By Joy Stephenson-Laws, J.D., Founder
IV Hydration May Be Life-Saving For Those Who Binge Drink
The reality is that alcohol is the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. (The first is tobacco. The second is poor diet and physical inactivity, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
A recent analysis conducted by the NIAAA found that nearly one million people died from alcohol-related causes between 1999 and 2017.
“The current findings suggest that alcohol-related deaths involving injuries, overdoses, and chronic diseases are increasing across a wide swath of the population. The report is a wakeup call to the growing threat alcohol poses to public health,” said NIAAA Director Dr. George F. Koob.
One disease due to alcohol consumption is alcohol-related liver disease - . What’s so scary about this type of liver disease is that it can really sneak up on people who are young and need to address that their relationship with alcohol may be problematic.
The story of a young woman, Rachel Martin, discussed in this article is instructive.
Rachel was caught up in the bad habit of binge drinking with sober breaks.
“Even when she was drinking, she would hit the bottle hard for three weeks but then go cold turkey for a week,” according to the article.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “[b]inge drinking is the most common, costly, and deadly pattern of excessive alcohol use in the United States. Binge drinking is defined as a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. This typically happens when men consume 5 or more drinks or women consume 4 or more drinks in about 2 hours. Most people who binge drink are not alcohol dependent [which is why many people who binge drink do not think that they have a problem].”
The CDC also reports that one in six U.S. adults binge drinks about four times a month, consuming about seven drinks per binge. (It is also most common in younger adults - ages 18 to 34).
The woman discussed in the article, Rachel Martin, started “feeling off.” Her symptoms included loss of appetite, itchy skin and fluid accumulation in her abdomen (ascites). Ascites is a common sign of cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver.
At first, she ignored her symptoms and continued to drink for months, but eventually went to the doctor and was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. Her doctor told her that if she continued to drink alcohol, she could die within a month.
“Even if she did quit, she might not make it three months,” the article states.
“Doctors are seeing more patients like Martin, people in their 20s and 30s with symptoms of acute liver disease related to alcohol consumption.”
More young people are being diagnosed with alcoholic related liver disease
It appears that many young people believe that their bodies are young enough to handle high alcohol consumption and that they have years until they will see the negative effects of excessive drinking. Sadly, this is certainly not the case.
Another person discussed in the article is a young man who said he drank more than a half of a fifth of vodka a day as a bartender. He eventually started having severe stomach pains. He went to the hospital and was diagnosed with cirrhosis and alcoholic liver hepatitis.
Yes, the people discussed in this article may drink more than usual. But if you are a person that gets very drunk every weekend or binge drinks a few times a month, you may be doing some serious damage to your liver and other organs.
And the deceptive part about this disease is that you may not have symptoms until it is too late.
“When most other parts of your body become inflamed, you can feel it – the area becomes hot and painful. But an inflamed liver may cause you no discomfort at all, and people with inflammation generally do not feel it,” according to the American Liver Foundation.
So this means that serious liver disease may go undiagnosed until it is in its later stages.
There are many health issues (pancreatitis, fatty liver) associated with excessive drinking. And some of these issues may be the absence of critical nutrients, like water, vitamins, minerals, including iron, selenium and magnesium, which alcohol depletes from our bodies if we overdo it. Combine this with the inflammation that excessive drinking causes, and you may have a recipe for disaster. Furthermore, people who drink heavily tend to have poorer diets, lacking nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables.
How can you be proactive?
Obviously, the best method is to abstain from drinking alcohol or drink in moderation. (Read here to find out how much is too much).
Myers Cocktails are great to replenish lost nutrients after drinking
But if you happen to drink excessively, at least try to replenish the lost nutrients with vitamin “cocktails.” (Yes, I do realize there is a bit of irony in calling these “cocktails”).
A vitamin cocktail, (or more correctly a nutrient cocktail), is usually in the form of an IV vitamin drip. The “banana bag” (which you can read all about here) is commonly used to treat patients who have a history of abusing alcohol.
The nutrient-filled fluid in a banana bag has a yellow color, hence the name. The nutrients, such as thiamine, folate and magnesium, present in the bag are all essential to the proper functioning of our bodies (including proper functioning of the liver).
IV vitamin drips deliver these cocktails of nutrients directly into the bloodstream.
And you don’t necessarily have to be having a medical issue or an emergency to utilize IV vitamin drips. Many people may use IV drips to help prevent or reduce the symptoms of the common cold, a hangover, jet lag, fatigue and more.
You can read more about potential benefits of the Myers’ Cocktail and additional cocktails we offer at the pH Drip Lab, here.
I’ve never been much of a drinker, but these are cocktails I utilize often as I age to replace lost vitamins and minerals and help boost my nutritional status. Whether or not we are battling addiction or drinking responsibly, we all likely have challenges maintaining optimal nutrient levels.
These challenges are due to a variety of factors, including age, medications, surgery and chronic illness . When you have these challenges, it is important to consult with a competent healthcare practitioner to identify the best way you can remain nutritionally balanced.
To get more information and book an appointment at the pH Drip Lab, click here.
Also check out our nutrient injections and pushes.
Finally, if you think you have a problematic relationship with alcohol or find that it is hard to live without drinking alcohol, read here for resources on how you can get help.
Enjoy your healthy life!
The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.