.

 

Women don’t become fools when they become Mothers

Amelia is an intelligent women. She kept to the then guidelines about drinking while pregnant. (Now days it’s recommended, no drinking while pregnant or trying to get pregnant) She knew Mother’s don’t become fools when they have children. So why did she and her friends feel the need to drink so much?

 

Amelia asked questions about her drinking

Amelia realised part of the reason she drank was because it’s just so normal now.  As leading journalist  Gabrielle Glasser says wine has become

“Normalised, expected and then reinforced by popular culture, social media, advertising. The volume and ubiquity of the pro-drinking message has made it infinitely more likely that even mothers who know it’s a caricature, will immediately think of pouring themselves a drink as a release valve once the children are in bed – and then do it.

 

Amelia realised wine is everywhere

Amelia knew what Gabrielle was saying is true. From

“The wine glass engraved

“You’re not really drinking alone if your kids are home”

Or the flowery fridge magnet chuckling

 “The most expensive part of having kids is all the wine you have to drink.”

 All the messages we’re surrounded by, are its safe to drink alcohol. The message is by drinking we’re fighting against the constant pressure that society expects us to be perfect Mothers. And who would not want an escape from that awful pressure!

 

Amelia wrote an article about her drinking

So Amelia did lots of research to try and understand what was going on. She found that in the UK in 2009 it was reported that the most significant trend was women drinking more. She found people encouraging Mothers to drink so they would not  be seen as a tiger or helicopter Mum.

She wrote an article about her research.

 

The secret shame

Amelia had to think long and about publishing the article on her drinking. She felt shame about her drinking. The problem was she was not that horrible label “alcoholic”, but she had given up drinking. So she did not want to appear sanctimonious or look like she was judging people.  She felt pressure to stay quiet about her healthy life choice. But finally, she decided to publish to see if she could start a conversation.

As she states

“The attitude is:

‘If you don’t have a problem with it, why do you have a problem with it?’”

But if we don’t talk about it, how do we know if we have a problem?”

It’s well worth while reading the full article which you can find  here

If you found this post interesting you might also enjoy BeanyNeamy’s story here.

Setting a drinking target can help control your drinking

Many people ask should they set a drinking target in order to manage their drinking. So they may not want to give up alcohol totally, but they want to drink less. But with so many people saying we have to give up drink altogether to live a happy life, it can be really confusing.

 

Setting a drinking target can help

If you want to reduce your drinking, setting a target can help. But safety first, before setting a drinking target ask yourself the following three important questions.

 

Physical dependence on alcohol needs medical help

  1. Have you found that you were not able to stop drinking once you started?
  2. Have you failed to do what was normally expected from you because of drinking?
  3. Have you needed a first drink in the morning to get yourself going after a heavy drinking session?

If you‘ve answered “often” to the above 3 questions then you may have a physical dependence on alcohol and may need medical treatment. The medical treatment helps to reduce the side effects of reducing your drinking. These  can be really serious if you have a physical dependence on alcohol. If this applies to you we strongly suggest you  seek medical advice before setting any targets  for your drinking.You can find details of services here. Look for services providing “detox” You can find out more about physical dependence here.

So having made sure you don’t have a physical dependence on alcohol, there are two main approaches.

 

What will work best for you?

There are lots of myths around fixing  alcohol problems   But the key thing is to remember one size does not fit all.

Scientific evidence to determine which types of approaches work best are still being debated. There are two main approaches. The first approach is not drinking at all – often called  sobriety or abstinence. This approach is used in AA.

The second less well known approach is known as harm reduction. Sometimes this is  called moderation. This approach  aims to reduce the amount a person drinks, rather then giving up drinking for ever.

But remember  you are the expert in deciding what will work best for you.

So which approach  will work best for you? In our next blog post, we ‘ll go through some key questions to ask.

 

 

Even moderate drinking affects your brain power

It’s so hard to know what is safe moderate drinking. Different countries use different measures and there are so many  research studies saying  different things from moderate drinking protects your heart to there is no safe level of drinking.

 

 Why is there so much confusion about moderate drinking?

A big problem is the money spent by big alcohol to fight  efforts by government and public health care professionals  to develop common standards. Recently here in Ireland they launched an “independent” report stating alcohol consumption was declining when alcohol consumption actually went up 5% in Ireland last year.

Many of the earlier studies showing there are health benefits from moderate drinking are now shown to be flawed. They compared people who had given up drinking for health reasons to people who were still drinking. This meant the people who had given up drinking had more health problems than the people who were still drinking!

 

There is no safe level of drinking

The reputable British journal  the  Lancet brought together a number of experts who concluded that overall alcohol is a more harmful drug than even heroin or cocaine.

So the public health experts have concluded there is no safe level of drinking.

So now they talk about low risk drinking limits and moderate drinking.  For women this is  eleven or less standard drinks and two drink free days. See the picture below for an example of a low risk drinking week.

  moderate drinking

 

Even moderate drinking decreases your brain power

Worryingly a new research study states that even moderate drinking can affect your brain power. The researchers did brain function tests including  MRI scans and adjusted for age, social class and smoking. They found that even those people drinking to low risk guidelines were more likely to have damage known as hippocampal atrophy. The hippocampus is a key part of the brain for remembering and learning. The researchers found  even moderate drinking  affects memory and ability to move around spaces.

The more people drank the more brain damage they had.

 You can see a report on the study here.

  

The majority of people who drink, drink too much.

In the same article, of 800 people who responded 57% felt they needed to reduce their drinking. This confirms earlier HRB reports that the majority of Irish people who drink are abusing alcohol.  

 

 moderate drinking

 

 

Reducing your drinking is a good idea

So for the sake of our poor brain and to reduce the risk of dementia we should reduce the amounts we drink. For some quick tips on reducing the harm that drinking can cause  please click here.

Is my drinking really the reason I’m getting so fat?

Is my drinking really the reason I’m getting so fat? Yes! Extremely likely! Said no one ever!

We constantly hear pop culture bombarding us with the “health benefits of a glass of wine”.  We all cheer silently to ourselves. We share the good news on our Facebook wall, followed by those mental “notes to self”, that insist on the mandatory bottle of wine (or two) on our way home from work. Because not only is it high in anti-oxidants and will stop me developing heart disease and possibly cancer, it will help me decompress and relax.

(Editors note, see here for report showing earlier studies showing benefits to drinking alcohol were wrong)

 

It’s a modern miracle I have n’t killed anyone

Because let’s face it! With the week or day I have just had it’s a modern miracle I haven’t killed my colleagues, customers, suppliers, other road users, my spouse, children, or basically the whole of humanity. So, you think to yourself! I deserve a break! I work hard for what I have! I never do anything for myself!  Why shouldn’t I have a glass of wine during the week? And on and on and on and on….

You have it all planned out, run a lovely bubble bath, light some lush scented candles, pour a lovely glass of Chardonnay in one of your expensive elegant long stemmed glasses, all very civilised and voilà!  Much needed “me-time”.

 

It makes total financial sense

Inevitably, this is never as straight forward as it seems, we arrive at Tesco’s, Supervalu or the likes and see the great deals on wine, 4 bottles for €20.00! And being the modern frugal professional women or supermom tell ourselves that 2 bottles will work out the same as 4 bottles, of course! It makes total financial sense!  We avail of the offer and head to the nearest checkout.  This is where things are destined to go down-hill.

 

Ah go, go on, go on says the Mrs Doyle in your head

We arrive home, pour a glass of wine (nope, we don’t measure, we simply pour) we cook dinner, (pour another glass of wine to have with dinner) and before you know it the bath goes out the window and you settle for a hot shower and sit down in the living room, comfy jammies and fluffy socks on.

“Ah go on go on go on”

hangover headache

says the “Mrs Doyle” in your head.  So we give in to a 3rd glass while we catch up with the soaps. Often times we reach for the Pringles, chocolate or other snack foods and “nest in for the night”.  A lot of women can drink a 750ml bottle of wine no problem and on the odd occasion have even dipped into the second bottle.  And because we have those extra bottles in the house we inevitably end up doing it more often in the week than we care to admit.

 

We’re having “the craic”

Friday rolls around and we head out for a few drinks after work with the girls. Saturday night, a few drinks in the local with the hubby (on average in Ireland most people drink around 3 or 4 standard drinks in one sitting, realistically it is probably more if we were honest about it).

It is important to remember that most pub measures are anything but “standard” unless you order a small bottle (which is a staggering +/-200 mls each). All the while we are having “the craic”.  Ordering peanuts with reckless abandon to mix through our bag of cheese and onion Tayto, we are piling on the pounds. That is the insidious thing about alcohol, no one tells you the down side of a glass or 3, so here is the so fat face of it:

so fat

(Note, calories vary according to alcohol strength)

 

Four Pina Colada’s is your entire recommended daily calorie intake

Cocktail hour will not only cost you a bomb, but will add to your expanding waist line.  There are too many to list here but to give you an idea, a Pina Colada is a whopping 490Kcal per 256mls and will cost you upwards of €14.00 a pop. You definitely won’t feel like dancing in the rain after a few of these bad boys. You will most probably head straight for the nearest ATM to assess the damage. And those calories! All those calories. Just four Pina Colada’s would be your entire recommended daily calorie intake for an average adult and that before you make your way to Supermacs.

 

A VIP pass to fatness

When you are happily chugging back your glass of wine, it enters your body and is handed a VIP pass at the front door. And no, it doesn’t mean your body is getting what it needs from Alcohol.  Good stuff like Anti-oxidants, a healthy heart or preventing you from getting cancer.  (Editor’s note, Alcohol actually causes cancer, see our video for more details)

Instead, it is absorbed more quickly than solid foods.  Your body processes the alcohol you have consumed straight into fat.  Yes FAT! It’s then your unfortunate liver’s turn to process what’s left over into a substance called acetate.  Your body uses this as fuel, and in doing so doesn’t burn your existing fat stores.

 

Do the Maths

One bottle of wine translates into 625Kcal per week which in turn translates to an average 4 to 5 miles on the treadmill a week. This does not include the extra calories we consume during and after a night out from takeaway curry’s, Chinese, burgers, kebabs, snack-boxes, pizza slices etc. etc. and not to forget the Irish hangover cure the big fatty fry-up!  Chalk up all those calories and things go “arseways” literally!

 

What to do?

Plan when and how much you are going to drink per week in advance (if you are trying to lose weight remember to keep a calorie diary).

Only buy what you intend to drink on any given day.

Alternate your drinks with soda water, water, and diet soda or fruit juice.

Not only will it be better for your wallet but also your waist line won’t be so fat!.

 

Editor’s note

For more help on reducing alcohol harm try out our free top tips to reduce alcohol harm course

Does that time of month send you running for wine?

Does that time of month send you running for ….wine?

Ok ladies, that time of month, it’s a touchy subject, but one I feel needs to be addressed. I also promise not to include anything about women on skateboards, playing water polo, climbing mountains with confidence, or mention anything with wings during this blog!

We have enough challenges in life, enough marketing from food, drink, beauty and healthcare products that are thrown at us. But we women also have hormonal changes going on that can weaken our defences and leave us needing a drink now more than ever!

 

Ovulation will catch you out if you’re not aware

Personally, I always felt that around the time of ovulation was another “hot spot” for me to drink. Many other women also share this complaint with me.  When you look into the biology it’s no wonder. Almost every fortnight we are hit by hormones that change the way we feel. I have women telling me that their periods even alter the strength of their smelling ability. They develop a more sensitive nose to perfumes, cigarettes, traffic fumes and of course…drum role…Alcohol!

This shouldn’t come as a surprise as most of our senses are heightened both  during ovulation and our monthly periods. During ovulation, our skin becomes softer, and apparently we become more attractive to men due to our natural instinct to reproduce.

 

I was always starving and thought it was for burgers and wine!

But another thing many of us find during ovulation is we are often famished with hunger and thirst.  Scientists believe this is our body looking for nutrients and fluid to have a healthy place to carry our baby.

However in the modern world the fantastic guys in the junk food industry have found this out.  They are more than happy to provide us with the three most essential ingredients that women crave during ovulation… Sugar, fat and salt…mix them together and you can have what I refer to as “magic!”

 

“I need a burger, doughnuts and a bottle of wine now..!

The problems start when we mistake our body’s natural cycles and time of month and think we are craving junk food. We then start with the usual emotional beating up of ourselves.

“Oh, I can never control my hunger”

“I’m such a pig”

and my personal favourite

“It’s his fault I’m fat.”

So after we binge on just about anything that isn’t nailed down we feel terrible, negative and want to numb out those feelings of guilt and shame with alcohol. Merry-go-round anyone!

Of course, we are only halfway through the month yet and about 14 days after ovulation the alcohol cravings can come hard and fast due to the fact we have or are about to start our period. We may be feeling uncomfortable, often in pain (and sure a small drink for medicinal purposes never hurt anyone!)

 

More women drink during their period

I have spoken to many many women over the years about this.  I even wrote about it while in rehab, but none of the counsellors came back to me about it.

So when I noticed that I was prone to drinking during my period, I got to wondering if this happens to any other women. The funny thing about the answers I got though were that most women never really thought about it until I asked the question

Where does this leave us, the women who are trying to turn away from all the marketing and advertising so we can eat less junk and drink less alcohol?

 

So here’s the secret and it works for me every time

I plan what I’m going to do during ovulation. I have the coil fitted now so I haven’t had periods for a few years. Ya, I miss them….like a hole in the head!

But, I still have the symptoms that go with a typical female menstrual cycle. So I PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. I know what’s going to occur during ovulation. So I try to make sure I juice for at least a few days straight beforehand to get the vitamins, minerals and fluids into my body that it’s starting to crave.

Then I just try not to binge too much on junk food if I can. But if I do go crazy I know that it will pass, and it’s just my body and mind playing tricks on me.

 

Think about what you need

Also just because I choose not to drink it doesn’t mean that occasionally I wouldn’t be partial to having a few vodkas to numb out the low mood that can come around period time. Again I try to ensure I have a good supply of healthy snack foods handy.  I also might take a Sunday in bed just watching movies or reading. Usually around this time I also crave comfort foods so having stews, broths and warm bread handy help a lot.

So think ahead about what you need during your monthly cycle highs and lows and plan how you are going to manage these days.

 

Editor’s note

If you find your alcohol  cravings are very strong, you might find our course “crave surf” very helpful.

She did n’t realise drinking was destroying her liver

Liver damage is for people who have a drink problem

We’ll call her Kate. She’s  30 years old. Totally healthy and  not someone heading towards liver failure. Sure that’s for people who have a drink problem. She has no problem with drink. She is too well educated and intelligent.

 

She does not want to look out of place

Kate has a challenging and  enjoyable  job. She travels a lot. She makes sure to look after herself, walking several times a week. She  eats well. She always avoids the creamy sauce dishes and the desserts at her high powered business and customer events. Though, she’ll have a glass of wine or two.  She does not want to look out of place if everybody else is drinking.  The industry sector she’s in, there’s very few women so she needs to keep up with the men.

Regular visits to the beautician and hairdresser for waxing, facials, manicures and hair styling means she always looks great.

 

She’s a savvy social drinker

Social life involves meeting up in pubs or relaxing at home with some nice Pinot Grigio.  She has a good life. She’s a savvy social drinker. Totally in control of alcohol and never really drunk.

Recently, her employer organised a health screening. There was a very slight abnormal result in one of her blood tests.They said it was nothing to be worried about. Kate mentioned it to her GP, a couple of months later, when she was getting her regular pill prescription.  As her Father died unexpectedly, the GP decides further tests  should be done. Then when those tests came back, more tests including a liver scan were needed.

 

Kate has liver damage

That’s when Kate  discovers she has liver damage. It’s the one organ that can’t be replaced so this is life changing news. It turns out the few glasses of wine at business events and the two bottles of wine at the weekend are enough to cause liver failure.

 

She is one of the lucky ones

The consultant tells her, she is one of the lucky ones. Her liver damage has been caught early enough. Once she gives up drinking totally, her liver should be ok. But if she continues to drink her liver will fail.  Then she will die without a liver transplant.

 

She thought her lifestyle was healthy

Kate realises she is lucky. Private health insurance meant no waiting times for scans. Her liver damage got caught in time. She is also angry though. She’s knows she’s well educated and intelligent. She thought her lifestyle was healthy. She certainly drinks less than her friends. How did she not realise her drinking was toxic?   Was it because drinking wine seems like such a normal social activity? But, how can a substance that nearly killed her be marketed as part of a glamorous exciting lifestyle?

 

What will she say in work?

Her partner is upset but supportive. But what will she say to her Mother and friends?  Her Mother has only just got over the death of her Father.  And what is she going to say in work about not drinking anymore? She can’t say she has liver damage from alcohol, the stigma would ruin her career. She feels guilty and ashamed she has done this to herself.

 

Frequently there’s no warning

Professor Murray was interviewed this week about liver failure. He states :

Unfortunately many people with advanced liver disease will have relatively normal blood tests of the liver.

The awful thing is that people frequently have no premonition or warning that they’re going to develop liver failure, and to die as a result of alcohol because the vast majority of people who develop cirrhosis, develop liver failure, haven’t got symptoms before the crisis, and the life threatening component develops.”

Professor Aiden Mc Cormick said in this TV interview, his patients are getting younger all the time. His youngest patient was a young girl aged just 18.

 

Make sure it’s not too late for you

Kate is very lucky. It’s not too late for her.

Make sure it’s not too late for you. Take just  15 minutes to find out

Are you a social drinker?

It’s totally free and totally anonymous.  15  minutes of your life  to confirm your drinking is not silently and  slowly killing you.

What are you waiting for?

PS

You only have to login with your email if you want to do the quiz and get instant feedback. Otherwise start learning straight away.

 

Missing out on a simple way to control your drinking?

A great way to control your drinking is to understand your reasons for drinking. Yet, this can be confusing as everybody’s reasons for drinking are different.  Some people drink because they’re depressed, for others drinking makes them depressed.

Some people drink too much  at the end of a long hard day to relax, others drink because drinking gives them energy to get through all they need to do in our modern hectic lives.

 

Drinking has two faces.

So like the Roman God, Janus, drinking has two faces. There’s the upsides or pro’s  where drinking helps you feel better and then there’s the downsides or con’s where drinking is making your life worse.

Marketing and advertising  makes drinking seems so normal and essential to a happy life, we’re often unaware of the downsides or the con’s If everybody around us is drinking, it can’t be that bad can it?

 

What are your pro’s and con’s of drinking?

So there’s lots of pro’s to drinking but also lot’s of con’s. Do you know what your pro’s and con’s of drinking are? Even if you’re not misusing alcohol, understanding the reasons why you drink is really important because then you’re much less likely to develop a drinking problem. Research shows that people who know their pro’s and con’s of drinking are likely to be more successful in keeping their drinking under control.

 

Control your drinking

So we’ve made it easier for you to understand your pros and cons and control your drinking. We’ve put together a short course called Janus,  My drinking pro’s and con’s

It contains

  1. An introduction,

2. An  audio from Valerie  explaining pro’s and cons.

3. A multiple choice quiz with a complete listing of pro’s and con’s  so you just have to tick the ones that apply to you

4. Suggested ways you can use your personal pros and cons to control your drinking.

The course will take no more than an hour to complete. You can start it  straight away, and if you’re under time pressure, save it and finish it another time.  Then you’ll have a great way to control your drinking.

So start right away  by clicking here

As always you remain anonymous.

 

Is Dementia caused by alcohol?

Dementia is a term used to describe a range of symptoms affecting the brain which can affect people differently. Symptoms may include memory, language loss, and ability to do everyday tasks.

These words cannot really describe the cruelty and pain of dementia where the person you love gradually disappears and is replaced by a stranger who needs 24 hour assistance. Helping to care for my own Mother who has Alzheimer’s is really challenging and I now totally understand the meaning of “Burn out”.

I’ve often come home, really wanting to drown my sorrows in a few bottles of beer. The only thing that stops me, is the certainty I will have a massive handover the next day. (I’m a lightweight when it comes to drinking!)

 

People wore black for a year

In the old days, in some groups, people wore black for a year and kept the window blinds down to indicate they had suffered a bereavement. I sometimes wish this tradition existed for people caring for a loved one with dementia as it would make life easier. No more door to door salespeople ringing the doorbell when I’m struggling to get my Mother changed. My Mother’s hearing is acute and she always insist on the door been answered. A single doorbell can add another 30 minutes to the personal care routine. Both my Mother and her (late) Mother have dementia. So I’m very interested in avoiding it, if I can.

 

Risk factors for developing dementia

There are many different risk factors for developing dementia. Some of these can be controlled for example, high cholesterol. Other factors can’t be controlled  -for example genetic factors. (That’s me in trouble)

Generally it appears that a good diet, exercise, close friendships, an active life using your brain all help to reduce the risk of dementia. (Does writing blog posts count as using your brain?)

 

Is alcohol a risk factor for dementia?

Research indicates a definite YES. Alcohol is a risk factor for dementia. Studies show heavy drinking can increase your risk of developing dementia. Yet another reason to cut back on your drinking.

 

One dementia type commonly caused by alcohol abuse

There’s even  one specific type of dementia called Korsakoff’s syndrome which often  occurs in people drinking too much alcohol.  There is evidence it is often confused with other dementias and is under diagnosed in older people.

 

Korsakoff’s syndrome

Korsakoff’s syndrome most commonly occurs in people drinking too much alcohol. It can also be caused by Aids, and various other factors such as poor nutrition. A lack of vitamin B1 is thought to cause Korsakoff’s syndrome. So people  drinking heavily may reduce their risk by taking vitamin B1. (Please consult your doctor if in doubt)

One in eight people who are physically dependent on alcohol may develop Korsakoff’s syndrome and the number of people with Korsakoff’s syndrome seems to be increasing.

 

Risk factors for Korsakoff’s syndrome

You are more likely to be at risk of developing Korsakoff’s syndrome if

  • You have been drinking in a harmful way for 5 or more years.
  • You are drinking 28 or more standard drinks per week on a regular basis.
  • You have had frequent ‘memory blackouts’ while drinking.
  • You are over the age of 35.
  • You have had alcohol-related liver damage.
  • You have had many alcohol withdrawals or detoxes.
  • You binge drink regularly.
  • You don’t eat enough while drinking.
  • You have been admitted to hospital because of your drinking.

 

Can Korsakoff’s syndrome be reversed?

Unlike many dementias which continue to progress, Korsakoff syndrome can be reversed.

If a person remains alcohol free and has a good diet, then the majority of people will see some improvement. This can happen over a period of months or up to two years.

  • 25% of people will make a full recovery,
  • 25% of people will make a significant recovery,
  • 25% will make a partial recovery.
  • 25% of people will make no recovery and will have permanent difficulties.

The extent of the recovery may depend on the quality and availability of specialist rehabilitation services. In Ireland, services can be difficult to find. You can find a website on services here.

Younger people have a better chance of recovery.

For more about Korsakoff’s syndrome, click here to go to the Alcohol Action forum guide. .

If you’d like to find out more about reducing alcohol harm, our short free mini course may help. Click here for details.

Finally, if you’re worried about your drinking, you can check if you have a problem here.