Safe Alcohol Consumption Tips

As New Year’s Eve approaches, you may be getting ready to pop open a bottle of champagne with your friends and loved ones to celebrate. However, it’s important to keep moderation in mind and practice safe drinking habits to make sure the night remains enjoyable for everyone. Keep the cork in the bottle for now and review these tips to stay safe and healthy as you enter 2023:

Make sure everyone can drink safely: Certain conditions and medications may make it unsafe for you or your loved ones to drink any amount of alcohol. Additionally, if anyone is (or may be) pregnant or lactating, alcohol in general can negatively affect the health of their baby. If you are hosting a celebration, find out if any of your guests cannot or should not drink; this way, you can provide alternative options for their enjoyment.

Find out if anyone attending your gathering is driving: If you plan to host a gathering, find out if anyone in attendance is driving to make sure that you can limit their alcohol consumption or  help them if they drink too much. If you’re attending a gathering and become aware that a driver has had too much to drink, inform your host and offer any help you can to ensure the person’s safety.

Opt for beverages with low alcohol content: For most of the night, choose drinks such as beer or hard seltzer instead of wine, mixed drinks, or straight liquor; these drinks typically contain around 5% alcohol per serving. Be careful not to drink these beverages too quickly; take small sips over time.

Eat before, during, and after drinking: Make sure you’ve had a meal within a few hours of your first drink and have snacks available as you continue to drink. Once you’re finished drinking for the evening, have something extra to eat to reduce the effects of the consumed alcohol.

If you or anyone you know develops alcohol poisoning, dial 911 immediately. For anyone suffering from alcohol dependency, Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Division of Addiction Services may be able to help. To learn more about our inpatient Chemical Dependence unit, contact us at (718) 670-5693 or (718) 670-5540. For more information about our Reflections treatment program, call (718) 670-5078.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Social Anixety and Alcohol Abuse

According to the Anxiety and Depression Society of America, about 20 percent of people with social anxiety disorder (SAD) also suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence.

Social anxiety is defined as a disorder that is triggered by social situations where your emotions may arise causing you to have difficulty talking to others, fear being unjustly judged by others, become self-conscious while in the company of others or get physically ill at the thought of attending a social event.

By consuming alcohol, you could possibly experience the illusion of reducing the symptoms of SAD, but it can also lead to an additional issue with alcohol dependence and abuse.

For some, alcohol and SAD are a dangerous combination; since alcohol may give you a false sense of calm when in social situations.  Additionally,  it can also you to delay your decision to seek treatment.  It may also interfere with an existing treatment.  While seeming to help quell the anxiety, alcohol can actually worsen the symptoms of SAD.

If you have been diagnosed with SAD and consume alcohol to ease the symptoms, you may experience the following:

  • Drinking more or longer than you intended
  • Have difficulty limiting your consumption of alcohol
  • Experience strong urges to drink
  • Continuing to drink even though your anxiety is increasing

When alcohol is over consumed, it can lead to worsening the symptoms of social anxiety as well as causing:

  • Morning hangovers
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Dehydration
  • Low blood sugar

Most anxiety disorders can be treated in similar ways.  Some effective ways to calm your social anxiety are to sleep regularly, limit the amount of caffeine and alcohol consumed, eat a healthy diet, and implement relaxation methods such as taking deep breaths, keeping a journal, thinking positive thoughts, yoga, painting or listening to soothing music until the anxiety begins to dissipate.

If these methods are not effective, you may want to seek professional help.  If you have uncontrolled social anxiety disorder and are compensating with alcohol, you may want to speak with a mental health and addiction specialist at .  Call to schedule an appointment.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Does One Part Alcohol + One Part Breast Milk = Bad For Baby?

Women have been warned not to consume alcohol during pregnancy.  There is sufficient research that confirms drinking alcohol, while pregnant, poses several, avoidable risk to an unborn baby.  However, the risks of consuming alcohol while breastfeeding are not as well defined.  

Breastfeeding mothers often receive conflicting advice about whether their alcohol consumption can have an adverse effect on their baby.  This leaves mothers with more questions than answers. A good resource to start looking for answers is the La Leche League.  Their article, The Womanly Art Of Breastfeeding says: The effects of alcohol on the breastfeeding baby are directly related to the amount the mother ingests.  When the breastfeeding mother drinks occasionally, or limits her consumption to one drink or less per day, the amount of alcohol her baby receives has not been proven to be harmful.

The League further published:

Alcohol passes freely into mother’s milk and has been found to peak about 30 to 60 minutes after consumption, 60 to 90 minutes when taken with food.  Alcohol also freely passes out of a mother’s milk and here system.  It takes a 120 pound woman about two to three hours to eliminate from her body the alcohol in one serving of beer or wine.  The more alcohol that is consumed, the longer it takes for it to be eliminated.  It takes up to 13 hours for a 120 pound woman to eliminate alcohol from one high-alcoholic drink.

Opposing research from the Mayo Clinic suggests that breast-fed babies, whose mothers drank, as few as, one drink a day may present with impaired motor or development and that alcohol can cause changes in sleep patterns.

Also, to dispel any notion that encourages drinking alcohol to improve milk production. Facts show that the presence of alcohol in breast milk can cause the babies to drink about 20 % less

If you have consumed more than the legal amount of alcohol to drive a vehicle, you have consumed more than the recommended amount of alcohol to safely breastfeed. Moms should be mindful that the level of alcohol in her blood, matches the level of alcohol in her breast milk.”

Research has shown that breast-feeding is an optimal way to feed your newborn and is recommended until a baby is at least age one.  If you have questions on what method to use to when deciding how you will feed your baby.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

How Do You Keep Your Immune System Strong?

Our immune system protects our bodies from illness and infection. While having a strong immune system is important all year long, there are times of the year that its effectiveness is tested more than other.

body defense

With cold a flu season upon us, Flushing Hospital wants to offer some day-to-day lifestyle tips to avoid weakening your immune system and keep you healthy.

STRESS
Prolonged periods of intense stress can affect the immune system. Stress causes the brain to boost the production of hormones that weaken the function of the infection-fighting T cells. If you are experiencing high levels of stress, try to adopt stress-relieving activities to boost your immune system.

POOR SLEEP
Poor sleep is strongly associated with a weak immune system as it reduces the number of killer cells needed to fight germs. Recent research has suggested that the amount of flu-fighting antibodies produced was cut in half in those who were sleep deprived.

ALCOHOL
Excessive intake of alcohol may reduce the immune system’s response to invading pathogens because alcohol contains ingredients that impair lung functionality, making us more prone to viral or bacterial infections.

POOR DIET
Excessive consumption of refined sugars and highly processed food containing pesticides, chemical additives and preservatives can weaken the immune system. In addition, obesity can lead to a weakened immune system as it affects the ability of white blood cells to multiply, produce antibodies and prevent inflammation.

By adopting some healthy lifestyle practices and avoiding certain others, we can give our bodies the best chance of staving of illness this cold and flu season.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.