This week is alcohol awareness week in the UK and the NHS is encouraging its patients/clients to look in the mirror and ask whether or not they are drinking too much. As part of the holistic management of MS and our marginal gains strategy for managing MS, we are encouraging all pwMS to do the same.
Excessive alcohol consumption is bad for MS in several ways. It disrupts your sleep pattern and may, therefore, make fatigue and other mental health issues worse. It can affect your balance and coordination and increase your risk of falls and fractures. Alcohol lowers your seizure threshold and increases your chances of having seizures. Longterm alcohol consumption is associated with accelerated brain volume loss and hence increases your chances of developing cognitive impairment and is likely to exacerbate MS-related cognitive impairment.
Alcohol is not good for bone health and is a known cause of osteopaenia. Alcohol is metabolised by the liver and can result in liver toxicity. Alcohol interacts with many drugs affecting their activity and metabolism and may interact with MS-related medication resulting in unpredictable side effects.
Alcohol is very calorific and may contribute to weight gain. In general, excessive alcohol consumption is bad for you.
Why don’t you log onto Drink Coach, or download the App, and take the alcohol test to see if you have a drinking problem?