Are you up for the challenge?
Are you considering giving up alcohol for the month of January? With this challenge becoming more and more popular each year, we take a look at why this decision can only be a good one!
After all the Christmas & New Year festivities, many of us will consider taking a break from alcohol and replacing it with something a little greener to get us back on track.
Dry January, which is ran by the charity Alcohol Change UK, has been growing in popularity year on year and is the annual movement through which millions of people give up alcohol for the month of January.
Taking part in Dry January is a chance to ditch the hangover, reduce the waistline, boost your energy and save some serious money, while doing your body a lot of good. More importantly, it's a way to reset your relationship with alcohol and drink more healthily year-round.
Can 31 days alcohol-free really benefit us?
Dr Aileen McPhillips looks at some of the health benefits of abstaining from alcohol for one month.
We know excess alcohol raises our risk of heart disease, stroke, liver disease, depression, dementia and some cancers, including mouth, throat, stomach, liver and breast. It can also cause weight gain as alcohol is high in calories.
However, for the ‘normal’ drinker can a short break from alcohol have any benefit?
A small study at Royal Free Hospital in London took place to look at 14 people who considered themselves “normal drinkers”. No changes were observed in those who continued their ‘normal drinking’.
However, in those who abstained from alcohol over the period results were significant – liver fat, cholesterol, blood glucose and weight decreased. Other positive effects reported included improved sleep quality and increased concentration.
So, for those of you who have taken on Dry January it is certainty worthwhile, you could be seeing and feeling the benefits of improved health over the month while saving some money in the process, it really is a win win!
Article written by Dr Aileen McPhillips.
Dr Aileen McPhillips is a Private GP at Kingsbridge Private Hospital. She graduated from Queen’s University, Belfast in 2004. She completed training in General Practice and graduated as a member of the Royal College of General Practitioners in 2009. She enjoys all aspects of General Practice, however she has a special interest in Family Planning and Women’s Health (and has completed further training with Diplomas from the Faculty of Family Planning and Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists.)
To book an appointment with Dr McPhilips, please visit our online booking link.