Why alcohol and a disease-free life just won’t mix

A night out with friends… A romantic date with your spouse… The end of a long hard day…

All are times you might reach for a glass of wine, beer or a shot of your favorite liquor.

For many of us, a glass or two of alcohol is a way to unwind, enjoy time together and make our meals just a little more special.

I know that for me, every Saturday night dinner includes a bottle of Pinot Grigio that I discovered years ago. I think it goes with absolutely everything (a point my husband and I have agreed to disagree on).

But, not everyone drinks. In fact, my sister and brother-in-law opted to never touch another drop two years ago as a way to save money and get healthier. Yet, I’ve never thought of alcohol as a health risk as long as you limit your intake and don’t have issues with addiction. My motto has always been, “Everything in moderation.”

Who’s right then? How much alcohol — if any — is safe for your health?

A new study review has the answer…

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Drinking linked to 23 health dangers

Researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine combed through the results of 592 studies.  They analyzed the risks of alcohol use and discovered something many of us may not want to hear…

There is no safe amount of alcohol for your health. That means straight, shaken or stirred, alcohol just won’t mix if you want to live a longer, disease-free life.

Like it or not, this was the answer they came up with after taking an exhaustive look at how alcohol affects every part of your body… and the health dangers associated with drinking.

In fact, they learned that there are actually 23 very serious health risks. These risks — broken down into 7 categories associated with drinking even small amounts of alcohol — are:

  • Cardiovascular diseases: This includes atrial fibrillation and heart flutter, hemorrhagic stroke, ischemic stroke, hypertensive heart disease, ischemic heart disease, and alcoholic cardiomyopathy.
  • Cancers: Alcohol use is associated with increased risks of breast, colorectal, liver, esophageal, larynx, lip and oral cavity, and nasal cancers.
  • Other non-communicable diseases: If you drink, you could be looking at problems with cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, epilepsy, and pancreatitis to name a few.
  • Communicable diseases: People who consume alcohol regularly suffer from more lower respiratory infections and are at higher risk for tuberculosis.
  • Intentional injuries: Since alcohol lowers inhibitions it makes it more likely you’ll be a victim of interpersonal violence and self-harm.
  • Unintentional injuries: After drinking, you’re more likely to be injured due to poisonings, fire, drowning and other unintentional injuries.
  • Transportation-related injuries: As you know, drinking and driving don’t mix. But some people still don’t get the message, putting you at risk. In fact, in 2016 alone, 10,497 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes.

A healthier alternative to alcohol

With no safe level of alcohol found, one of the best things you can do for your health is to go alcohol-free.

But some might argue whether a long healthy life, void of simple pleasures, like a glass of wine on occasion with dinner, is a life worth living.

That’s a question only each of us can answer for ourselves. But if you do choose to give up alcohol to avoid these health dangers, here are some healthier alternatives you can use to replace your favorite alcoholic drink:

  • Ginger Beer – No alcohol and a great zing make ginger beer a good option for creating a healthier you.
  • Mojito Mocktail – Mix water, sugar, club soda, mint and ice for a virgin Mojito.
  • Bloody Mary – Add beef bouillon (a bouillon cube mixed into boiling water) to tomato juice, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, dried basil leaves and a dash of celery salt and serve chilled for a healthier Bloody Mary.
  • Cran-Grape Spritzer – Cranapple juice, grape juice, and club soda make this an easy alternative to your usual alcoholic drink of choice.

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  1. No safe level of alcohol, new study concludes — University of Washington School of Medicine
  2. Facts + Statistics: Alcohol-impaired driving — Insurance Information Institute
Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

By Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with more than 20 years of experience. She has dedicated herself to helping others enjoy life at every age through the use of alternative medicine and natural wellness options. Dr. Schmedthorst enjoys sharing her knowledge with the alternative healthcare community, providing solutions for men and women who are ready to take control of their health the natural way.