Dry January opens the door to a healthier lifestyle

Dry January opens the door to a healthier lifestyle

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Put the booze aside during Dry January. Dr. Mathew Devine, the Medical Director at Highland Family Medicine and a Medical Advisory Board Member for SELF magazine, discussed the potential health benefits of Dry January Tuesday during News 8 at Sunrise.

Why consider decreasing or stopping alcohol?

DRY JANUARY is a timely topic and SELF magazine just published an article on the topic this week. This is the time of year to consider taking a break from alcohol. It is known that we look better, feel better, and have better energy when we stop drinking.

Can drinking affect my health?

Drinking too much can affect your health and finances.

Drinking moderately is defined by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans as having up to one drink a day for people assigned female at birth and up to two drinks a day for people assigned male at birth. Having more than that on a regular basis is not advised. 

When you stop drinking alcohol, what happens in the first week without alcohol?

This depends on the amount of alcohol you drink.  If you do drink excessively it would be a good idea to consult your medical team and let them know that you are going to stop drinking so that they can monitor you during that time.

If you drink only mild to moderately then you can expect the following:

  • You will take in fewer calories and could therefore lose weight
  • Your sleep will improve (this can take longer if you are an excessive drinker)

What can you expect within two to three weeks?

  • Your brain will function better
  • Your GI system will work better
  • Your immune system will hopefully improve

What will happen to your body after a month without alcohol?

  • Your heart and liver will begin to recover
  • This could potentially slow the signs of aging and therefore see healthier skin

What are the long-term health benefits of not drinking alcohol?

  • You can lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome.

On a final note — after a period of time off of alcohol, be careful not to overdo it if you resume drinking alcohol. If you have any questions you can always review these with your medical team.