Wellness Wednesday: Finding the Balance between Happy Hour and Your Good Health

alcohol-05Many people have an occasional glass of wine with dinner or celebrate with a cocktail or a beer, but how much is too much?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) excessive alcohol use is the third leading lifestyle-related cause of death in the United States. April is Alcohol Awareness Month and Mercy Health System would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the importance of caring for yourself—body, mind and spirit.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that if you drink alcoholic beverages, do not exceed one drink per day for women or two drinks per day for men. According to the CDC, one alcoholic drink can be measured as 12 ounces of beer or cooler, 8 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits (rum, gin, vodka, etc.)

The guidelines recommend that those who fit into the following avoid alcoholic beverages:

  • Children and adolescents
  • People of any age who cannot limit their drinking to low level
  • Women who may become pregnant or who are pregnant
  • Those who plan to drive, operate machinery, or take part in other activities that require attention, skill, or coordination
  • People taking prescription or over-the-counter medications that can interact with alcohol
  • Persons recovering from alcoholism
  • Others as directed by their primary care physician (PCP)

If you feel like you need assistance in managing your drinking, or if you’re feeling stressed or depressed, your PCP can help coordinate your care and refer you to a specialist, if needed. If you don’t have a PCP, visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

To find a Mercy physician, go to www.mercyhealth.org/find-a-doctor.

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