Binge Drinking

Simply put, binge drinking refers to drinking more than double the lower risk guidelines for alcohol in one session. Binge drinking or heavy episodic drinking is a modern epithet for drinking alcoholic beverages with the primary intention of becoming

20

Oct 2016

THIS HAPPENS TO YOUR BODY WHEN YOU BINGE DRINK

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Binge drinking is of common occurrence between young adults and new professionals. Binge drinking happens when a person consumes more than five alcoholic drinks on one occasion. Binging is clearly an unhealthy habit which affects our bodies and brains. In the short term, binge drinkers complain about hangovers, lack of sleep, irritability, mood swings, difficulty at work and interpersonal relationships. In the long run, binge drinking can cause liver disease, cancer and memory loss amongst many other associated health problems.

To begin with, binging seems like the most fun thing to do on weekends and party evenings. Binge drinkers can’t seem to stop at just one drink. Even after serious attempts to stop, they just keep wanting more and more till the bottle empty the life out of them. Here are some facts about alcohol that will explain what happens to your body when you binge drink.

What happens to Alcohol when it enters your body?

Alcohol is a relatively simple organic compound that doesn’t need to be digested. In pure form, alcohol in chemical constitution is simpler than glucose. As the drink reaches your stomach, it is directly picked up into the blood stream (by a process much similar to how we absorb oxygen from our lungs). Entering the blood stream, it goes to all bodily tissues including the heart (which may race if the amount of alcohol becomes too high) and the brain (where the buzz is exactly felt). Alcohol does not have a real process of digestion, but is metabolised into acetaldehyde (the dreaded compound that is responsible for hangovers) in the liver. The liver is the organ that takes the most load of alcohol metabolism because every drop of alcohol that you drink is broken down in the liver. Traditionally speaking, alcohol avoids the regular digestive route, but a new research suggests that alcohol can make gut bacteria to leak from the stomach and release harmful toxins into the bloodstream.

Adam and Eve don’t have equal cups of wine.

Keeping aside gender-bias and feudalism which say a man can handle his alcohol and women can’t, the real basis for why men drink more is the way their bodies are designed. Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is the unit that measures the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood. Men have heavier bodies and higher water content in their tissues that can take in more alcohol than a woman. Women on the other hand are smaller and have less water in their bodies as compared to men. This in other words, means that a woman gets drunk faster than a man on the same amount of alcohol. Imagine what this fact would mean to a binge drinker!

The best way to drink responsibly is by munching on snacks while you drink. It helps the body cope with the physical stress of alcohol consumption. Drinking is fun only when the body is healthy.

If you want to binge, binge on life, not on alcohol!

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18

Jul 2016

5 Ways to Spot a Binge Drinker

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If you’re reading this article, you’re probably aware of the ill effects of binge drinking. Always characterised by by failing health, crashing grades, breaking relationships which lead to a ruined life, binge drinking patterns have been widely studied and researched amongst the groups that are most prone to falling victim to it – The Young Adults.

In a recent study at the University of Alabama, Birmingham suggests one in four college student suffers from alcohol abuse related issues. This includes falling grades, bunking class, hangovers and a general tendency towards “missing-class-because-I-was-partying-all-night”. If this weren’t shocking enough, 1,824 students die from alcohol related injuries like drunk driving, over dosing and substance abuse. This approximates to a whopping 38 million American adults who binge drink four times every month. Some with the awareness of what they’re doing, but unfortunately, most people have no idea they are crossing the permissible health limits for consumption of alcohol. They don’t recognise binge drinking as a problem because it doesn’t happen every day. For instance, they may have just a glass of wine every evening (which is fine) but keep a full bottle for when the week ends (which clearly is harmful).

Here are 5 behaviours that indicate you’re pushing it way too much –

  1. You’ve started to do things you’d never let a best friend do.

Have you recently ripped off your tie after being seriously buzzed at an office get-together and suggested your boss and colleagues to take the party to a near-by club? Or, just said hey to an attractive stranger after downing six pints of beer and found yourself in their car or worse, in their bed a couple of hours later? Binge drinking means you have little or no control on the logic and reasoning centre of your brain which makes you do silly, or in some cases, dangerous things. Binge drinkers are always at a higher risk of catching STDs, becoming victims of drunk driving and often find themselves in violent situations.

  1. Your memories are getting faint.

You are four times more prone to having an alcohol related disorder if one or both of your parents were alcoholic. Alcohol gets absorbed in the blood stream and interferes with the brain centre that stores memories. Glutamate is an amino acid that is associated with memory recall, and alcohol directly interferes with it.

  1. You plan your work-week around drinking.

All of us love the days we have no work, but if every plan of yours revolves around alcohol every day and every weekend, then you need to pay attention to your habits. You may have been a hard worker but you’ve started being hungover for your morning meetings, or may be missing your gym class for a couple of Happy Hour drinks.

  1. You can’t seem to stop at one drink.

“One more round” is your favourite line at the bar. One problem binge drinkers face is to not be able to stop when they should. You may have set a strict limit to how much you want to drink on a certain night, but you end up having twice that amount. You obviously regret it the next morning, but by then you’ve already indulged in binge drinking once again.

  1. Your friends are worried about you.

A close friend may have hinted at your love for getting drunk a couple of times. You may have chosen to ignore it at first, but it may be a good idea to revisit their concern when you feel better. It is embarrassing, or even humiliating to be called a drunk, but close friends are able to identify changes in behaviour much faster than anyone else.

To minimise your risk of binge drinking, remember to have no more than 1 drink/ day (for women) and 2 drinks/day (for men). Also, try to spread out your consumption over all week. It’s never a good idea to ‘save up’ your drinks for the weekend. Always eat a full meal before drinking.

Cheers!

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19

Apr 2016

Moderate Drinker Wins The Race

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Drinking in moderation is a way of life that encourages an alcoholic or alcohol abuser to drink moderately so that they can live a healthier and fruitful life. Some people believe that moderate drinking is a myth and doesn’t bring any drastic results in one’s life; on the contrary, some say that it has changed their life for good. No one can really prove its effectiveness and it’s still an on-going debate. We did some research in our stride to unveil what’s really happening behind the curtains of moderate drinking.

 

Before taking a peek behind the curtain let’s talk about what moderate drinking really is and what amount of drinking could be counted as ‘moderate drinking’.

 

Moderate Drinking In A Beaker

According to NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism), moderate drinking could be defined as follows:

  • Up to 4 alcoholic drink in a single day for men and a maximum of 14 drinks in a week.
  • Up to 3 alcoholic drink in a single day for women and a maximum of 7 drinks in a week.

And as per the National Health Service (NHS) –

  • Men should not consume more than 30 to 40 ml of pure alcohol in a day.
  • Whereas women should not consume more than 20-30 ml of pure alcohol in a day.

 

Moderate Drinking – A Healthy Way Of Life

  • As per a report in “Journal Neuropsychiatric Disease And Treatment”, a study conducted that has over 365,000 participants since 1977 showed that those who drank moderately had 23% fewer chances of having Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia as alcohol stresses up the brain cells and make them tighten, enabling them to cope with these conditions.

 

  • According to studies done by “The School of Public Health at Harvard University” drinking in moderation could be linked to beneficial changes in better sensitivity of insulin that leads to better blood flow as it reduces the blood clots in the heart, brain and neck which reduces the chances of stroke in both men and women who doesn’t have a history of any cardiovascular condition.

 

  • World Health Day – Beat Diabetes has just passed by and it is a known fact that excess alcohol consumption could decrease blood sugar level and sometimes to dangerous levels, especially for people with type 1 diabetes. Although, as per a Dutch study drinking alcohol in moderation in healthy adults has shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

 

  • It has been discovered by “The Department of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University” that smoking could worsen the common cold whereas a moderate amount of alcohol consumption could be beneficial against common cold. Also, moderate consumption of red wine has shown 60% less chance of having common cold.

 

There are many such studies that have found other health benefits but most of these don’t have any scientific evidence of these health benefits. So, one can’t actually prove that moderate drinking is either good or bad.

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