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I drink a bottle of wine almost every day. Is this ok?

Tagged as: Health<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (10 February 2011) 12 Answers - (Newest, 22 March 2011)
A female United States age 36-40, anonymous writes:

To make this short and simple I drink a bottle of wine every day, well almost every day!!! is that to much. I dont start drinking in the morning, only at night when my son goes to bed, I contiue to carry on with my life through out the day. I get up and get ready and cook and clean and go to the park with my girl. At night however when she goes to bed, I have to have my wine, is this okay? Please help! Thank you

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A female reader, Juliet79 Australia +, writes (22 March 2011):

Juliet79 agony auntWow, I am so impressed with the responses from everyone to this lady's question. I came across this as I too drink a bottle of wine most nights, but I was just concerned that I may be damaging my liver and googled it.I am Australian and I know we have a reputation for being good drinkers, must be our culture lol:-)

I know I dont have a problem ( I mean Im not an alcoholic )as I have given birth to two beautiful children and breastfed for some time all in the past 4 years, and whilst pregnant/feeding never touched alcohol or coffee. But I do really enjoy my favourite wine at the end of the day, it relaxes me, helps me get to sleep(I am an insomniac)but I still get up every 4 hours minimum to my baby and sometimes my toddler.

I feel completely fine at 3am in the morning when Im up making a bottle of formula up for my baby girl, changing nappy and feeding and burping her.

I think the alcohol must leave my system quite quickly or I have a good tolerance for it as when I finally hop back into bed, I am wide awake and cannot sleep.Definately not feeling woosy/tired/drunk.

I am sure that drinking a full bottle of wine say 5 nights a week is not good for my health, that is my main concern as the effects of the wine dont seem to bother me too much mentally/emotionally.I appreciate the advice given on this page from everyone who responded, I am keen to know what wine does to the body physically and the lady who wrote about cancer and disease that may be caused by alcohol has really answered my question too. I realise even though I always feel fine, I cant see the damage being done inside my body and that worried me.

I have been drinking a bottle of wine 4-5 nights a week over the past 3 months and did the same before both children, I will definately cut back after reading everyone's posts. Thankyou to all and I hope the lady who asked the question is doing well. Cheers!

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (10 February 2011):

CindyCares agony aunt I don't want to sound disrespectful or confrontational, I assure I am just very curious about WHERE it is normal to drink a bottle of wine a day. In one take. Outside meals .

I am saying this because I was born and raised in Italy, in a very wine friendly culture.Kids start taking sips of watered down wine when they are in grade school. My father was an expert connoisseur and collectionist of wines. I live in the middle of a famous wine making area.

All this to say that , I've got some wine credentials :).So:

The only people I met who can keep this 7 bottles a week drinking rythm also keeping themselves lucid and functional are a few old crusty farmers pre-WorldWar Two ( don't make'em like that anymore, I guess ). "Regular " people stick to a much lower daily intake . Of course parties,weddings, social gatherings are an exception. But a regular consumption of 7 bottles a week is considered quite above average here.

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A female reader, dmartin89 United Kingdom +, writes (10 February 2011):

dmartin89 agony auntI think some people are overreacting on here!

One bottle a night? - Normal, but not good for your health.

It also depends on what type of wine you are drinking, one glass of red wine a day is actually good for you.

I can quite easily drink half a bottle a night, which is about 2 glasses. But I'm not a big drinker and find it difficult to drink a bottle of red in one night. But I could easily drink over one bottle of sweet rose.

Advice; Basically cut down to half a bottle a night. Mix your wine with water (not in the same glass!) And see how it goes.

Do you feel like you need to drink it or just enjoy it?

Sometimes its easy to forget how much your drinking until the bottle is empty.

Another good idea is to decanter half the bottle into another bottle before you start drinking and save that for another day.

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A female reader, Honeygirl South Africa +, writes (10 February 2011):

Honeygirl agony auntSweetie, if you are asking if it is okay - then I guess you feel that something is not quite right.

Are you able to go without having wine for a couple of nights or has it become a compulsive thing, cant wait for the kids to be in bed so you can have your drink?

If your mouth is watering at the thought of a glass of wine, then I suggest you seek out advice from Alcoholics Anonymous. You don't have to be a fall down drunk to be an alcoholic.

Have you ever tried to water down your wine instead? I think it's called a spritzer where you mix half wine with half soda water.


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A female reader, anonymous, writes (10 February 2011):

I think you already know that this is not okay....

It might be a good idea for you to go find an AA meeting if you cannot cut down on your own. After your kids go to bed, go find something else to do other than sit and drink wine. It's probably too late and you do need intervention if you cannot go without. Please seek some help for yourself and for your children's sake (hugs).

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (10 February 2011):

Honeypie agony auntNo it's a bit much with a bottle a day.

What would you do if something happened in the middle of the night to your child? You would be incapable of realizing it or even doing the right thing.

They say 7 "drinks" a WEEK for women and 14 for men is not damaging. ( "drink" = 1 glass of wine)

You need to figure out why you dhink this much and why you think it's ok.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (10 February 2011):

Is it okay? I don't know, but it's normal.

The only thing that would make it a bad thing is if it effected negatively other aspects of your life. If it doesn't then it's fine. It's not exactly the best idea for your health but who cares? Most things aren't.

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (10 February 2011):

CindyCares agony auntWay too much. A 750 cc. bottle of wine is 5 glasses,( 150 cc. wine glasses - wine is not supposed to be drunk in mugs or big tumblers ! ) a safe and reasonable daily quantity for an average sized woman is 2 . Plus, I take it you are drinking it after meals, on a empty stomach ? It affects you stronger and faster, not a good thing.

Regardless of the quantity anyway , ( some people have over average tolerance for alcohol ), the troublesome thing is that you say " I have to have my wine ". What do you mean exactly ? That you would find unbearably difficult to skip a couple of nights ? That you make sure well in advance you are never short of wine at home ? That if for some reason you can't get your wine you become irritable , antsy or aggressive ?... If you experience any of these things these are alarm bells and it's time to consult a specialized professional before you develop a full blown addiction.

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A female reader, Miamine United Kingdom +, writes (10 February 2011):

Miamine agony auntYes it's bad. UK government guidelines advise 2-3 units every day (maximum) for a woman. A bottle of wine is 14. If you carry on this way, you will damage your liver.

Why are you drinking so much. Seven bottles of wine a week is damaging to your health. Find out why you drink so much and find alternative ways to relax.

If you have problem stopping, you may be classed as alcoholic. Contact your doctor and see if there are any alcoholic services in your area.

Alcohol can kill. It's a drug, and like all drugs it can be toxic to the body if overused and abused. Go and see your doctor.

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A female reader, k_c100 United Kingdom +, writes (10 February 2011):

k_c100 agony auntOk well in terms of "normal" (if there is such thing!) I would say it is not that bad. But in terms of your health - you will be doing some serious damage.

You are not displaying 'alcoholic' tendencies - you are only drinking at night, you have a normal life, your children are not affected by your drinking - you just drink to relax at night. Now that is fine, nothing wrong with that.

But health wise, this is where you have a problem. There are 9 units of alcohol in a typical 12% alcohol 750ml bottle of wine, and the recommended number of units for a woman in 1 day are 2-3. So you are drinking well over double the recommended daily intake of alcohol each day. The impacts of this on your health could include:

- Increased risk of cancer. Drinking as little as three units of alcohol a day increases you risk of developing many types of cancer including cancers of the mouth, throat, oesophagus (the pipe that goes from your mouth to your stomach), liver, breast and bowel.

- Regularly drinking too much alcohol damages your heart muscles and increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke.

- Alcohol damages your liver. Your liver is the largest organ in your body, and one of its many functions is to filter and clean your blood. It takes about one hour for your liver to break down one unit of alcohol. If you regularly drink too much alcohol, you are at risk of developing a range of alcoholic liver diseases including fatty liver disease, hepatitis and cirrhosis. If you have liver cirrhosis, you’re more likely to develop liver cancer.

-Alcohol damages your pancreas. Your pancreas produces insulin, which helps control blood sugar levels and enzymes, which help to break down fatty food. If you regularly drink too much alcohol, it can lead to chronic pancreatitis (when your pancreas is damaged beyond repair). One in three people who have chronic pancreatitis will develop diabetes.

- Regularly drinking more than the daily recommended units is known to affect fertility. In women, alcohol disrupts menstrual cycles and makes it harder to conceive.

- Drinking heavily over a long time can affect your mental health. It can increase anxiety and cause depression, memory loss and dementia.

For more info have a look at this website

You are falling into the 'regular drinking' category which is the biggest risk to your health. If you were on the odd occasion drinking a bottle in a night then that would not be such a problem. But because you are doing it daily you are going to be doing some serious damage.

Now I love my wine, after work I love getting home and having a nice glass of red with a meal or a cool glass of white in the summer. But I know that alcohol is a) incredibly bad for your health and b) simply empty calories that will make you put on weight! I understand how easy it is to drink the whole bottle - it is only 3 large glasses! But you are doing some serious damage to your body and if you carry on, you could soon start to see the effects. Think about your children - is it really worth risking your health for the drink? How would they cope without mum around? Or with mummy having chemo because of an alcohol related cancer?

I think because you are here asking this question you are worried and know deep down that it is too much. Try to slowly cut down - going cold turkey wont help because you will just end up craving it. Do you feel like you 'need' alcohol at the end of the day or is it more of a 'want'? If it is the latter, then you will be able to cut down on your own without too many problems. If it is a need, then you might have a problem with alcohol and it would be a good idea to see a doctor for some advice.

If you want to cut down on your own, then try a glass of wine per night (1 large glass) so the bottle lasts 3 days. That way you get your fix and the relaxation of having a drink, without consuming far too many units. Then once you have been successful at this for a month or so, with no slip ups, then take it down to 1 glass of wine every other night. That is a more sensible way to consume alcohol - if you are not drinking daily but enjoying it every other night then that is more 'normal' and does not indicate any sort of addiction. Anything that you 'need' to do daily indicates there is a problem with that substance, whereas if you are fine without it but on the odd night just fancy a little glass then that is perfectly fine.

But if you do feel it is a 'need' rather than a 'want' then I am afraid it may already be an addiction and then you will just have to stop drinking for good, because any alcohol you consume will mean you have to have more - you wont be able to stop yourself. If this is the case then please see a doctor, they will be able to give you lots of advice and get you onto a programme or find a support group etc.

I hope this helps and good luck!

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A male reader, TheSaint India +, writes (10 February 2011):

It is not really how much you drink, but how you drink that makes one a problem drinker (alcoholic). You will know best if you are one.

Type "Am I an alcoholic" in google and try to answer the questions that are asked for yourself or better still find an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and see for yourself.

The short answer is that if you find yourself drinking compulsively and obsessively, you could have a problem. Remember this is a progressive disease, you may not be displaying all the patterns now, but it could and usually does get worse.

For example, if you've not been drinking a bottle every night from the time you started drinking, but the quantity you drink has increased over time. Then you know you are progressing.

Hope that helps.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (10 February 2011):

No I don't think this is ok and by asking the question I think deep down you don't think it is either. The best thing to do is to use one of the unit calculators on the web and type in how many glasses and the percentage alcohol is in it and see how many units you are over the recommended healthy limit per week. You might be getting away with it now but over time you can do some serious damage. I know how you feel because I was drinking 2 - 3 glasses every night of red wine could not seem to have an evening without my comforting drink but I realised it was affecting my health in small ways and showing in my skin and eyes.

Now I try and have at least two completely alcohol free days a week to give my system a rest and I have cut down to 1 -2 glasses max. I had to get really honest with myself about why I needed my glasses of wine.

Fact was I was unhappy in my marriage and bored with my life. I joined a gym and go to exercise classes twice a week - deliberately in the evening so that I don't really feel like having any wine. This helps break the habit. This might not be practical if you have children but if you can find something to distract you or a hobby you can do - try and take your mind off alcohol. Its time to be honest and look after yourself.

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