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One Drink Too Many

The after-work beer, a Friday night cocktail, Margarita Night – these are all common staples of a week in American culture. In fact, choosing not to join in this type of relaxing camaraderie often draws more attention than choosing to drink. This month, Harbin Clinic wants to give you the facts on alcohol consumption. Did you know you are taking on possible risks with any number of drinks?

There are many risks the average person encounters daily. For example, getting in a car for a regular commute comes with health risks. In the same way, people often forget that excess drinking is not the only type of drinking that comes with risks. Moderate drinking may also affect your health.

Up-To-Date, a hub of medical research used by physicians, describes the issue this way, “Is alcohol good or bad for your health? For many reasons, this is a question without simple or clear-cut answers… Understanding the potential risks and benefits of alcohol is essential to make an informed decision about alcohol use.”

Dr. Lacey Johnson with Harbin Clinic Family Medicine Adairsville stated it another way, “Alcohol, a substance that is as common as milk in many homes, needs to be recognized as a drug.  The USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend that for those who have not started drinking alcohol, do not start for any reason. In other words, choosing to drink is choosing potential short-term and long-term health risks.”

So, how do you begin to assess your personal risk? The best way to get a clear picture of your risk is to meet with a healthcare provider. Your physician can help you weigh the risks or benefits for your age, sex, personal medical history, family history, diet, physical fitness, and other lifestyle choices such as smoking, etc.  Without knowing your personal health factors, the most definitive answer in medical research is, “For individuals without medical conditions, research suggests that the healthiest “dose” of alcohol is less than one alcoholic drink daily.”

“Maybe you’re used to hearing that one or two drinks a day is fine,” commented Dr. Brian McNiece with Harbin Clinic Family Medicine Rome, “but it’s important to recognize that “fine” means taking chances. Even a small amount of alcohol has health risks involved, according to the research. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but the evidence is there.”

Want to understand more about alcohol intake and whether it is affecting your health? Make an appointment with your primary care provider today. Our physicians are ready and willing to answer your questions about alcohol. Or do you still need to connect with a primary care provider? Start building a relationship with a physician today. Learn more about Harbin Clinic providers who are ready to care for you completely: https://harbinclinic.com/services/family-medicine/

Published April 27, 2022