A mum who likes to wind down with two or three wines every night has taken to social media to ask if she has a drinking problem.
Posting in a mum’s group, the woman said she doesn’t get drunk, but indulges in about three standard drinks each evening.
‘I am just trying to work out if me having a few drinks of an evening would be considered a drinking problem,’ she wrote, asking fellow parents to be kind with their answers.
A mum has taken to Facebook to work out if her habit of having three drinks per night is acceptable
Her question comes as experts reveal the only ‘safe’ alcohol consumption limit is zero, with health bodies officially recommending two small glasses or 250mL of wine per week.
For beer drinkers that is one and a half pints of beer per week before you start moving into the ‘danger zone’.
GP Dr Deb Cohen-Jones told FEMAIL that having just two standard drinks per night increases a woman’s risk of getting cancer and shaves ten years off their lives.
There is no such thing as ‘safe alcohol consumption’ according to a doctor who says even small amounts of alcohol can be linked to poor health, an increased risk of cancer, infertility and early death
Many of the people in the group took a similarly grim approach to the woman’s question, with some begging her to get help.
‘If you’re concerned it’s a problem, try and cut back to one or two, or try not to drink during the weekdays, if you struggle with that – you do have codependency or an addiction that you should mention to your GP,’ one woman said.
Another echoed this sentiment and said if she ‘can’t go a night or two without a few’ then it is an issue.
A third told her to go ‘cold turkey’ for two weeks and if she found herself caving in or craving a drink to ‘reassess’ the habit.
A woman who lived in a home with an everyday drinker said she would consider it a problem.
She said the woman she lived with had three to four drinks every single night and ‘everyone in the house hated it’.
While others saw little risk in ‘drinking to reduce stress’ even though it goes against everything experts have revealed recently about alcohol consumption.
‘Not at all, unwind however you want,’ one woman said.
‘If that’s how you de-stress at the end of the day or while cooking dinner then you do you. If you were rolling drunk every night and immediately looking for a drink the next day I’d say you should have a look at it but otherwise we all decompress differently,’ added another.
Some turned the questions back on the mum, and asked if she is okay with how much she is drinking and whether it is having an impact on her relationships.
‘Never mind what the group focus is. Ask yourself.’
The research from Canada suggest people who have more than three drinks per week are putting themselves at moderate risk.
While those who indulge in more than six are exposing themselves to ‘increasingly high risk’.
Dr Deb Cohen-Jones , a GP from Perth, Western Australia, told FEMAIL people who have two alcoholic drinks per night are more likely to get cancer
This number has been reduced drastically over the last few years. First it was 26 glasses of wine a week, then it was 17, then ten, and the latest UK guidelines whittled it down to six before the Canadian study was released.
But experts have hit out at the report – and say telling people to have two or less drinks per week would have the opposite effect.
Christopher Snowdon, of the Institute of Economic Affairs think-tank, said: ‘A limit of two drinks per week is so ridiculously low that it will be greeted with derision by the public.’
Dr Richard Harding, who helped review sensible drinking messages for the UK Government in the mid-1990s, believes small amounts of alcohol daily is good.
‘Fifty years of epidemiological and clinical research points to substantial health benefits – not harms – of daily intakes of small amounts of alcohol,’ he said. ‘The plain fact is that, if people were to follow the recommendation to reduce their consumption to two small drinks or less a week, it is likely that they would be worse off in health terms.’
West Australian GP went into detail about the huge impacts alcohol can have on every single system in the body from the brain to the gastrointestinal tract and even the skin.
Drinking alcohol has a huge impact on our brains and leads to a spike in depressive thoughts, anxiety and poor overall mental health.
There is also a link between drinking regularly and suicide as well as insomnia.
People who drink before the age of 25 are also doing permanent damage to their brains, which are still not fully-developed.
‘The problem with this is that that’s when most of us drink most, between 18 and 25, but it is damaging,’ Dr Cohen-Jones said.
People who drink more than 14 standard drinks per week are more likely to develop some cancers, mostly in the gastrointestinal system.
One in three alcohol related deaths are from cancers, many of these are in the upper gastrointestinal system, including the tongue and throat.
People who drink are six times more likely to get these kinds of cancers.
Drinking also has an impact on the liver, which has to break down the alcohol.
Liver diseases caused by drinking alcohol can include fatty liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis.
People who use herbal medicines and drink are putting even more stress on the liver because it has to work hard to break each substance down.
There is also an increased risk of pancreatitis, which can cause pain, nausea, vomiting and in extreme cases, complete organ failure leading to death.
Drinking alcohol can also lead to breast cancer, according to Dr Cohen-Jones, because alcohol upsets hormone production.
Having just two drinks per week triples a woman’s risk of getting diagnosed with breast cancer.
This means it is riskier to drink 14 drinks per week than to have hormone replacement over five years, which is a well-known trigger for the disease.
Women who drink just three alcohol beverages each week have a 15 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer than their non-drinking peers.
Drinking just two glasses of wine a day, or 14 standard drinks each week also dramatically increases your risk of heart attack or stroke.
This is because drinking alcohol raises your blood pressure, the doctor explained.
For pregnant or breastfeeding mothers and women of a childbearing age
Drinking also leads to infertility, according to Dr Cohen-Jones. She says there is no safe limit for pregnant or breast-feeding mothers and if they do have alcohol they should ‘pump and dump’ for up to six hours afterwards.
Women on the pill also need to watch how much they drink, as they also don’t break down alcohol as well as women who aren’t on birth control.
Women over the age of sixty are also unable to metabolise alcohol as effectively and are an at risk group because many are actively enjoying their retirement.
In fact, drinking is much worse for women in general, especially if they like to go drink-for-drink with their partners.
‘It is much worse for women for many reasons, mostly because we are smaller and have more body fat which doesn’t absorb alcohol,’ she said.
This is bad news for women who enjoy having a few drinks with their boyfriends or husbands.
‘If we drink the same amount as a man then our blood alcohol content will be higher,’ she said.
‘This is a problem because many of us would drink the same as our husbands, with dinner, and not think anything of it,’ she said.
Women on the pill are at a further disadvantage because their bodies will break down the alcohol slower.
Former drinker reveals her top five tips to giving up the drink for good
A mum-of-two has revealed the moment she knew she had to give up alcohol forever after she ‘blacked out and ruined Christmas’.
It took Lucy Quick 21 years to realise her relationship with alcohol was toxic.
The 37-year-old never woke up wanting a drink and didn’t consume booze every day but when she did she would often black out.
She now devotes her life to helping others get sober.
Here are her top five tips:
1 – Work out why you are drinking and identify triggers. Plan nights ahead of time so that you aren’t affected by these triggers.
2 – Find and join a great sober community to help you through. That can include a Facebook community like the one run by Thrivalist.
3 – Embody the life of a healthy non-drinker and work out what you need to change or add to your life to achieve that.
4 – Identify your strengths as a person and do more of whatever it is that makes you feel good.
5 – Build a positive mindset this helps you to support yourself more holistically.
Lucy now runs ‘Thrivalist’ alongside her business partner Jen Clements, who has also found a better life after she became sober.