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To be blindsided by doctor's comments about my alcohol consumption?

(386 Posts)
omafiet Tue 13-Aug-19 15:13:29

I am 42 and overweight. Since having my third child and injuring my back I've gained 2.5 stone. The weight gain hasn't been linear - in fact this time last year I was in reasonable shape and doing a triathlon - but I know I need to do something. Now.

I have been having some unusual stomach symptoms recently and after my friend was diagnosed with ovarian cancer I figured to be on the safe side I should get checked out. I have a great reply with my doctor and respect her advice.

After doing the physical exam she asked me about my drinking habits. I replied that I drank half a bottle of wine, two or three times a week. So, up to 1.5 bottles a week. She put her pen down and told me that this was really excessive and I needed to cut down, if not stop completely for a while.

I'm a little freaked out and have decided to do a 90-day booze-free challenge. But is 1.5 bottles a week really so bad? When I was in my twenties I'd drink that in a night blush. How much do you drink?

PullingMySocksUp Tue 13-Aug-19 15:15:13

It doesn’t seem at all bad to me. But I think I live in a bit of a drinking bubble. I actually stopped completely two years ago, but that’s not particularly relevant.
I suppose if you aren’t drinking too much then it’s no drama to stop for a bit though?

Pinkblanket Tue 13-Aug-19 15:17:08

I drink less than one glass a month. Am also 42.

WantLifeToBeBetter Tue 13-Aug-19 15:17:16

According to this a bottle and a half of wine is 15 units, so over the recommended weekly limit, but not by much.

www.nhs.uk/live-well/alcohol-support/calculating-alcohol-units/

HollowTalk Tue 13-Aug-19 15:17:43

It's around or even below the recommended limit. Did she think you meant per day?

Kewlwife Tue 13-Aug-19 15:18:25

In my last pregnancy, the midwife told me that I meet the threshold for referral to the alcohol dependency team Unit wise. It's only my drinking habits that say otherwise (time of day, problems quitting in pregnancy)

Constance1234 Tue 13-Aug-19 15:18:42

I’m nearly the same age as you and while I was a big drinker when I was younger and would have drank that much over a day or two, 1.5 bottles per week seems loads to me now in terms of how I would function/the effects on my body. Was she saying it as in ‘that’s a lot for your age’ or ‘that’s a lot in general’?

gotmychocolateimgood Tue 13-Aug-19 15:19:28

It's not a huge amount but will probably cause weight gain vs going teetotal.

CoughSplutter Tue 13-Aug-19 15:19:48

I barely drink these days but I wouldn't have said 3x0.5 bottles a week is in ANY way excessive!!

MereDintofPandiculation Tue 13-Aug-19 15:19:53

That doesn't sound so bad - 15 units a week, a little over the 14 unit suggested limit for women. About 900 calories that aren't beneficial in that they don't stave off the hunger pangs.

DH and I drink between 0.5 and 0.75 bottles a week between us, in other words, about a quarter of your consumption.

mrsed1987 Tue 13-Aug-19 15:19:54

I drink 1 cider about once a month grin

Mileysmiley Tue 13-Aug-19 15:20:02

Take no notice ... I bet your doctor drinks more than you. It is a well known fact a lot of doctors are alcoholics because of the pressure of the job. At my surgery we have a touch screen which asks if you smoke when you log in for your appointment. Last time I logged in I said I smoked but the time before I said I didn't because they are using us for data which I find intrusive. When I viewed my records on line they said I am an occasional smoker lol Which is rubbish because I don't smoke at all grin

FiddlesticksAkimbo Tue 13-Aug-19 15:20:43

YANBU, that's really not excessive.

managedmis Tue 13-Aug-19 15:21:27

Nah, I drink about that much.

HennyPennyHorror Tue 13-Aug-19 15:21:40

I would consume that much over a year. I have an occasional drink. I'm 46..

floribunda18 Tue 13-Aug-19 15:21:49

It's not a huge amount but will probably cause weight gain vs going teetotal

If only it were so simple. When I was drinking that much (or more - up to 25 units a week) I cut out alcohol completely for three months, and did not shift a single pound.

Floralnomad Tue 13-Aug-19 15:22:00

The thing is if you’ve said you do it 2/3 times a week she may well , because of the weight gain , have assumed that you are not telling her the absolute truth . I used to be a nurse on a liver ward and frankly it was normal to assume that very few of the patients told the truth about their alcohol intake . Besides which doing it every week is probably not doing you any good in the long term .

SuzieSunshine Tue 13-Aug-19 15:23:56

I don't think that's excessive. It's 14 units a week for women and you are having 15? If you cut out the alcohol even for 90 days you will definitely lose weight.

Proudpeacock Tue 13-Aug-19 15:24:35

I think the issue is probably the amount in one day. The guidelines are 14 units per week, no more than 2-3 units per day and at least 2 alcohol free days.

You are drinking about 5 units 3 times a week so slightly over the total, meeting the alcohol free days but effectively binging each time you do drink.

Your GP may also be assuming that you are under reporting the amount (like the rest of us).

Hallouminati Tue 13-Aug-19 15:24:45

I had one of those wellness checks and was told that 2 x 250ml glasses of wine a week was too much! The annoying thing was that I have massively cut down my alcohol intake and was feeling smug about only having 2 glasses a week.

24hourshomeedderandcarer Tue 13-Aug-19 15:25:17

i 38 and half and ive never ever drunk alcohol so im and always been teetotal

DontDribbleOnTheCarpet Tue 13-Aug-19 15:25:18

Maybe she meant that is was excessive in your personal circumstances, given your current health?

sevencontinents Tue 13-Aug-19 15:25:22

I don't think that is excessive. It is 1 unit over the recommended limit so she is BU by saying this is really excessive.
How strange.

Piffle11 Tue 13-Aug-19 15:25:53

I guess if you are doing it 3 times a week then that's around 15 units, which is above the recommended level... but no I don't think it's too bad. Maybe she thinks you need to space it out more? Rather than having half a bottle every couple of days, have 1-2 glasses a night? I'm guessing here! Someone I know was told by her Dr that although she was only having 12 units a week she needed to stop, as she was having them all in one go on a Saturday night. I've stopped drinking to excess (drank much more than you) but haven't lost weight as I drink and eat other stuff instead of having wine.

LiveInAHidingPlace Tue 13-Aug-19 15:27:41

If you're worried about your health/weight, then I'd say it's a lot.

I used to drink a lot, gave it up, and now the thought of more than a small glass makes me feel unwell.

I think it takes more than 90 days to break a habit though. I'd say after six months, I was totally used to not drinking and it just became normal.

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