Alcohol Avoidance

Alcohol Avoidance: Overview

For the average regular drinker where addiction is not a problem, continued drinking may have some health, social and psychological benefits.  However, each of these seeming benefits can be achieved by other means, so if it looks like the benefits of regular alcohol consumption are balanced or outweighed by negative consequences, it is appropriate to reduce or stop drinking entirely at least for a trial period of time.  If you find it especially difficult to stop, alcohol use may be more of a problem than you had thought.


For alcoholics, complete abstinence is a requirement.

Expected Outcome

Many alcoholics who seek treatment find success and they learn to abstain totally from alcohol.  However, the majority – as many as 90% – relapse at least once during the four years following treatment and some 50% relapse within the first few months.  Sometimes a relapse is a necessary part of finding out that they can not just enjoy an occasional drink.  Subsequent treatment attempts may or may not prove successful.

Alcohol Avoidance can help with the following:



Alcohol Avoidance often helps with Arrhythmias/Dysrhythmias Arrhythmias/Dysrhythmias

Atrial fibrillation can be caused by alcohol.

Alcohol Avoidance may help with Cardiomyopathy Cardiomyopathy

Many doctors suggest that individuals with cardiomyopathy abstain from alcohol consumption.  People with alcohol-induced cardiomyopathy who avoid alcohol may regain their health.


Alcohol Avoidance often helps with Carbohydrate Craving Carbohydrate Craving

Limit your intake of alcohol, fruit juice and caffeinated drinks e.g. soft drinks.  These cause abrupt blood-sugar highs followed by troublesome blood-sugar lows, leaving you starved for energy.


Alcohol Avoidance often helps with Heartburn / GERD / Acid Reflux Heartburn / GERD / Acid Reflux

Avoid or limit alcohol.

Alcohol Avoidance may help with Gastric/Peptic/Duodenal Ulcers Gastric/Peptic/Duodenal Ulcers

No proven relationship exists between peptic ulcer disease and the intake of alcohol.  However, since alcohol can cause gastritis, moderation in alcohol consumption is often recommended.


Alcohol Avoidance may help with Low Melatonin Level Low Melatonin Level

Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol and sugar, which may interfere with melatonin production.

Lab Values



Alcohol Avoidance is highly recommended for Hypoglycemia Hypoglycemia

Drinking alcohol can cause blood sugar to drop in some sensitive individuals.  Hypoglycemia has been well documented in chronic alcoholics and binge drinkers.

Alcohol Avoidance may help with Menieres Disease Meniere's Disease

The active ingredient in alcoholic drinks is ethyl alcohol, which is rapidly absorbed into the blood.  Once it reaches the brain and inner ear, it dissolves into the inner ear membrane and makes it 'leaky', allowing various minerals and salts to pass in or out, possibly triggering an attack of Meniere's Disease.  Ethanol can also interfere with the metabolism of drugs used to treat Meniere's Disease, causing harmful levels to build up.  Chronic alcohol use can also permanently injure the brain, eyes, and peripheral nerves, all of which are necessary for proper balance.


Alcohol Avoidance is highly recommended for Poor Bone Health Poor Bone Health

Alcohol leaches calcium from the bones.

Alcohol Avoidance may help with Osteoporosis - Osteopenia Osteoporosis - Osteopenia

Alcohol is toxic to the cells that form bones and inhibits the absorption of calcium.

Organ Health

Alcohol Avoidance is highly recommended for Cirrhosis of the Liver Cirrhosis of the Liver

In all cases, regardless of cause, following a healthy diet and avoiding alcohol are essential because the body needs all the nutrients it can get.

Alcohol Avoidance is highly recommended for Hepatitis Hepatitis

Alcohol and hepatitis C virus are synergistic in hastening the development of cirrhosis; patients with hepatitis C infection should abstain from alcohol.

Alcohol Avoidance is highly recommended for Liver Detoxification / Support Requirement Liver Detoxification / Support Requirement

Acetaldehyde, a metabolic breakdown product of alcohol, is said to destroy vitamins B1, B6 and C.  Even though supplements of these nutrients, together with the amino acid cysteine, may help the liver detoxify acetaldehyde, it would be wiser to avoid alcohol, it's primary source.

Alcohol Avoidance may help with Glomerulonephritis Glomerulonephritis

Opinions vary on this subject but, generally speaking, patients may be advised to drink alcohol only moderately.  Heavy drinking is injurious to the kidneys and may actually worsen IgAN.


Alcohol Avoidance often helps with Pregnancy-Related Issues Pregnancy-Related Issues

Alcohol is definitely harmful for the baby, no matter how much is consumed, especially during the first three months when the baby is forming.  There is also a definite correlation between the amount of alcohol drunk during pregnancy and the severity of the symptoms, and also a link with the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.  Evidence shows that even pregnant mothers who only drink in moderation have a greater chance of miscarriage and low birth weight babies than those who do not.  Numerous studies have also shown that heavy drinking is extremely damaging for the baby and has the potential to lead to fetal alcohol syndrome.  Such babies have low birth weight, with a smaller head circumference and mental retardation is often present.  Some affected babies have malformed faces and congenital heart defects.

The current recommendation from doctors and health experts is that pregnant women should not drink at all. If the urge is too strong, one standard drink is the absolute maximum.  However, in the first few weeks of pregnancy, it is difficult to know that you are pregnant and this is a particularly crucial stage for the formation of the baby.  So, if you suspect that you are pregnant, or are planning to conceive, you should stay away from alcohol.  The risk of miscarriage doubles with more than two drinks per day.

Alcohol Avoidance may help with Female Infertility Female Infertility

Alcohol consumption can prevent implantation of a fertilized egg.


Alcohol Avoidance often helps with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Alcohol is useful for relaxation but unfortunately it also relaxes the throat muscles and provokes snoring and obstructive apneas.  Alcohol or sedative use near bedtime may thus further depress breathing mechanisms.

Alcohol Avoidance often helps with Problems Associated With Snoring Problems Associated With Snoring

Avoid alcohol and sedatives before bedtime.


Alcohol Avoidance may help with Psoriasis Psoriasis

A "moderate" diet is best in coping with psoriasis, without an excess of rich, fatty, starchy or spicy foods, or alcohol.

Tumors, Malignant

Alcohol Avoidance is highly recommended for Carcinoid Cancer Carcinoid Cancer

All carcinoid patients should avoid alcoholic beverages since these can precipitate carcinoid crisis attacks.


Alcohol Avoidance often helps with Interstitial Cystitis Interstitial Cystitis

Avoiding alcoholic beverages may help reduce symptom frequency.

Alcohol Avoidance may help with Nocturia Nocturia

Diuretics such as alcohol and caffeine may increase urine output and cause nighttime urination.

Alcohol Avoidance can help prevent the following:



Alcohol Avoidance usually prevents Susceptibility To Hangovers Susceptibility To Hangovers

The only sure-fire method of prevention is the obvious – abstinence!

Tumors, Malignant

Alcohol Avoidance usually prevents Stomach Cancer Stomach Cancer

Reducing alcohol intake will reduce the risk of stomach cancer.

Alcohol Avoidance often prevents Breast Cancer Breast Cancer

Since the original recommendation regarding alcohol was published, researchers at the Harvard Medical School found that even 3 drinks a week put women at increased risk for breast cancer.  Women who had one or more drinks a day were found to be at 60% higher risk than women who did not drink.

Alcohol Avoidance may help prevent Colon Cancer Colon Cancer

You should drink under one alcoholic drink a day because drinking alcohol increases your risk of colorectal cancer.  Since it can have both positive and negative effects on your health, you may wish to talk to a health care professional about how alcohol may affect you.


May be useful: may help with; may help prevent
May be useful:
may help with; may help prevent
Moderately useful: often helps with; often prevents
Moderately useful:
often helps with; often prevents
Very useful: is highly recommended for; usually prevents
Very useful:
is highly recommended for; usually prevents