Henrietta Maddox Webloner

Long live the liver
August 8, 2008, 8:53 am
Filed under: Friendships, Mental Well Being, Physical Health

Yesterday I watched a programme about liver damage and La Vie En Rose. I wasn’t consciously trying to theme my day around binge drinking. But obviously I needed to tell myself something, and give myself a little scare.

I am definitely what you would call a drinker. In a night, I can happily swig back a bottle and a half of white wine or more. On a heavy night, add dark rum and coke plus sambuca shots to the tab. In my early to mid twenties, I was a red wine drinker and even worse – most mornings I had no memory of the night before. Just a hangover mixed with strong pangs of guilt and paranoia. I have to avoid red wine because I drink it like Ribena.

But now, my health is more important. Staying on top of it seems like a smart way forward. Women are supposed to drink 2 – 3 units a day. A 250 ml glass of wine just slightly exceeds that amount. Thus, things are going to have to change.

The biggest challenge is not cutting the alcohol down, it is dealing with your drinker friends. Mine are very important to me, and I worry how they will react when I stop at one or two. But the benefits of drinking less are fabulous: you lose a ton of weight, you have high energy and you are not killing off your liver.

By the way, your liver is very good at regenerating itself but unfortunately, this means that diagnosing liver cancer or cirrhosis usually happens too late. Looking at Edith Piaf in that movie says it all. She looks decrepit and tortured and she’s only in her forties.

I understand that life is short but does it always have to be about getting wasted? Surely there are other ways to enjoy yourself and relieve stress?


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