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Old 06-26-2013, 10:41 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvert Hall '62 View Post
I consider that the start of this steady relationship was April 1961, age 17. (Also heavy smoker for 20 years but that's another story.) During much of my working career, drank seven nights a wk. During one fairly prolonged period this entailed 50 beers and a half-liter of vodka per week.

Anyway, was able to retire young (53). During these 16 yrs. of retirement, beer reduced to 24 per week, four days a week only (Tue., Thu., Sat., Sun.).

Now I'm showing low blood sodium. Never a problem before. Cut back a month ago to only 16 drinks a week and half of them are 5 oz. glasses of wine. Trying to cut back on liquids to enhance the sodium. Diet sodas down from 12 per day to six per day. Not sure that liquid intake is what's causing the hyponatremia (low sodium) though.

The only other medical finding that may be ethanol-related is a 25-year history of elevated serum ferritin (a form of iron). Otherwise, all is normal; run up and down my hill 30 min. a day, six days a week. Home gym three days a week, using exercise bands rather than barbells / dumbbells these days.

Have to admit though, the mornings after the three non-drinking nights of Mon., Wed., and Fri., I feel like age 16 again. But the mornings after the four drinking nights, I feel like hell, all wiped out, even tho only four drinks a night are consumed.
Most likely the low sodium is due to dehydration. Alcohol inhibits the kidneys from "recycling" fluid, which is why you pee a LOT when you drink alcohol. With the fluid that leaves your body, so does the electrolytes. Solidum Potassium and Magnesium.

On your drinking nights, I would recommend that you try to boost up your electrolytes before drinking and also the next day too. There are many ways to do this but the most simple and cheapest is just by drinking some Pedialyte. You can buy them at the grocery store and they will help you keep your sodium balanced.

Also, I would definitely cut down on the diet sodas. In my opinion they are WORSE for you health-wise than the alcohol. The human liver has the uncanny ability to regenerate faster than any other organ. I would strongly recommend using Milk Thistle supplements which have been shown to support liver health and reverse the damage caused by alcohol. Also, you may want to re-think your schedule and, instead of alternating drinking and non-drinking nights, give yourself three or four nights in a row for your liver to heal up.

20yrsinBranson

 
Old 06-27-2013, 11:05 AM
 
Location: God's Country
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Thanks guys for your comments. Some good stuff here to ponder.
 
Old 06-27-2013, 12:57 PM
 
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Congratulations Calvert on cutting back! I am also a lifer, about 30 years now, currently consuming about 8 beers a day, no hard liquor, no wine. I am betting your low sodium is dehydration. I am 45 and have found that my body doesn't metabolize the alcohol the way it used to, and I was forever thirsty with clenching muscles from dehydration, so I now make it a point to drink Gatorade or Powerade with a lot of electrolytes, and I drink a glass of water with every beer. That has cut back my consumption from over half a case every day.

To everyone else telling the OP to cut back or quit, do you not think we know what we are supposed to do? That's no different than telling a smoker they need to quit. As if being ostracized from every public place isn't clue enough to make them stop.

Thanks for the advice, we get it, it's just not that easy.
 
Old 06-29-2013, 10:18 AM
 
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way to go on the cutting back. i used to kill a 30 pack a week and have about 7-15 rum & cokes a week. i felt awful even on the days i didn't drink, so i cut back, started eating healthier, and going to the gym.

i still drink, but the difference is that i cut out mixers and soda altogether. during the winter months, i rarely drunk beer. now, i am lucky to have 7-11 beers and 2-4 straight whiskeys a week(no mixers). it's easier to keep a healthy weight when you cut mixers out. but yeah, even at 24, being hungover sucks and i try to avoid it whenever possible. gatorade/bananas/water usually help, but they never take away the hangover completely.
 
Old 06-29-2013, 10:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
wow, I missed that part. For those of you who are advising about the OP cutting back; realize how much he/she has and realize, they are only drinking 4 days a week. Actually, that amounts to about 2 drinks a day, which most say is perfectly acceptable. I would be more concerned about the apparently addiction to soft drinks.
If he's drinking four glasses of wine at a go, four times a week, that means he's putting away an entire bottle of wine at a time, four times a week.

Sounds like an alcoholic to me.
 
Old 06-29-2013, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
71,711 posts, read 83,289,352 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilac110 View Post
If he's drinking four glasses of wine at a go, four times a week, that means he's putting away an entire bottle of wine at a time, four times a week.

Sounds like an alcoholic to me.
ok, look at it this way: Divide the 16 by 7. That is about the supposedly the acceptable amount and even considered healthy. Again, I think how much one drinks (within reason) doesn't always tell the story. But for those who are not drinkers it is not an easy thing to understand. I will add, if 16 drinks a week, makes us alcoholics, I can guarantee everyone, there are a lot more alcoholics in the world than we think.

Oh and one more thing: a bottle consists of 5, normal sized glasses of wine I will add, not 4. Of course maybe you are accustom to drinking 6 oz or more per glass.
 
Old 06-29-2013, 11:43 AM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,847 posts, read 30,273,497 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilac110 View Post
If he's drinking four glasses of wine at a go, four times a week, that means he's putting away an entire bottle of wine at a time, four times a week.

Sounds like an alcoholic to me.
Alcoholic is a mindset. How much he drinks is pretty irrelevant, really. Now, if he sat down to drink a bottle of wine and found there wasn't one, then proceeded to smash every plate in the kitchen and punch the wall out of anger and frustration because there was no wine, THEN, I would say he is an alcoholic.

Alcohol is a beverage just like any other. I'd venture to say that there are more people in this country who would get violent at the aspect of someone taking away their diet soda. Drinking is not a problem unless it BECOMES a problem. If you cannot function normally because of liquor, then you have a problem. Just drinking doesn't mean you have a problem at all.

20yrsinBranson
 
Old 06-29-2013, 11:52 AM
 
Location: God's Country
5,185 posts, read 3,475,435 times
Reputation: 8674
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilac110 View Post
If he's drinking four glasses of wine at a go, four times a week, that means he's putting away an entire bottle of wine at a time, four times a week.

Sounds like an alcoholic to me.
Actually, two glasses of wine -- each glass 5 ozs. -- at a "go." They're accompanied by two cans of brew, each can 12 oz. Total of four drinks at a "go," four times a week. Same total as you figured though, 16 alcoholic drinks per wk.
 
Old 06-29-2013, 01:45 PM
 
12,544 posts, read 12,466,546 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
ok, look at it this way: Divide the 16 by 7. That is about the supposedly the acceptable amount and even considered healthy. Again, I think how much one drinks (within reason) doesn't always tell the story. But for those who are not drinkers it is not an easy thing to understand. I will add, if 16 drinks a week, makes us alcoholics, I can guarantee everyone, there are a lot more alcoholics in the world than we think.

Oh and one more thing: a bottle consists of 5, normal sized glasses of wine I will add, not 4. Of course maybe you are accustom to drinking 6 oz or more per glass.

You're missing my point, which is that he's borderline binge-drinking 4 times a week, and has been binge-drinking as well as maintenance drinking his whole life. It's not like he's in college partying it up. Binge drinking for years on end is a sign of alcoholism.

Up to two drinks in one evening is considered moderate drinking for men. Also, please note what that link says about moderate drinking: "This definition is referring to the amount consumed on any single day and is not intended as an average over several days." He's having 4 drinks at a go. That's heavy drinking.

OP, the bottom line is that you drink too much. If you're not an alcoholic, you definitely abuse alcohol, and I suggest that you see a counselor about it.


 
Old 06-29-2013, 02:05 PM
 
12,544 posts, read 12,466,546 times
Reputation: 28900
Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
Alcoholic is a mindset. How much he drinks is pretty irrelevant, really. Now, if he sat down to drink a bottle of wine and found there wasn't one, then proceeded to smash every plate in the kitchen and punch the wall out of anger and frustration because there was no wine, THEN, I would say he is an alcoholic.

Alcohol is a beverage just like any other. I'd venture to say that there are more people in this country who would get violent at the aspect of someone taking away their diet soda. Drinking is not a problem unless it BECOMES a problem. If you cannot function normally because of liquor, then you have a problem. Just drinking doesn't mean you have a problem at all.

20yrsinBranson
No, alcoholism is not a mindset. It's an addiction, with physical and psychological dependency. I suggest you read up on it.

CDC - Alcohol and Public Health Home Page - Alcohol

Alcoholism - MayoClinic.com

Alcoholism and alcohol abuse: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

Also, you do not have to be a raging, belligerent drunkard to be an alcoholic or to abuse alcohol. I've worked with high-functioning alcoholics, and unless you got close enough to smell their breath or already knew they were alcoholics, you'd never guess they were active users.

And by the way, alcohol is not just another beverage. It is considered a drug.
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