On the contrary, drinking can have detrimental effects on other organs, which can outweigh the potential health benefits.
In young women, for example, moderate drinking can increase the risk of breast cancer. Excessive drinking, which is never advised, can increase risk of many severe health problems, including but not limited to cirrhosis of the liver, hepatitis, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, mental illness and different types of cancers.
Particularly in women of childbearing age, the risks are high, especially when binge drinking becomes a habit. Heavy drinking can decrease fertility and lead to menstrual disorders. If a woman does become pregnant, alcohol consumption during pregnancy can cause brain damage to the baby, along with other possible birth defects.
The World Health Organization developed a 10-question test to help identify problem drinking. This test, known as the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (or AUDIT), can be found here. Any score over 8 suggests that some intervention may be advisable.
While drinking can be enjoyable in certain circumstances and within limits, understanding how much is enough can help keep everyone safe.
Well Woman and Prenatal Visits Should Include Alcohol Abuse Screening