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Under extreme stress, lead a healthy lifestyle, have got addicted to rum to ease out stress. Will daily intake prove harmful?

Dear Doctor. I do regular exercise (45 mins daily) and take healthy food. I am a person with lot of work stress and not at all happy when i reach home. I get great relief when I have 2.0 pegs i.e 120 ml rum at night before food and my mental stress eases out. When I tried to stop drinking, my mental stress continues which is making me very dull. May I continue with the same life style. im afraid whether this 120 ml i.e 2 pegs a day will spoil my health in the long run. Kindly advise.
Tue, 12 Jun 2012
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Thanks for writing in.
If you are taking 120 ml of rum every day, it definitely has adverse long term consequences for you. At the maximum, you can take 30 ml of rum/whiskey every day. This kind of alcohol intake can damage your liver, your heart and your pancreas. It can have serious health consequences.
Yoga, exercises and deep breathing can definitely help you relieve your stress. As you must have realized, alcohol remains a temporary solution and not something you can continue with permanently
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Psychiatrist Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar's  Response
Hi and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your question...

It is good that you are exercising regularly and eating healthy food. However, your alcohol consumption seems to be a matter of concern. There are two reasons for it:

1) The recommended maximum drinking limit for men is not more than 3 to 4 units of alcohol per day with at least 2 to 3 drink-free days in a week. Not only does your consumption work out more than the daily limit, you also are drinking daily.

2) The reason for your drinking is not healthy. Feeling compelled to drink daily because of stress and and having difficulty in stopping because of that is not a good sign.

So, not only can your current drinking pattern have adverse effects on your health, there is also a risk that your drinking pattern can go out of control later on. If you are experiencing excessive stress, there are many other healthy ways to handle it. Resorting to drinking is just like running away from your difficult situations rather than learning to handle them or cope with them.

If you are finding your stress excessive and unable to cope with, you can consult a psychiatrist who would be able to help you find ways to handle it.

All the best.

- Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
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General & Family Physician Dr. Aruna's  Response
Dear Ganesh,
Thanks for writing in with your concern. First of al I would like to congratulate on your efforts to stay healthy in terms of your walks and eating a healthy diet. Initially, you would have strated on with having rum to ease your work stress or change your mood but now what you describe is a PSYCHOLOGICAL DEPENDENCE on alcohol which is very unhealthy and one of the triggering factors for alcohol dependence. Even if you may not be having any observable physical symptoms as in alcohol withdrawl, the psychological symptoms are there. And ofcourse the phsycial impact of having anything unhealthy daily would definitely start showing up slowly.
There are many ways of easing all types of stress like meditation, relaxtion, spending quality time with your family and of course taking the assistance of a qualified professional to help you lead a stress free life.
I would suggest you to meet a deaddiction counsellor or a clinical psychologist to help you with your psychological dependence on Rum as well help you handle your stress more effectively.

All the best and do keep me posted with any further concerns
Smriti Joshi
Clinical Psychologist
RCI CRR- A-12344
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Cosmetic & Plastic Surgeon Dr. Mayank Singh's  Response
Dear ganesh
There are no standardized limits given as per the body structure and exercise schedule for either men or women though few guidelines have been given to give you a faint idea

The recommended maximum for men is 4 standard drinks per day. For women it is 2 standard drinks per day.
One standard drink contains 10 grams of alcohol, and is equivalent to one ordinary beer, a small glass of wine (100 mls) or a nip of spirits (30 mls) so i guess 120 ml should be safe.

More than 6 standard drinks per day for men(180 ml), and 4 standard drinks for women, is known to cause harm. Long term effects of alcohol on the liver as identified include impaired liver functioning, severe pain, inflammation (hepatitis) and cirrhosis.

in short moderate or mild alcohol consumption is acceptable though excess of everything is bad for health
God Bless
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