Is taking one or two pegs of whisky daily harmful?
Q: I want to know if there is any harm in taking one or two pegs of whisky daily. I am asking this particularly for my dad who is about 55 yrs of age and has undergone Whipples surgery in Sept 1997 (periampullary carcinoma) at Sanjay Gandhi Institute Of Medical Sciences, Lucknow. There is absolutely no problem following surgery except some problem of urine infection.
A:Whisky damages the liver, the pancreas, the brain, the stomach and possibly other organs. The damage correlates loosely with the doses imbibed: persons taking more whisky are more likely to get diseases than those taking less. 30 ml of whisky daily will cause very little harm even if taken over several years. 60 ml of whisky taken daily will cause liver damage in a small number of persons after many years. According the western literature, 100 ml per day for 18-20 years is needed to damage the pancreas. However, Indians are definitely more susceptible to pancreatic disease, and I have seen a small number of patients with pancreatic damage following 60-80 ml/day for 7 years or so. Pancreatic damage, called chronic pancreatitis, is a bad disease, and can lead to acute pancreatitis, a dangerous condition. Chronic pancreatitis also increases the risk of pancreatic cancer slightly. Any dose of alcohol can cause stomach upsets, even ulcers. This is not usually a very serious condition, but is troublesome. Those who drink for many years get brain diseases. I do not know the dose-duration correlation. A person who has undergone a Whipple has very little residual pancreatic tissue. He is lucky to be alive after periampullary cancer, and should avoid alcohol totally. (Totally! The acceptable dose is probably about 0 ml/day.)