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Alcohol and health

Struggling a bit with this and wondering if the nights you feel you’ve slept well are the same as those referred to as poor quality sleep which result in diminished ability. Intuitively I would think the nights I feel I’ve slept well ARE the nights I’ve slept well. Certainly when I had definitely drunk too much (years ago obviously) I wouldn’t wake up feeling I’d slept well. On the other hand I don’t feel I’ve slept badly every time I’ve had an enjoyable couple of drinks (which I often do).

Perhaps I need to read that book!


Ultrasound rescheduled for Saturday.

Turns out I do get to go into a large London hospital (Guy’s rather than Thomas’s) in the middle of a massive wave of pandemic. Whoop!


Homerton’s radiology ward was quieter than I’ve ever seen it when I went for an x-ray the other day. Presume people are avoiding going unless they absolutely have to.

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I hope it goes well, @strawpig! :crossed_fingers: :crossed_fingers:
I wonder if, in a strage sort of way, hospitals are actually one of the safest places to be at the moment, for the level of care they are taking? Better than a supermarket, that’s for sure! Let us know how it went.

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No sure if anyone mentioned this already but when it comes to health and alcohol by far my main concern is usually more with the empty calories and weight gain rather than liver damage. This has been a particular issue with lockdown. Not only has it been difficult to get in the same level of exercise / movement but also a couple of extra glasses per week is really hanging around my middle.

On keeping down the overall level of drinking I certainly agree with other comments here about quaffing rather than slowing down and appreciating wine. I find this is more of a problem with cheaper wines. A £6.50 bottle of Fistful of Schist we’ll easily down the whole bottle midweek with a clear conscious, whereas a more expensive bottle we might have over a few days at the weekend usually thought out to go with particular dinner.


I did dry Jan and damp feb last year. Despite strict exercise regime my weight did not change.
Also I was type 2. A professor of public health said if I stopped alcohol my hba1c would plummet. I did and it didn’t.


Good luck and hope it goes well. I’m still waiting for my ultrasound appointment atm.


I was phoned just as I was finished work this afternoon and asked if I could come in on Saturday. I hope yours comes through soon.


I had an MRI at the Royal London in April and it was the quietest I’ve ever seen a hospital - eerily empty. Quite strange realising that on the floors above it was a hive of activity and dozens of people were struggling for breath. I felt a lot less safe in the minicab on the way there and back than at the hospital.

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Interesting - what was your diet like during those months?

Low carbohydrate: avoided rice, pasta potatoes, but did eat wholemeal bread. Also avoided all the usual sugar infested stuff. I did exercise regularly by brisk walks and exercise bike. I had lost 14 kilos so was down from 95 to 81 ( I am 5’8" tall). My hba1c has come down from 98 to 47.but that is over a 3 year period. Now at 78 kilos.


Thanks @Bluebeard and @Stefanovic for the reassurance. Luckily Guy’s is walkable for me, so I don’t even have the issues with getting there.

As people have said, I’ve never seen a hospital that quiet.

Ultrasound found nothing. No scarring, no fatty deposits, no tumour. I have a healthy looking liver.

Next up: a lot more blood tests.


That’s really good to hear, @strawpig! :+1:
I hope the blood tests give you good news too.

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Good news on that front - let’s hope the other tests are also suitably positive.

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Though not taking part in dry January, we are only drinking on Fri-Sun for January following a period over the run-up to Christmas and through New Year when I probably had a glass of wine (at least) every day. Now I’m furloughed for the foreseeable future, thought I’d better take measures to manage my intake (beyond just polishing off all the sherry & Madeira clogging up the fridge).

However, is funnelling everything into those three days beneficial for me, besides a possible question over my resolve? For example, we opened a bottle of red and a bottle of white on Friday. Stir-fried pork and vegetables in oyster sauce with garlic & soy-butter noodles at supper did not lend itself to wine, but this evening, once the kids had been strapped to their mattresses and we were downstairs we both fancied a glass. There was way more than a normal pour remaining, probably almost double.

Bitter memories of last Monday, when I was compelled to use the remains of a delicious bottle of white in family supper resurfaced, so I upended both bottles into our respective glasses. Use it or lose it.

Only when considering the quantity before me did I start thinking. Is a single 150-200ml pour in one evening better than 2*75-100ml doses over two? Is it the number of alcohol-free days that is most important or the total consumed over the course of the week? What’s the official advice and what would you do?


Excellent news on your test results so far, long may this continue.

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I’d be surprised if anyone can with confidence tell you the answer to that specific question, and quantify the respective downsides. It seems hard to see how someone could know the answer with confidence. I also imagine the difference is quite small, and I’d guess it might well depend on what else you have that day and on neighbouring ones, and you as a person. But what do I know…

Empathise with your point though. If you, say, want some white with your starter and red with your main, you have two open bottles on your hands, which is a lot of wine.

I often cool wines, then immediately on opening pour half the cold wine into a screw cap bottle to the brim and put in fridge, leaving the remaining half full bottle to warm up to serving temperature. The stored halves often keep well, and it’s not unusual for the wine to be better three or four days later. Indeed, I actually think that younger wines can keep surprisingly well like this. I’ve heard reports of people keeping them for well over a week.

As well as half bottles, I have 250ml bottles so can be quite flexible.

Though some wines, especially red Burgundy and older wines, don’t respond well.

I’ve faced your dilemma of a left-over 150ml. It can end up being consumed with cheese on top of half a bottle. The good thing about sending it to the mirepoix is that this temptation is gone. You can also freeze small amounts for cooking on other occasions, or turn into vinegar, of course.

A friend who drinks extremely expensive wines (£100 a bottle stuff, though I should say is humble, learned, and kind and generous with his remarkable wine and knowledge of it) once said of this dilemma “if you don’t want it all, just tip it down the sink”.

I shivered at the thought of Gaja slipping down the plughole. But in a way he’s right. Better to enjoy wine, really savour it and not have what you don’t actually want, or suffer for it. Though I wish I could fill my dinky screw caps from his kitchen!

The way I look at it is that a 150ml of a 12 quid wine is worth £2.40. Well if cooked with, let’s say it’s worth half as much. You’ve lost £1.20 of wine value but feel better in the morning. It’s not a bad trade really.

The downside I face is that storing half and third bottles tilts me towards younger, robust and cheaper wines. My Burgundy gets drunk less often even though I prefer it!


PS, I’m like you, not working just now, and similarly mindful of consumption as a result. Also, looking after a four year old all day while my wife works… I don’t fancy doing that having put away a load or wine the night before. Need all the good temper, humour and energy I can muster!!


First of all I would think that with the quantities you are talking about there is no significant difference. However, I believe that, in general, a little every day is better than a lot over a couple of days. My understanding is that a small regular amount puts no real stress on your liver whereas the same amount consumed in a short time can put a significant strain on it. So for example a bottle spread evenly over the whole week would be no strain, whereas having the whole bottle in one evening will put more strain on it. However I think you need to go well over that one bottle to make that strain really significant.


This is good news @strawpig ! I had a bit of a health ‘situation’ a few years ago. Some very good things came out of it. I’ll try to do share here this afternoon/evening.