What’s your poison?

So I don’t very often put out two blog posts in one day but last night I watched a programme that was both fascinating, informative and important and it has a limited re-play time online and it’s about the premise of what’s your poison, the old saying related to drinking.

This was the shows description:

Identical twins

How bad can our drinking pattern be for our health? Doctors and genetically identical twins Chris and Xand van Tulleken want to find out. With the current drinking guidelines under review, the twins embark on self-experimentation to see the effects of different drinking patterns on their health. With Chris drinking 21 units spread evenly across the week and Xand having his 21 in single weekly binges, how will their bodies differ after a month? Catching up with the latest research into alcohol drinking patterns, we ask if moderate drinking is genuinely good for us – and whether binge drinking is really that bad.

And you can watch it here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b05wdfhk/horizon-20142015-12-is-binge-drinking-really-that-bad

For those unable to watch the show there is a good write up here and it was also picked up by the Daily Mail which you can read about here.

As a nurse this show fascinated me.  Particularly the blood test results at the end which showed that both binge drinking and daily consumption of the Govt recommended guidelines amount was damaging to our immune system and liver.

The scary bit was that the leaky gut that we knew happened as evidenced by ‘drinkers sh*ts’ was actually much worse than we thought.  The Consultant Hepatologist at The Royal Free who they saw and tested their blood talked about how toxins leak from the gut when we drink causing systemic immune system poisoning.  It really is a case of what’s your poison!!

And you were no safer drinking the Govt recommended amount on a daily basis than if you binged it all on a Saturday night.  The damage was the same and although logically we think that the one night binge would allow our livers and bodies enough time to recover the truth is – in the case of these two brothers at least – it doesn’t.  They also both had an increase in liver stiffness which meant the liver was suffering too.

The Consultant Hepatologist was shocked with the results and ended by saying that based on these results there is no safe level that we can drink.   It will be really interesting to see what the new Govt recommended guidelines say when they are finally published ……..

Did any of you watch it?  What are your thoughts?

Edited to add:  23 May 2015, it’s now on Youtube!

9 thoughts on “What’s your poison?

  1. Wasn’t able to watch it, but wow, interesting stuff! I still cringe when I think of all the punishment my body endured when I was drinking. xx

  2. Sorry, I haven’t seen it yet either, but it is really amazing how well the liver recovers – one doctor told me whilst I was getting treatment that the liver is basically designed for abuse – not very helpful for me as I started my sober life, but yeah, that’s what the good doctor revealed… Hilarious, now, looking back.
    But I do remember in group therapy seeing the other drinker who said his liver was shot – his yellow skin and total lack of energy. Best thing now for my liver is water and building some core strength to help it flush out.

    1. Hey Bren Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog 🙂 I agree that being kind to your liver is the best thing. Having nursed many patients who had abused their livers almost to the point of death it’s not a path or a death I would recommend!!

  3. Great post Lou – I continue to suffer from leaky gut/diverticular disease as a result of years of alcohol abuse and poor lifestyle choices in the first thirty years of my adulthood and can vouch for the long term damage done to our bowels by the poison!xxx

    1. Binki I sypathise as diverticular disease is no fun 🙁 I did not truly appreciate the level of harm done to our gut by booze until watching this programme. Why booze doesn’t carry a skull and crossbones sign I have no idea!! I tried to buy some acetylaldehyde (the by produce of booze when broken down) and it is very very difficult to get hold of because of its toxic nature ……

  4. This was a massive eye opener. I was not planning to watch it, and did on your recommendation. It was presented brilliantly- charming, engaging presenters/guinea pigs. I really feel like making all my family watch it too!

    1. Hey CornChips! Glad you enjoyed and yes I agree it was a great show that was very well done 🙂

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