Red Wine Alcohol Abuse

Liver cirrhosis as a result of alcohol abuse is one of the ten leading causes of death in the United States. Individuals with a family history of alcohol problems should not begin drinking in response to any positive studies of the benefits of red wine, nor should those with pre-existing health conditions, including:

Alcohol may also interfere with certain prescription medications, making them lethal or ineffective.

Side Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol, especially in excess, is responsible for altering brain activity and affecting concentration and reflexes. As a result, individuals under the influence of alcohol are more susceptible to accidents especially while driving. Other side affects include insomnia (the inability to fall asleep and stay asleep), heartburn and high blood pressure.

Adverse short-term health problems arise with your body’s attempt to deal with excess alcohol — the hangover. Alcohol is a diuretic and dehydration almost always accompanies excess drinking. Drink water. As well, many experts recommend taking a B-Complex vitamin with vitamin C before and after you drink alcohol.

Alcohol Abuse

Excessive use or abuse of alcohol can contribute to increased levels of triglycerides in the blood that can then lead to heart disease. Other complications include osteoporosis, obesity, or liver damage. There is also some documentation that connects excessive drinking with increased risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver and breast.

Benefits of Moderate Drinking

The intended message about this scarlet elixir is that of moderation. Too much of a good thing can be just that. Each individual must look at the benefits versus the risks of drinking. Consider factors like health status, age, sex and weight. And if you’re a woman, be particularly vigilant to not drink while pregnant. Alcohol has shown to have very harmful effects on a fetus.

In cases where the health benefits outweigh the risks, moderation is key. One glass per day for women, and up to two glasses for men may result in a thirty to fifty percent decrease in the risk of a heart attack.

The Heath Risks: A Summary

Excessive or chronic use of any alcohol can result in a number of health conditions. Click on a link to learn more:

  • elevated levels of triglycerides in the blood
  • increased risk of breast cancer
  • increased risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx and esophagus
  • increased risk of liver cancer
  • liver cirrhosis
  • obesity
  • osteoporosis.

Resources

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2002, August 27). Alcohol and your health: Weighing the pros and cons. Retrieved September 20, 2003, from www.mayoclinic.com/invoke.cfm?id=SC00024.