In all of my years of new patient intakes and health histories, I frequently come across a very “normalized” common denominator. People are relying daily on caffeine to wake up, alcohol to relax and Xanax or other tranquilizers to help cope with all of life’s discomforts in between. I am not being harsh and judgmental, I am just stunned that the vast majority of people I meet are trying to utilize anything they can to make it through the stressors of each day.
Where I would like to focus on is the widespread daily alcohol consumption. We as a society, have normalized drinking every night. We tell ourselves, it’s just a little wine with dinner, it’s my relaxation glass or “mommy juice.” We’ve even been told that wine is good for us, as well as our hearts, and many have latched onto this information like it was written from the God’s. Although I can’t argue that red wine over other alcoholic beverages does contain some healthful antioxidants known as polyphenols, which protect cells from oxidative stress, moderation should still be in practice. However, is moderation effective enough to avoid the many negative implications that alcohol has on us and our overall health.
What you might not know is:
*Alcohol increases circulating estrogen levels, making is difficult to achieve hormonal balance.
*After consumption it can slows metabolism by up to 75% over 48 hours. This is bad news for those who are working towards their goal weight
*It raises cortisol levels. Cortisol is the hormone released during high stress and can shut down other physical processes temporarily creating dis-ease.
*It raises blood sugar and increases cravings for carbohydrates and other sugary foods.
*It burdens the liver. The liver processes and breaks down the alcohol into acetaldehyde, which is a poison that is similar to formaldehyde.
My purpose in sharing this information is not to be the fun-police, but to shed light on something that stealthily reduces the quality of our health and yet we view it as routine, tradition, celebratory and relaxing. My goal is to bring awareness to each glass. Everything we put in our bodies sends a message of health or ill-health. Each day we have the opportunity to make changes to be a healthier version of ourselves. I ask that you look at this “normalized” routine. Make small changes. Start to slowly reduce your alcohol intake while speeding up your health and metabolism.
At Integrative Acupuncture we have solutions to help ease and manage your daily stressors while eliminating the need for unhealthy coping habits.