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The Safety of Beer Drinking

Beer is not as harmless as one may think

Doctor of Medical Sciences, head physician of the Russian-American Recovery medical center in Moscow, Elena Sokolchik, talks about the beer drinking fashion among women.

A lot of people think that beer is not vodka, that is why it cannot bring any harm. Is it true?

Officially, beer is not referred to as an alcoholic beverage, although it cannot be classified as a non-alcoholic beverage either. The quantity of alcohol contained in a 0.5 bottle of beer is equal to 50 grams of vodka. If a woman drinks more than one bottle of beer every day, it is easy to calculate how much alcohol she drinks. It is also worth mentioning that non-alcohol beer contains alcohol anyway.

Why do you think Russian women prefer beer now?

Some women like the taste of beer - they often prefer a certain brand or a certain kind of beer. It is a lot more pleasant to drink beer than vodka, for example. A lot of beer usually results in a strong alcoholic intoxication too. In addition, beer is bottled in cans, glass and plastic bottles: it is comfortable to drink from such packaging. There is no need to deal with glasses and snacks, one may purchase beer in any kiosk or a food store and it is a cheap drink to buy. Practically any woman and girl can afford a bottle of beer. Advertising on television plays an important role as well. Commercial advertisements say that drinking beer is absolutely normal, it is attractive and it goes with the fashion. As a result, women do not think of consequences when they buy a bottle or a can of beer.

Some people drink trying to relieve themselves of the stress. Young girls drink beer with their friends to be a part of the company, to feel more relaxed. The alcoholic intoxication removes people's complexes, beer helps women to become more confident in themselves. There are women who drink beer in order to forget about their problems, although it is self-deception. Problems do not vanish when intoxication ends, they become even more serious than earlier, new alcohol-related problems may appear too.

Can addiction to beer affect women's health?

It usually leads to serious changes in the human body. If a female beer-drinker does not consume the habitual dose of beer, she becomes very irritated. It is hard to communicate with such women: they become more and more aggressive, they are usually in low spirits suffering from sleepless nights. Ethanol exists in the human body - it is a permanently produced substance. When a person drinks beer, the beer ethanol is mixed with the body ethanol. If the consumption of alcohol becomes regular, the body stops producing ethanol and starts asking for it from the outside. That is why a woman often has a strong wish to drink beer. It develops addiction to alcohol, the excessive ethanol disturbs body functions.

If a woman experiences such problems, if she does not want to ask for medical help, the further consumption of beer develops serious diseases which are very difficult to cure. Beer contains fusel oils which develop cirrhosis, alcohol affects the heart rhythm, it decreases leucocytes in blood. As a result, the immune system weakens. Even vitamins will be useless in this case, because alcohol causes digestion disorders - the body does not assimilate vitamins and amino acids. As a rule, drinking women fall ill with various oncological diseases. This is far from being the complete list of ailments caused with alcohol.

Alcohol does not mix with medicines: a medical treatment will not be efficient if a person takes pills and drinks beer. One should reject wine, beer, vodka and other alcoholic drinks for the treatment period. At times, a cocktail of medicines and beer can bring very bad results.

How does beer affect women's problems?

As any other alcohol does. Beer disturbs the work of the sex glands, sexual functions become less efficient, it assists in the development of  sterility. If a woman is pregnant, but she still drinks beer, it is important for her to remember that she is responsible not only for her own health but also for the health of her baby. If a woman drinks alcohol during pregnancy, the alcoholic syndrome starts developing for her child. Needless to mention that it is not going to bring any good results. A child might suffer from psychological illnesses, not to mention congenital physical defects. Pregnant women are not supposed to either drink or smoke.

Tobacco smoking is closely associated with beer drinking. People smoke more cigarettes than usual when they drink alcohol. Even non-smokers might have a wish to smoke a cigarette or two under the influence of alcohol. Nicotine is a psychologically active substance and so are spirits. When spirits and nicotine are mixed in the human body, the two substances intensify each other's effect, the alcoholic intoxication becomes stronger and a person wants to smoke more.

How can one notice the dangerous line between the harmless habit of drinking a glass of beer after a hard day at work and the alcohol addiction?

If a woman drinks a lot of beer on a regular basis and does not want to quit, it would be good for her to pay attention to her own drinking. If a woman is looking forward to every Friday and Saturday to join her friends and have a beer or two, if she cannot imagine a nice evening without a bottle of beer, one may say that a woman has been addicted. In fact, one may call it a weekend of hard drinking. It is a very bad sign. A gradual increase of the alcohol dose, headache, nausea in the morning testify to the development of the alcohol addiction too. A woman should pay more attention to what her relatives and close friends say. They notice the difference first.

What is a better way to do it?

One should be careful about the medical help too - there is no need to rush to a hospital or have an urgent appointment with a doctor. A woman should speak to her friends, her family members - probably someone has already had such an experience before and they can recommend a good doctor or a good hospital. If a woman decides to go to a private clinic, it is necessary to find out as much information as possible about the medical institution: how long has it existed, the qualifications of its personnel, what real help can they provide. It would be good to talk to the patients of the clinic too. If everything is alright, one should not delay a visit to a doctor.

So, may women drink beer or may they not?

Each woman is supposed to find an answer to this question. Every human being is individual, nobody knows how much alcohol it takes to become sick with alcoholism. However, if you take care of your health and if you would like to avoid very unpleasant problems - stay away from alcohol.

Elena Loranskaya