So the doctor says you're a heavy drinker?

Jonman wrote:
I should also note that in my head, my over-consumption of booze 5-7 days a week is balanced by my over-exercising, 5-7 days a week.

In no small measure, my obsession with endurance sports allows me to maintain a reasonable weight and fitness level while still being a shameful boozehound.

I'm type 3. It's something I'll have to address at some point in the next few years. I probably drink 6-10 beers most evenings at home. I love beer. By no means does that mess with my daily or evening activities, and I'm running about 25 miles per week, so I'm fairly fit and not overweight. It's just not good for me, and I'd like to be able to drink in moderation and not every day. There's definitely some self medication involved with the habit. I don't really want to have a super long life, but I would like to make it to 60 at least.

Like Sonicator said. Alcohol is a toxin that can cause a wide range of negative effects throughout the body if you get enough of it. One of the liver's primary functions is detoxification. It can only handle so much at a time, which is why binge drinking once in a while might be more of a problem than steady, moderate drinking.

The recommended guidelines for men (used at VA hospitals) are no more than 14 drinks per week AND no more than 4 drinks per day.

LarryC wrote:
I only got drunk enough to affect my walking once, and that was when I downed an entire case of gin in one night.

An entire case in one night? That's enough gin to kill several people!

I'm with Thin_J I came for a physical not the condescension. We drink about once a month but binge however we're sober while the kids are awake they don't need to know the things they make us do.

I'm rather confused. 3 liters of gin in one night would kill you via alcohol poisoning. One person could manage a liter but that would get pretty much anyone black out drunk and probably give you alcohol poisoning.

LouZiffer wrote:
LarryC wrote:
I only got drunk enough to affect my walking once, and that was when I downed an entire case of gin in one night.

An entire case in one night? That's enough gin to kill several people!

Depends on the people. Apparently, it was just enough to get me drunk. Also, it was in the local size, so both the bottles and the cases (I wasn't the only one drinking!) were small; probably tiny compared to what you're thinking. I'd estimate it was only about 3L of 80 proof gin.

It's notable that it took about twice the usual anesthetic dose to keep me under when I underwent "plate" surgery to fix my forearm fracture. I'm not as "hard" as some people, but I'm reasonably resistant to alcohol, I think.

Eezy_Bordone:

I confess that I find the moral content of this conversation morbidly interesting. My parents allowed me to try out hard liquor at 6, I think. I did not like it. I had to coerce my kids to drink the one toast of wine at New Year's last. They didn't like it much, either. Preferred the grape juice. I've never thought of alcohol in a moral manner. It's the moderation or excess that counts. Of course, that counts for everything. It's also bad to gorge on beef or pork.

"Heavy drinking" is actually an important medical item in the history. People who drink regularly and especially heavy drinkers usually have higher liver activity (the liver upregulates its processing enzymes) and may be more resistant to certain medications; so the medical profile is affected even when there is no liver damage.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:
I'm rather confused. 3 liters of gin in one night would kill you via alcohol poisoning. One person could manage a liter but that would get pretty much anyone black out drunk and probably give you alcohol poisoning.

Shrug. I haven't delved that deep into it myself. I know for sure that 1 liter of gin per person for a night's worth of partying is going to be short around us. It'd probably get me buzzed. Forget black out drunk.

I would not recommend doing this haphazardly. We do have friends who we know "can't hold their liquor." (Is that the right idiom?) We watch their intake carefully when they party around us.

I had a beer after work, and my Wife and I celebrated by splitting open champagne. And I have been relaxing with a hot tottie and my pipe after work.

Well, I'm assuming that you are trolling at this point which is rather inappropriate given the nature of the thread. You can't drink 4 fifths of gin in an evening.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:
Well, I'm assuming that you are trolling at this point which is rather inappropriate given the nature of the thread. You can't drink 4 fifths of gin in an evening.

Probably best to drop it. I'm not interested in an epeen contest. I was just sharing. I didn't know it was going to be all that remarkable. I was hoping that the important takeaway would have been "It depends on the person."

I'll smoke a cigar or two every few months. The wife hates it, so usually when she's not around for a weekend, or when I'm on a business trip.

I hate having to explain that to the docs.

"Do you smoke?"
"Regularly?"
"At all."
"I have a cigar every few months"
"When was your last?"
"XX weeks ago"
"That's not good"

But, on the other hand, my doc thinks that MMJ would be good for my blood pressure...

Where's the contest? No one is trying to beat your score of 68 shots of liquor in a night, Larryc. That'd be suicidal.

Hmmm...so where does that leave me? What Type am I? Type Frarkin Frogohs?

A reformed Type 3 who's become a Type 2. I'd think nothing of enjoying 3-4 beers in a day, especially on Sunday. Add a couple of shots of vodka or tequila and there you have it. It never affected any of my responsibilities, but had gone from being "something to do" to being "the thing to do".

Now, it's a couple of glasses of wine with friend once a week and a maybe a vodka martini or two with a cigar once in a while.

It's said the secret to a happy life is moderation in all things, so I've stopped drinking beer. I love the the taste too much to be "moderate" about it and the calories were definitely not good for me.

I tend to only drink every few months. There have been a few times where I would drink twice in one month. When I drink it tends to be at least 1 bottle of wine or champagne. At our last Christmas party with all of my friends I ended up drinking about 1.5 bottles of champagne and I haven't had alcohol since.

I don't know how a doctor would categorize me because when I drink I do it to be drunk, but I pretty much only drink once every two months on average.

I drink 7-8 drinks one to two times a month. The rest of the week maybe 1 drink per day.

When I don't drink, it's because I am full of pain medication from a spinal injury.

My 3 doctors have never mentioned a problem with this

...although I do have kidney problems. But hey, I will die from genetics long before my liver gives out.

LarryC wrote:
tuffalobuffalo wrote:
Well, I'm assuming that you are trolling at this point which is rather inappropriate given the nature of the thread. You can't drink 4 fifths of gin in an evening.

Probably best to drop it. I'm not interested in an epeen contest. I was just sharing. I didn't know it was going to be all that remarkable. I was hoping that the important takeaway would have been "It depends on the person."


I know you said to drop it Larry, but I think you're math was probably off on 3L on your own. Even if you drank 3L over 8 hours and weighed 300lbs, your BAC would be near 0.8%, 0.4% puts most people in a coma.

EDIT: I typically drink 2-3 beers once a week. I used to have a beer with dinner every night, but cut back when I realized I was gaining weight. I don't know much about the health risks of drinking regularly, but I do know cutting liquid calories is probably the easiest way to improve your diet.

Ghostship wrote:

For various reasons I found myself sitting with a doctor, and her and her nurse keep referring to me as a "heavy drinker".
Now, I'm pretty sure that I drink less than most other people that I know.

I'm likely to have more than two drinks per sitting, not drink every day, and drink once or twice a week.

Apparently it would be healthier for me to drink two drinks every day, which to my thinking, would lead right into alcoholism. But this is better than having two nights of four to six drinks a week.

Is anyone else similarly misconceived about healthy drinking habits?

I'm guessing that the majority of the population is over two drinks per sitting, doesn't drink every day, and drinks one or two days a week.
Lets call this Type 1

I guess the rest are drinking no more than two drinks per sitting on any given day.
Let's call this Type 2

Without asking for too much personal information, are you willing to answer if you're type 1 or type 2?

Ghostship, you're a brave man bringing this up in Everything Else. I'm surprised that nobody has hinted that you're only a few months away from ending up on some intervention reality series, or wondering if you ever killed a hooker during a three-day bender.

I'm pretty much Type 1. I drink maybe 2-3 times a week, and never more than one beer or glass of wine during a school night. If it's the weekend, I'll often splurge and have 2-3 drinks. It's been a long time since I've gotten drunk, as I have a small child who will wake up early whether or not I have a raging hangover.

From your OP, it doesn't sound like you have a major alcohol problem. One thing you may want to watch out for is binge drinking. It can be a problem if you drink only once a week but every time you do drink you get smashed. Also, it's not a good thing if you drink heavily when you're bored, lonely, etc. BTW, I'm talking generally about binge drinking and not you in particular. From everything you've described, your doctor is over-reacting.

I spent the summer self medicating without a nice big shot of vodka every night. 2012 marked the most I have drank in a very, very long time.

These days, I'd say about one drink per sitting, maybe 2-3 times per month. I'm not even sure where I fit into the types.

I think some doctor's offices automatically fudge the number of drinks to account for downplaying. If you say 2 drinks a day, they'll assume 3 or 4.

It does bug me that many providers can't override their training in the interest of common sense. As was mentioned, if you say you smoke regularly, meaning a single Cuban cigar every single New Years Eve, they'll reflexively tell you to stop.

I'm mostly a Type 2, I guess.

I have no more than two drinks in a sitting most of the time. Once in awhile I will have maybe one or two more than that more - but never enough to get really drunk or black out. More than two drinks, and I feel sort of crappy the next day anyway.

I used to be closer to a Type 3 from my late teens to mid-twenties. I could - and did! - drink a shocking amount of alcohol for my size and though I would be drunk, I did not black out, I remembered mostly everything, and I didn't feel like death the following day.

Those days are long gone though and I'm ok with that.

Something to bear in mind: "heavy drinker" is not a moral judgment, it's a medical one, and the doctor's personal feelings shouldn't override medical information just to make someone feel comfortable. You can debate whether that definition is correct, sure, but the doctor's not scolding you when he notes that >2 drinks/session is "heavy drinking", he's doing his job. Heavy drinking for men "is typically defined as consuming an average of more than 2 drinks per day."

Type 4 here, perhaps, for the lack of a fitting classification. I consume one to three drinks per year. I don't like even the slightest manifestations of impairment and loss of control.

And I thought I drank too much.

I have an average of 4-5 gin and tonics a week, usually "topping it off" after I get halfway through. Now that I'm about to be a parent, though, I don't even feel comfortable having it in the apartment. What if I'm up late, having a drink, and have to drive the little one to the ER? The last thing I want to do is roll into a hospital with a child smelling like booze. So that will probably come to an end in a few weeks, and I'm totally cool with that.

And that AA diagnostic questionnaire above? Hilarious. I could answer half those questions and replace "alcohol" with "Wendy's".

Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:
Type 4 here, perhaps, for the lack of a fitting classification. I consume one to three drinks per year. I don't like even the slightest manifestations of impairment and loss of control.

No longer very Russian, eh?

Kidding! Most of the Eastern Europeans I've known have actually been tee-totalers or light drinkers.

Me? I probably have 1-3 drinks 1-3 times per week. Usually on the low side of the number of drinks - I enjoy trying new sipping tequilas and rums, but don't need to get really buzzed to do so.

"Choose BLACK or choose WHITE. THERE IS NO GREY."

I think it's probably more about the quantity of alcohol (two drinks as opposed to one) than the frequency.

I remember back in college there was a huge misconception about how to categorize drinking habits. Binge drinking was the norm, so no one thought much of floating a keg or going through a 30-pack with their friends in a single night. One of my dorm mates refused to believe that it was possible to harm yourself by drinking too much; he said that when you pass out, that's your body's way of telling you you've had enough. Wonder what ever happened to that guy.

As for me, I'm in the same boat as Gorilla. I don't really have anything against alcohol but I tend not to drink. I just don't enjoy it.

LobsterMobster wrote:
I think it's probably more about the quantity of alcohol (two drinks as opposed to one) than the frequency.

I remember back in college there was a huge misconception about how to categorize drinking habits. Binge drinking was the norm, so no one thought much of floating a keg or going through a 30-pack with their friends in a single night. One of my dorm mates refused to believe that it was possible to harm yourself by drinking too much; he said that when you pass out, that's your body's way of telling you you've had enough. Wonder what ever happened to that guy.


He went on to become Rep. Todd Akin.

Type 4 (Or is that -1?) here as well. Drinking has always been more of a spectator sport for me. (Part of it is I've been on medication that reacts... poorly with drinking for a very long time). I don't really mind, though. You'd be amazed how much free stuff you get for playing designated driver.