Dry January has come to an end and many of those who successfully took part will be benefiting from the money they have saved, as well as significantly better sleep, energy levels and weight loss.
One thing we can all agree on is that the Dry January campaign is fantastic at encouraging individuals to take a step back from the bottle and think about ‘healthy’ drinking habits, however it’s also crucial that this initiative doesn’t encourage a wetter than usual February!
Pall Mall Medical’s General Practitioner, Dr Ron McCulloch gives his take on the trend and asks ‘are the people who took part (and are currently celebrating with a glass of wine) really making a difference to their health?’
Addressing the damage
Addressing an alcoholic issue, arguably is a difficult thing to do, with social benefits and gratification normalising its consumption, many struggle to stop their unhealthy habits in its tracks. So, first and foremost it’s essential to recognise how much is too much?
Pall Mall Medical GP, Dr Ron McCulloch would “constitute heavy drinking as 5 or more units every day (35 units a week) anything that exceeds this is considered to be abusive”.
Arguably, stats and figures often blow straight over the heads of the nation, and knowing exactly where the line of ‘healthy drinking’ is, can become blurred.
The Health Consequences
The real consequences of excessive drinking, as we all know, can be pretty detrimental to both the liver and general physical health, but according Pall Mall GP, Dr Ron McCulloch, “repeated heavy drinking over a number of years will most likely impair cognitive and mental functions” as well.
In a bid to encourage a healthier relationship with alcohol, he flags the “alcohol by Volume associated with different forms of alcohol. Spirits like Vodka and Whiskey have an ABV of around 30-40%, in comparison a pint of beer is 4/5%”.
Ian Hamilton, lecturer in the department of health sciences at York University, claims that “it would be better to have two alcohol free days each week all year rather than a one-month abstinence”. His work was published in the British Medical Journal 2016.
Ultimately, there can never be any real criticism with abstaining from alcohol at any point in the year, whether that be January, February or dare I say it the boozy festive period, and those who gave alcohol the boot this January quite rightly deserve great praise.
Conclusively though, Pall Mall Medical and Dr Ron McCulloch would place the importance on a balanced intake, and if you are drinking then to take the general theory that “as long as you follow the suggested guidelines for low risk drinking (14 units per week) your cognitive functions should not be affected, irrespective of what you drink”.
What Can I Do?
Dr Ron McCulloch is a General Practitioner with over 50 years experience, including being a GP in his own private clinic in the city of Abu Dhabi for 3 years. He is available for appointments at our Manchester City Centre clinic and performs a whole range of Private GP services from general consultations to private prescriptions, hay fever injections (not available on the NHS), blood testing, scanning referrals and work medical examinations.
If you would like to see Dr Ron McCulloch, or any of our Private GP's, please call our patient team on 03300 58 44 55 or email firstname.lastname@example.org