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George Practice

3 Trefoil Square, Gloucester Ln, George Central, 6529

Opening Hours

Mon - Thu: 8am - 5pm
Friday: 8am - 3pm
Sat - Sun: CLOSED
24 Dec - 2 Jan: CLOSED

044-874-2741

George
Fax : 044 874 6299

admin@drsvanderspuy.co.za

George
Feel free to contact us

Alcohol – How much is too much?

Many adults enjoy drinking a few alcoholic beverages, but how much is too much? It’s a common question, especially when you’re trying to determine if your own drinking habits are worrisome. The threshold for harmful drinking is much lower than you might imagine.

Millions of people drink beer, wine, and spirits on a regular basis. They can do so without ever developing a drinking problem. However, you can drink at levels that could put your health and well-being in jeopardy without drinking becoming an alcohol abuser, alcohol dependent, or an alcoholic.

An estimated 4 to 40 percent of medical and surgical patients experience problems related to alcohol. Roughly 1 in 10 deaths among working age adults results from excessive drinking.

How much alcohol can you drink at a safe level and still be considered a low-risk drinker? How much will place you in the high-risk group?

 

Men: Four or Fewer Drinks Per Day

For men, low-risk alcohol consumption is considered drinking 4 or fewer standard drinkson any single day and less than 14 drinks during in a given week To remain low-risk, both the daily and weekly guidelines must be met.

In other words, if you are a man and you drink only four standard drinksper day, but you drink four everyday, you are drinking 28 drinks per week. That is twice the recommended level for low-risk alcohol consumption. Likewise, drinking four drinks a day four times a week would also exceed the guidelines.

 

Women: Three or Fewer Drinks Per Day

Research has shown that women develop alcohol problems at lower levels of consumption than men. Therefore, the guidelines for low-risk drinking are lower for women. The guidelines are 3 or fewer standard drinksa day and no more than 7 drinks per week.

Again, both the daily and weekly standards must be met to remain in the low-risk category. If you drink only two drinks a day but drink them every day, that is 14 drinks a week, or twice the recommended amount for low-risk consumption.

 

What is a “standard drink”? Amounts are based on a standard drink,” which is defined as 14 grams of ethanol, as found in 140ml of wine, 340ml of beer, or 40ml spirits (vodka, whiskey, gin etc).

 

Keep in mind that all of these guidelines are for the “average” person. Since the thresholds vary greatly and there are many factors involved, it’s best to take a personalized approach to find a safe level of drinking.

Harvard Men’s Health Watch suggests that you speak to your doctor to determine how much alcohol is too much for you. Only they know your entire medical history and, with that, you can get a more accurate recommendation. It may also need to lower as you age or if you need to keep certain health conditions, like your blood pressure, in check. What is healthy for you may not be the same for everyone else.

If you regularly exceed the above guidelines for low-risk drinking, you might be a good idea to cut down your alcohol consumption or quit entirely and seek help if you believe it would help you do so.

What is Hypertension?

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure(hypertension) is defined as high pressure (tension) in the arteries, which are the vessels that carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body.

When your doctor or nurse tells you your blood pressure, he or she will say 2 numbers. For instance, your doctor or nurse might say that your blood pressure is “140 over 90.” The top number is the pressure inside your arteries when your heart is contracting. The bottom number is the pressure inside your arteries when your heart is relaxed.

  • Normal blood pressure is below 120/80.
  • In 2017, the American College of Cardiology released new guidelines for high blood pressure.
    • Blood pressure between 120/80 and 129/80 is elevated blood pressure, and a blood pressure of 130/80 or above is considered high.
  • The American Academy of Cardiology defines blood pressure ranges as:
    • Hypertensionstage 1 is 130-139 or 80-89 mm Hg, and hypertension stage 2 is 140 or higher, or 90 mm Hg or higher.

What are the symptoms?

High blood pressure may not have any symptoms and so hypertension has been labeled “the silent killer.” Longstanding high blood pressure can lead to multiple complications including heart attack, kidney disease, or stroke.

Some people experience symptoms with their high blood pressure. These symptoms include:

What causes high blood pressure?

The causes of hypertension are multifactorial, meaning there are several factors whose combined effects produce hypertension.

  • High salt intake or salt sensitivity: This occurs in certain populations such as the elderly, African Americans, people who are obese, or people with kidney (renal) problems.
  • Genetic predisposition to high blood pressure: People who have one or two parents with hypertension have high blood pressure incidence about twice as high as the general population.
  • A particular abnormality of the arteries, which results in an increased resistance (stiffness or lack of elasticity) in the tiny arteries (arterioles): This increased peripheral arteriolar stiffness develops in individuals who are also obese, do not exercise, have high salt intake, and are older.

How can I lower my blood pressure?

If your doctor or nurse has prescribed blood pressure medicine, the most important thing you can do is to take it. If it causes side effects, do not just stop taking it. Instead, talk to your doctor or nurse about the problems it causes. He or she might be able to lower your dose or switch you to another medicine. If cost is a problem, mention that too. He or she might be able to put you on a less expensive medicine. Taking your blood pressure medicine can keep you from having a heart attack or stroke, and it can save your life!

Can I do anything on my own?

You have a lot of control over your blood pressure. To lower it:

  • Lose weight (if you are overweight)
  • Choose a diet low in fat and rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products
  • Reduce the amount of salt you eat
  • Do something active for at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week
  • Cut down on alcohol (if you drink more than 2 alcoholic drinks per day)
  • It’s also a good idea to get a home blood pressure meter. People who check their own blood pressure at home do better at keeping it low and can sometimes even reduce the amount of medicine they take.

 

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Hours

  • Mon - Thu8:00 - 17:00
  • Fri8:00 - 15:00
  • Sat - SunClosed
  • HolidaysClosed
  • 24 Dec - 2 JanClosed
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Welcome! We are two dedicated doctors offering a full-service family practice situated in the centre of George on the beautiful Garden Route. We are eager to optimize the health of patients in and around George, as well as the surrounding area. Our doctors collaborate in order to meet the health needs of the whole family, from baby-care to care of the elderly, in a friendly relaxed atmosphere. We regard our role as being family doctors, concerned with care and support to each member of the family. Being familiar with the personal and family history of each patient, ensures that we will be able to give high quality care and service.

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