- Ever since Hans-Peter Koller started drinking so much that he shivered in the morning and mumbled in the evening, merriment and melancholy follow one another quickly.
- Sometimes, alcohol warms him up so much that he feels confident, light, even funny, as if he could conquer the world.
- At other times, which become more and more numerous, everything goes dark in front of him, the people on the bus, the newspaper in his hand or the woman beside him.
Often, late in the evening, the long nights come when he asks himself: “Have I ever played an important role at least once in my life?”. He has always been on time for work; a reliable, calm, discreet and humble husband and father. Hans-Peter Koller knows he sounds like a crybaby, but this question haunts him, as do his thoughts about wars, climate change, pandemics, and children dying simply because they’re hungry.
“Maybe I really have geriatric depression,” he says with a shrug.
His doctor recently used that word, which sounded foreign to him. Only once did he think about quitting drinking, when Elio, his younger grandson, told him: “Grandpa, you stink.” He was ashamed. But first, Hans-Peter Koller murmurs, he must somehow get rid of those dark thoughts that come without wine and stay with the wine.
As many epidemiological studies show, is associated with an increase in blood pressure in both men and women. Small amounts of alcohol have been proven to help protect against heart problems. Excessive alcohol consumption can raise blood triglyceride levels, lead to hypertension and cardiovascular damage.
- Caloric intake should not be underestimated either: if you intend to lose weight, alcoholic beverages should be reduced.
- Regardless of the type of drink (wine, beer, spirits), hypertension and cardiovascular mortality increase in proportion to alcohol consumption.
This association between alcohol and blood pressure is observed when the usual daily consumption exceeds 20 grams of alcohol, which corresponds approximately to 200 ml of wine (1-2 glasses), 400 ml of beer (2-4 glasses), or 50 ml of spirits (1-2 glasses).
Drinking moderately is a good rule to follow to prevent high blood pressure problems and also to run for cover when blood pressure has exceeded the “safe limits”. It has been observed that blood pressure begins to drop already a few days after the decrease in alcohol intake.
Is getting drunk harmful?
Yes it is: it can increase the risk of having a stroke or cerebral hemorrhage by five times since the pressure can increase exaggeratedly and in turn the risk of rupture of a blood vessel and therefore of bleeding in the brain increases.
How can we not make alcohol a problem?
Knowing how to be regular with consumption is the first rule in order not to overdo it with alcohol. Because alcohol consumption must be moderate and conscious. Some useful rules to follow:
- defer the maximum amount of alcohol expected during the week rather than reaching that quota once or twice,
- abstain from alcoholic beverages for at least two days a week,
- drink slowly, sipping and fully appreciating the taste of the alcoholic drink,
- quench your thirst first with a less strong drink, thus avoiding drinking the alcoholic beverage quickly,
- mix alcoholic drinks with low alcoholic ones,
- learn to control how much you drink so that you know when you have reached the maximum limit of units.
“Go easy on the hard drinks. They can push you to shoot the tax collector … and miss him. ” Robert Anson Heinlein, Lazarus Long the Immortal (1973)
“Don’t think about drowning your sorrows in alcohol. They know how to swim. ” Albert Willemetz
What is the maximum quantity not to be exceeded?
- Women are advised to keep their alcohol consumption between two and three units per day (no more than 14 per week).
- For men, on the other hand, a consumption of no more than four units per day (no more than 21 per week) is indicated.