Glass of wine
Vodka (1 shot)
Pint of beer
What is Alcohol?
Common term for ethanol, a compound produced when glucose is fermented by year. The alcohol content of a particular drink is controlled by the amount of yeast and length of fermentation.
· Fruit is used to make wine and cider, while cereals such as barley and rye form the basis of beer and spirits.
· Alcohol is a drug that has the immediate effect of altering mood, makes people feel relaxed, happy and even euphoric, but alcohol is a depressant, it switches off part of the brain that controls judgement, leading to loss of inhibitions. Drinking even small amounts of alcohol can affect physical co-ordination.
The liver breaks down and eliminates alcohol from the body. It takes 1 hr to deal with 1 unit of alcohol (8g)
Health Risks of Including Alcohol in the Diet
There is nothing wrong with having an occasional tipple.
· Heavy drinking can lead to a wide range of health problems, including cancer, liver disease, stroke, high blood pressure.
· Alcohol is high in calories and so weight may be put on.
· Diuretic, meaning it makes the body lose more water than usual. When alcohol is drunk, you need to have more non-alcoholic drinks that aren’t diuretics; otherwise it is easy to get dehydrated.
· Alcohol misuse not only harms the individual but is damaging to relationships and society in general in terms of violence and crime, accidents and drink driving.
In Northern Ireland, the number of alcohol related deaths has MORE than DOUBLED since 1994.
· 255 deaths recorded as alcohol-related
· 8000 alcohol-related admission to hospitals
Long Term Effects
· Immediate effects of drinking too much, like nausea/ vomiting, binge drinking and prolonged heavy drinking over longer periods of time can affect you in many different ways.
· Blackouts, memory loss and anxiety.
· Long-term drinking can cause permanent brain damage, serious mental health problems and alcohol dependence.
· Young people’s brains are vulnerable because the brain is still developing, during their teenage years.
Drinking alcohol is the second biggest risk factors for cancers of the mouth and throat (smoking being the biggest)
Those who develop cirrhosis of the liver can develop liver cancer. 3 drinks a day for women can increase breast cancer.
Heart and Circulation
One study showed that binge drinking patterns in Northern Ireland at weekends led to higher blood pressure levels and a higher incidence of heart attacks on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Blood pressure levels in French drinkers were constant throughout the week, reflecting their moderate drinking patterns.
· Alcohol weakens heart muscles, which can affect lungs, liver, brain and other body systems and can cause heart failure. Binge drinking and drinking heavily over longer periods can cause the heart to beat irregularly (arrhythmia) and has been linked to cases of sudden death.
Drinkers tend to have a lot more lung…