1. How much alcohol you drink
Many patients underestimate the amount of alcohol they drink. “It’s not uncommon for us to take what the patient says and double it, just to be safe,” says Dr. Kerr. But honesty is the best policy here, because your alcohol intake could be affecting your health. “It’s important for us to know about your drinking habits so that we can counsel appropriately,” says Scott MacLean, MD, an Edmonton-based family physician. If your drinking is excessive, it “can have serious consequences for the liver,” says Dr. Kerr. Cirrhosis of the liver, weight gain, early onset of dementia, and high blood pressure can all result from heavy drinking.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, moderate drinking is up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. It’s also important to have non-drinking days in the week, in order to avoid developing a habit.