Whether we’re sharing a bottle of wine with our partner, enjoying a few beers in front of the football or are out on the town enjoying cocktails with friends, few of us realise that we’re subjecting our bodies to binge drinking.
The definition of binge drinking according to the NHS is drinking more than double the lower risk guidelines for alcohol in one session. For men, this is 3 - 4 units per day (one and a half pints of 4% beer) and for women it’s 2 - 3 units which is the equivalent of one 175ml glass of wine.
This means that in order to be classed as a binge drinker, men need to consume just three pints of strong beer and women two large glasses of wine in quick succession of each other.
Aside from feeling hungover the next day, how exactly does regular binge drinking affect us?
The heart - long-term heavy drinking can weaken the heart, affect how quickly it beats and cause high blood pressure and hypertension. Studies have also revealed that binge drinkers are approximately 56% more likely to suffer an ischemic stroke over 10 years and 39% more likely to suffer any type of stroke compared to those who never drink.
The liver - millions of people all over the world suffer from liver disease which is a direct result of alcohol. Chronic heavy drinking causes the liver to become fatty which makes the liver more vulnerable to dangerous inflammation such as alcohol hepatitis. Another well-known condition caused by drinking too much is cirrhosis which causes continued deterioration and eventually, liver failure.
General wellbeing - whilst the more serious conditions are typically associated with very heavy and long-term alcohol consumption, even just one binge drinking session can result in injury, accidents, doing something we later regret and feeling ill the following day.
If you think that you or someone you know could have a problem with alcohol, please feel free to visit our Alcohol Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation page for more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments that are available. You can also contact us today for treatment.