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Old 04-23-2014, 09:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Does Alcohol Make me Healthier?


I have drank more than 2-3 pitchers of light beer, 3-8 shots, 1-2 bombers every night for more than 4-5 years and have been binge drinking before that damn near every weekend. There pretty much isn't a night that I go without drinking a beer, usually when I'm out. I have extreme anxiety and damn near panic attacks anymore, I think about food constantly as I was a anorexic at one point in my life, I can't concentrate, I feel constantly hyper yet depressed, I always have to be around people or doing something, I get angry and short with the people closest to me, I make excuses about everything. I've smoked cigars and cigarettes since I was 19 and I'm 27 and same with alcohol. For years, other than bombers, I would have 2 energy drinks a day with 3-5 liters of caffeinated soda per day, I salt McDonald's fries and everything else I eat. I ate out everyday for more than 4 years and am underweight. I haven't done hard drugs but it's as if I found everything that isn't healthy for me and have gone ape-**** with it, almost in an attempt to kill myself like a *****.

My hands are usually discolored (red/purple/blue) at the knuckles and fingertips. it looks like ridges in my nails with almost a terry's nails thing going on. I only crap once a week if I'm lucky but I eat, consistently, to the point that it damn near scares my fat friends...unless I get drunk then I crap, sometimes nice and solid and others as if my liver just erupted. red eyes, itchy, dry skin, losing muscle, ice cold fingers and toes (especially after eating higher carb meals with little meat). during the day my arms/hands get a mottled red/purple web pattern going on and all the time I have 5 red spots on my hands that look like spider veins (not normal, not cuts, always there). along with being friggin freezing all the time I get numbness and tingling. I was a bio major and on top of that I have researched all this extensively and I recognize symptoms, just being as short as possible right now.

Moral of the story, been to 2 different doctors now with 2 different blood tests/physicals. the second one was more intense than the first. everything is completely fine, lungs too, and both ended with them just thinking that I'm a hypochondriac anorexic that needs to bathe in psych meds. how is this possible? am I seeing crappy doctors and I actually should be expecting something to be failing? do I need to be asking for specific tests for alcohol abuse? I don't know ****, this is the first time I've ever "reached out" for help.


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Old 04-23-2014, 09:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for posting, Irishman!

Have you told your doctor you have a drinking problem?

Are you drinking and taking psych meds? Meds don't work right if you drink. And alcohol can actually cause anxiety and eating problems.
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey irishman, you should always level with your doctor about how much you drink because that gives them a context and idea what to look for.
You may well be healthy now, but as you get older it catches up with you. Have you considered sobriety? You won't get any medical advice here, except to say that improving your life always involved quitting drinking first.
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi, Irishman.

I tested nicely as well, but I could feel myself falling apart, bit by bit. And of course I didn't actually tell my doctors about my drinking, so their assessment of my health was based on incomplete information, to say the least....

I hope you've been more open with your doctors. Otherwise, I think you're right to remain concerned. You're only 27, and you're noting physical symptoms, after all. It's great you're asking these questions. Really glad you found SR; this place was a life saver for me!
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Started drinking heavily every night at age 21. I also didn't try hard drugs. I found myself a alcoholic is fast I knew even trying a hard drug would also equal instant addiction and probably quick death.

Blood pressure issues started at 29. When not boozing, it goes to normal. Red skin started at 32. Probably is roseacea but booze makes it far worse. My skin is less red after 1.5 months sober.

Hubby, has glucose, high bp, and cholesterol issues. Started at 34, you can bet your butt it is from the drinking.

Yes, we went to doctors and fessed up. Have new screens coming at six month sober mark, hoping for the best.

Guess I'm trying to say, it will catch up. I had ok screens for many years whilst drinking heavily.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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No

If you can live the rest of your life eating a Mediterranean diet and have maybe one glass of wine with your evening meal, and go for a mile walk every night after supper, then yes.

But since your are asking on this forum, the real answer would be, NO!
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Last edited by LBrain; 04-23-2014 at 10:11 PM. Reason: 'no' was not enough of an answer.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Oh the doc knows about my drinkin but not the smoking. Not taking psych meds as I never needed them before.

You say red skin? Where and what does it look like?

Also, I can't say no to friends about anything and never stand up for myself. There is no hope at complete sobriety. I'm in bad company when I'm alone...just get lonely.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
There pretty much isn't a night that I go without drinking a beer, usually when I'm out. I have extreme anxiety and damn near panic attacks anymore, I think about food constantly as I was a anorexic at one point in my life, I can't concentrate, I feel constantly hyper yet depressed, I always have to be around people or doing something, I get angry and short with the people closest to me, I make excuses about everything. I've smoked cigars and cigarettes since I was 19 and I'm 27 and same with alcohol. For years, other than bombers, I would have 2 energy drinks a day with 3-5 liters of caffeinated soda per day, I salt McDonald's fries and everything else I eat. I ate out everyday for more than 4 years and am underweight. I haven't done hard drugs but it's as if I found everything that isn't healthy for me and have gone ape-**** with it, almost in an attempt to kill myself like a *****.
This was basically me at 27. Made of titanium physically - drink all night and work all day...what mental problems I did have I never associated them with my drinking cos 'drinking made them go away'.

Flash forward 10 years - no more titanium - I was a wreck not only physically, but emotionally too.

Drinking was my life, I defined myself by my drinking...but I would have been dead in my mid 40s had I not stopped.

I define myself by lots of other things now - good partner, responsible adult, helping others. I'm close now to who I wished I could be when I was drinking night after night and day after day.

It feels pretty good to have turned myself and my life around

It's never too late, or too impossible, for you to change either, Irishman.
You'll find a lot of support here

D
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Red cheeks, nose, some people have red chin, and flushed chest.

There is always hope. It sounds like you know that this amount of drinking is going to have consequences at some point and wondering when/what they may entail.

I'm glad you are seeing a doctor as they are the ones to truly answer what is currently going on or not going on for you.

SR is a great place for support and that includes how others dealt with friends, family and ways to say no or avoid a drink without a big reaction, or if you get a reaction how to deal.

For me, family, the in laws, as long as I have a soda in my hand, I don't have to say no or drink. That works in some situations.
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Like to hear more similar stories such as dee and torn realization. What did you guys see in the way of physical and psychological? Lately I've kept the drinking to good beers and most times don't drink more than 4 but often I feel like I'm feeling the effects just a little into the first beer. Is that just in my head cause my anxiety has gotten bad? I'm in a big transitional part of my life having relationship issues, to say the least, and having graduated college, moved and started a new job. Always thinking so little of myself and my happiness.
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Here's a thought...give drinking a break for a couple months. If you feel better, it's the alcohol and you'll know it's best if you quit. If you don't feel better, at least your system will be clear of alcohol and at a good baseline for a medical check.

And if you can't quit, that should tell you exactly where you stand on alcohol.
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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We aren't allowed to give medical advice…but getting drunk on less is usually a bad sign and an indication of progression. Your body doesn't know or care whether it is "good" beer or not. All your body knows is that you are dousing it with toxins daily…and unfortunately at a certain point our bodies give out.

Anxiety is a an ongoing theme here on the newcomers thread, you aren't alone. Interestingly, on the Alcoholics Forum I have noticed there is a LOT less talk about anxiety. Most people who get sober notice that their anxiety dissipates dramatically, I have. I gave up alcohol and benzos last summer (both downers), it took a while but I have never felt calmer. The agitation we feel is a nervous system constantly trying to adjust to having external substances interfere with specific processes. There are other ways to calm ourselves…exercise, meditation..

If you are dealing with an eating disorder as well as alcohol abuse it is pretty important to find support. And if you have been drinking heavily having medical supervision while you detox is highly highly recommended.

Finding a way to bridge the gap between how I feel and how I act (people pleasing) has been for me the most important aspect of staying sober. Learning to be self nurturing instead of giving away too much, depleting myself and tamping down my authentic self continues to be an area that I am extremely focused on. Hope you stick around, there is great support here!
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:25 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I had a drinking bud named Ritchie that always seemed to have Rosacea.
Ritchie never should have been heavy drinking anyways cause he only had one kidney.
Really who should be heavy drinking?

It was always beers and shots for hours at night.
I remember when he got his 3rd DUI. When he got out of jail he never looked better health wise.
Ritchie died about 4 years ago. Pretty sure he was 36 years old.
He had come into a lot of money after his mom went into a nursing home and he sold the house(only child). He literally drank himself to death.

For me,I'm done with it.
Just seen too many good people taken down by alcohol.
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:34 PM   #14 (permalink)
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sorry for the short quick response earlier. I just responded to the title.
Irish, after reading through this I was wondering as others were. Did you tell the doctor everything? I suggest you print out your original post and take it to the doctor to read. Then ask what he/she thinks. I would seriously take that entire message. That's what the doctor needs to hear. Don't do it from memory - we seems to forget things at the office. Write it all down and hand it to him and say, "Doc, these things have me concerned about my well being."
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:50 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Medical advice excluded, everything you stated is probably not going to improve if you keep drinking.

I hope you see your doc and explain what's going on. Nothing to be shamed about, I'm sure he has seen it all.
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:50 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I thought I was a "healthy" drinker for many, many years. I was an active person, had a good job, family, etc and I drank all the time and was for the most part not too much the worse for wear. Little things started creeping up though - anxiety here and there, worse and worse ( and sometimes no ) hangover. Drinking more and more alone, drinking more often, and eventuallly NEEDING to drink just to feel normal.

The bottom line is that there are certainly a few "outliers" who drink heavily and escape the odds and live to be 90 or so, but for the vast majority it ALWAYS catches up. The only question is when it starts getting bad, and how bad it gets.

Carl's response was a great one for you I think - just try quitting for a bit and see how it goes-and if you can't quit you know you have a problem you need to fix
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:59 PM   #17 (permalink)
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The problems may only start to appear in the long term, binge drinking in our 20s may be alright for our bodies to bounce back from, hit our 30s and 40s and it becomes a different story, enlarged, scarred livers take decades to create, it doesn't happen overnight, weakened blood vessels and pancreatitis can be a gradual process, how many people know they have a heart problem until after they have the symptom of a heart attack?

My point is sort the problem out now, when your concerned enough about it to post on a recovery website!! . . . rather than looking back in 10yrs thinking you should have done something about it!!

Welcome aboard SR!!
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Old 04-24-2014, 01:08 PM   #18 (permalink)
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No matter what your tests show now, you are damaging your body and mind with your unhealthy habits: drinking, smoking, eating bad food.

I hope you can turn your life around and get healthy for real. Lots of support here if you need it.
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:21 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Thank you everyone, I should have posted here years ago. The responses are actually making sense to me an I feel as if I'm being understood, which is not something I get from even the people in my life. Will be posting more, just thought I'd share this random thought.
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:24 AM   #20 (permalink)
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A great example of my addiction trying to run my life is when I used to tell myself that I wasn't hurting myself by drinking. There were many other lies I told myself as well when I was actively drinking.
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