• PALM Centre

Alcohol: Know your limits!

Alcohol consumption in Singapore is on the rise, with people drinking for many different reasons. These include peer pressure, inability to manage stress, environment triggers, social norms and more. There may be some potential health benefits that is circulating in the internet but knowing the facts and knowing how to manage your alcohol intake is most important. In this article we look at some ways to manage binge drinking and knowing your limits.

Some hard facts

Alcohol, whose chemical name is ethanol, is broken down by the body when consumed.

The liver is the main organ that breaks down ethanol. The pancreas stomach and brain are other organs that break down ethanol.

Ethanol when broken down produces a harmful cancer causing compound called acetaldehyde.

Containing 7Kcal of energy per gram, excessive drinking may lead to weight gain. Chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases are associated with weight gain.

*Certain cancers can be attributed to excessive alcohol consumption.

[x] Contact us if you suspect you have any alcohol related chronic disease.

The young and vulnerable

it is estimated at least 4.3 percent of males and 0.8 percent of females in Singapore drink regularly. This equates to drinking 4 times a week. The per capita alcohol consumption has trebled from 2005 to 2015 in Singapore. A study in 2016 estimates that 9.6 percent of the population binge drink, that’s almost 538 000 people! Based on a report by World Health Organisation, 3 million people die globally every year due to alcohol related complications.

It also appears that young adults, aged 18-34 are more prevalent when it comes to alcohol use disorders, abuse and dependence.

Binge drinking refers to:

  • Consuming 5 or more drinks for a male

  • Consuming 4 or more drinks for a female, in about 2 hours.

Knowing your limits

The key to alcohol consumption is moderation, but always check if you are able drink and how much you should drink:

  • If you have health conditions like high blood triglycerides, pancreatic inflammation, liver disease, certain blood disorders, heart failure or uncontrolled high blood pressure, you should not be drinking.

  • If you are below 18 years old, you should not drink. Your body processes alcohol more slowly than adults, leading to longer lasting negative effects.

  • Men should drink no more than 2 standard drinks a day, and women, no more than 1. The diagram below describes what a standard drink is.

  • If alcohol is needed, stick to the low risk drinking limits as stated in the table below.

Low risk drinking

Men: <4 drinks a day or <14 drinks a week

Women: <3 drinks a day or <7 drinks a week

Final tips

  • Moderation is always key when it comes to alcohol consumption

  • Eat something before you drink to slow down alcohol absorption

  • If you do not drink, do not start just because you read about some health benefits of alcohol. There are other fresh foods that can provide you with health benefits without as much possible side effects.

Always talk to your doctor or find out more from us if you have any health concerns

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