Sunday, January 15, 2006

Another vino tinto please

I read an article in that venerable journal “The Sun” about alcohol. The lead sentence was “BRITAIN is in the grip of a booze crisis with more than a QUARTER of adults hooked on drink”. I couldn’t find a similar article on the Guardian nor the Times websites so I can’t say whether the problem is at the endemic or pandemic stage. Nor could I find any information that would corroborate the figure of  8.2m Brits with alcohol related disorders.

The article went on to describe the effects that alcohol has on you. Destroying the liver was high on the list. We are all acutely aware of the George Best case although I understand it was not his second liver that broke down and eventually caused his death. The one that most concerned me though was the loss of brain cells. The article suggested that every alcoholic drink you had killed off brain cells which I assume were then gone never to be replaced. So I checked on the NHS site and there sure enough fifth on the list is alcoholic dementia.
  1. liver disease (cirrhosis of the liver),

  2. alcohol-related anaemia and nutritional disease,

  3. chronic calcifying pancreatitis,

  4. heart muscle damage (cardiomyopathy), and

  5. alcoholic dementia.
Whether this is a temporary condition or a permanent addling of the brain wasn’t made clear on the NHS site. I must investigate this further. All the cheap red wine that we consume out here in Spain not to mention the brandy that follows must make me even more vulnerable to the ravaging effects that the Sun described. I don’t want to end up in a few years time a babbling idiot unable to function properly so I might just have to cut back. Not necessarily a bad thing because according to Pamela I snore badly after too much brandy. I dare say her lack of sleep is more debilitating than my boozing.  

1 comment:

Pete said...

It's permanent Keith, and frighteningly so.

As you may recall, in a previous existence I had a lot to do with care, and one of the places I visited to complete an assessment was an EMI (elderly mentally ill) home in Toxteth (the end of Princes Avenue as I recall). The guy I was visiting worked on a special small unit they had.

Everyone there was young - certainly nobody over 60 even, but they were completely vacant. You'd look these poor souls in the eye and there was nothing, absolutely nothing, there. Not a spark, no interest, just no life at all.

I asked what was wrong with the residents and every single one was a long term alcoholic before admission. For most people it is the liver that gives out first, but if your liver is strong and your brain is susceptible. Well...it's ugly.