Health Archives - URimage @ Clarendon Wellness

Why too much alcohol is a big No-no!

It is a well known fact that too much alcohol is bad for you. This is why there are restrictions, but too much alcohol is bad for more than the obvious reasons we know like; drink driving, and less sense of consciousness. Did you know? too much alcohol can lead to alcohol poisoning which could be a lifelong health problem and can even cut your life short if not handled.

It may sound obvious through it’s name, but there is probably a lot you do not know about alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning occurs when a person drinks a toxic amount of alcohol, usually over a short period of time, also known as ‘binge-drinking’ or heavy drinking. Alcohol poisoning can cause certain areas of your brain, controlling basic life support functions such as heart rate control, breathing and your temperature to shut off.

Did you know? Just as little as four (for women) or five (for men), alcoholic beverages in a single occasion can be seen as binge drinking. During parties or special occasions this can happen easily and a lot of the time unknowingly be surpassed. It is also worth pointing out that women should not drink during pregnancy. Whilst the majority do not, some women tend to, BUT did you know? drinking while pregnant can actually cause your unborn child to develop foetal alcohol syndrome. In addition to this, drinking while pregnant heavily increases the chance of a miscarriage or premature birth.

But how exactly does alcohol poisoning occur?

Each time a person drinks alcohol, our liver needs to filter the substance out of the blood. The human body can only only process about one unit of alcohol per hour, as alcohol absorbs quicker into the body than food, so, when drank in a short space of time, your body will be unable to process this all. This can cause your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to rise. BAC refers to how much alcohol is in your blood stream. Did you know? you can measure the level your BAC through a Breathalyzer test (as done by many police officers), a urine test or a blood test.

To simplify how your BAC is analysed, imagine you have a bac of 0.10. This simply means, that 0.10 percent of your blood contains alcohol.

Here are some symptoms to look out for, if ever in doubt, seek medical help!

  • Confusion, unconsciousness, stupor (conscious but unresponsive) and sometimes coma
  • Irregular or slow breathing (less than eight breaths per minute or more than 10 seconds between breaths)
  • Cold clammy hands and bluish skin due to hypothermia
  • loss of co-ordination
  • vomiting repeatedly or uncontrollably
  • seizures

WOMEN! this is important!

Whilst alcohol is bad for both men and women, the lasting effects and the general risk factors are greater in women. As women have a lower body water temperature to men (the average female body only contains 52 percent of water in her body, whereas males have 61 percent of water in their body), a woman’s ability to dilute alcohol is a lot harder. As well as  this, women have less ‘dehydrogenase’, a liver enzyme designed to break down alcohol in the body, compared to men and so, because of this they have a Poor ability to metabolize alcohol.

In terms of longtime effects alcohol poisoning leaves on women, the risks of mouth, throat and breast cancer can become higher, your menstrual cycle can become disrupted leading to irregular periods, and you have a higher risk of liver cirrhosis and other alcohol-related liver diseases compared to men.

But, regardless of your gender, there are factors that can equally affect you.

  • Drinking on an empty stomach can lead to the peak blood alcohol concentration level being a lot higher than those who have eaten beforehand. Food plays a significant role in alcohol absorption in the body because it dilutes the alcohol while slowing down the emptying of the stomach into the small intestine where alcohol is absorbed.
  • If you are Asian (no matter the gender), your body can be affected by how it responds to alcohol. This is because approximately 50 percent of Asians have trouble metabolising alcohol due to a missing liver enzyme needed to process the substance.
  • Those who suffer from diabetes should beware of the negative effects of alcohol, as alcohol cause a sudden surge or a dangerous drop in their blood sugar levels. Alcohol may also slow down how diabetes medication works in your system and the effects medication has in controlling diabetes. This goes for other prescription drugs too.

Below is an image which shows just how much alcohol percentage is in some popular drink choices.

So, how can someone prevent alcohol poisoning?

The best way to avoid this in the first place is to drink the recommended amount of alcohol to begin with. This is no more than 14 units a week for men and women.

However, if you know you will be drinking more, stay hydrated between each drink with water to reduce hangover symptoms the next day. Eat before and during the time you will be drinking to help speed up the alcohol absorption rate, stick to clear alcohol like Vodka, gin or white whine, as these contain less congeners in comparison to drinks like brandy or whiskey. Most importantly though, STOP when you feel like your body is becoming overwhelmed by the alcohol – it will only help you.

The dangers of french fries and ‘diet foods’

When we think of foods that are bad for us, we generally assume this is because it contributes to weight gain but did you know? some foods we consume are actually life threatening? that’s correct, life threatening. On the other hand, there are foods out there claiming to be good for you through its branding and name but as a matter of fact are worse to eat.


French fries 

When talking about killer foods the most obvious one is the french fry or ‘chip’, also deemed as ‘death in a stick’.

Did you know that one portion of fries can contain up to 540 calories per serving, and being a food typically eaten alongside a greasy burger or pizza you could already be using your recommended daily calorie intake all on one meal! It is obvious through the name, that a French FRY is no healthy option, bathed in oil and dipped in sauces, so why are they so popular? This actually comes down to science. Genetically, people are prone to choosing foods to eat that are going to be tasty which calls for a lot of sugar or salt in the food, so, if you were to fry a piece of broccoli in a pool of oil and coat it in tons of sugar or salt, the chances are more people are going to want to it eat as opposed to a steamed version of broccoli.

Several fast food chains are known for their golden and crispy french fries, so much so, that when a study was carried out examining the science behind peoples love for a particular fast food chains fries, several factors were discovered which lead to the ‘love’ of these fries. The study revealed that 90 percent of the reason why fast food fries are so popular is down to the easily recognisable smell. Did you know? Fast food restaurants actually use a chemical in the vegetable oil they fry in that allows people to instantly recognise the smell of the fries. As well as this, fries contain salt, fat and a type of sugar known as dextrose which makes the fries ‘tasty’.

The most interesting thing that was come across when learning about fries though, was the fact that many fast food french fries are known to release a chemical called ‘dopamine’ into the brain, which triggers a feeling of pleasure amongst humans – so it could be said that french fries actually attract people psychologically.

But how do fries KILL? Fries are a very starchy food, and when cooked at a high temperature, this can form a chemical compound known as Acrylamide which has can have a toxic effect on humans beings. This chemical compound can cause deadly tumours in our lungs, glands and the thyroid. As well as this, past experimentation’s reveal that eating fries up to twice a week can lead to a shorter life span. So is the fry really worth it? No. In the same way fries psychologically entice us to be eaten, we should set ourselves the mindset that they are in fact, deadly.


Diet foods 

When a brand or company uses the word ‘diet’ you naturally assume that the products being sold will only benefit you. This however, is not always the case. There are actually many problems with diet foods which prove why you should always source and prepare your own meals, particularly when trying to slim down.

To begin with, the diet industry is known for selling ‘low fat’ foods, but what is not very well known is that a lot of these foods as a result of being low fat, are high in sugar. Diet foods can contain a minimum of 2 teaspoons of sugar per serving and at times contain enough sugar to equate the levels of fat that could have been inside the product. Not only does this actually encourage weight gain, diet products with so much sugar can increase your risks of acne, diabetes, heart disease and so much more. Take granola for example; an item thousands of dieters around the world eat for a ‘healthy breakfast’. Many types of granola contain molasses, syrups and oils and when mixed in with these ‘low fat’ but high in sugar yogurts, the calories and sugar levels begin to rise up.

diet foods also tend to play on our minds. When something is branded healthier, you may think that eating more of it will not matter because it is a ‘diet-food’. As well as this, because the food is not as filling, it takes more of the product to feel full which can cause you to be consuming more calories than you would eating a product that isn’t ‘diet friendly’.

At URimage, we understand that many people have body concerns, which is why we offer a range of non-surgical slimming treatments more effective than supposed diet brands, that are pain free and most importantly – affordable.

It is important to take care of ourselves setting the mindset that a healthy lifestyle will only improve our quality of life, this can start by avoiding the big no-no’s when it comes to food.