Dr. Noe’s 10 Steps to Optimal Health
Step 8: Avoid Excessive Alcohol
(7 drinks or less per week for women, 14 for men)
Excessive alcohol intake is known to increase the risk of liver disease,gout, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, pancreatitis, high blood pressure, diabetes, and many types of cancer. While moderate alcohol intake reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke, the risks of excessive alcohol intake far surpass any such benefit. Excessive alcohol intake,in fact, is the third leading lifestyle related cause of death in the U.S.
The recommendation for the general population is that men should not have more than two alcoholic drinks per day and women one. Those with certain risk factors (such as the diseases listed above) should have less or none.
Alcohol provides the body with plentiful calories as carbohydrate. These calories, however, are “empty,” being completely devoid of any vitamins, minerals, or other micronutrients. The end result is that people who consume excessive alcohol are often malnourished. Because the calories in alcoholic drinks are “high glycemic” carbohydrates (they spike the blood sugar), they often lead to a host of blood sugar disorders when they are consumed in excess. These disorders include hypoglycemia, obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. People who have these disorders are often tired and depressed, and may have high blood pressure and low libido or other sexual function problems.
In addition to the risks from excessive intake, alcohol is also an addictive drug. You may have a problem with alcohol addiction if it causes problems in your relationships, job, school, social activities, or if it affects how you think and feel. The Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST) is a self-administered, 22 question screening test that may help you to determine whether you have a problem with alcohol. You can take this test online, confidentially, at http://counsellingresource.com/quizzes/alcohol-mast/index.html. Consult your healthcare provider if you think you may have a problem with alcohol. Another resource is the National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Routing Referral Service at 1-800-662-HELP.
Naturopathic doctors are physician experts in treating the underlying cause of disease and using natural medicines to help people get and stay well. To see a naturopathic doctor for help in determining whether your health problems are related to diet, and for comprehensive help and guidance in how to make changes in your dietary habits and improve nutrition, please make a selection below.