The information on this site is written by members of the liver team working at Southampton University Hospitals Trust, UK (SUHT). The DRINKULATOR drink calculator was originally programmed in Authorware with the help of medical students from The University of Southampton: Joanna White, Chris Nelson and Stewart Smith, and has been re-programmed by Ben Smith with a small grant from the Alcohol Education and Research Council (AERC). See the section below if you would like to help support and develop the website.
We see many patients with liver disease due to heavy drinking. Tragically, by the time we see them it is often too late. Liver disease develops silently with no signs, by the time the patient eventually comes to us they may have internal bleeding or jaundice, and approximately every 2-3 weeks someone dies.
Less than half the people we see with liver disease from alcohol are what could be termed 'alcohol dependent' or 'alcoholic'. Most are in their 30's or 40's and have jobs and families. When they realise the problem it is usually not difficult for them to stop drinking. Had they realised the harm that they were doing to themselves in most cases they could have cut down before it was too late.
We have put together this website because we believe the majority of heavy drinkers have absolutely no idea of the nature of the risks they are running, and of all the positive things that they could do to reduce the risk to their health by drinking more safely, and cutting down before it is too late and they are either dead or have a liver that is so damaged that they have to stop drinking all together in order to survive.
Comments and feedback are always appreciated and if you would like to support this website or our clinical or research work you can make a Paypal donation.
and make a payment to:
In addition if you have a liver problem due to alcohol and would be happy to speak to the press, radio or television then do get in touch with us. We get asked practically every week by journalists and TV companies if we have anyone prepared to help publicise the dangers associated with alcohol, but we do not think it is right to ask anyone to help with this unless they have volunteered first.
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Sorry, but we are not able to advise on individual cases
The DRINKULATOR uses real life data to calculate the risks of liver disease. Some of this data comes from a study in Copenhagen produced by Ulrick Becker and colleagues, and published in this abstract.
Becker, U., Deis, A., Sorensen, T. I., Gronbaek, M., Borch Johnsen, K., Muller, C. F., Schnohr, P., & Jensen, G. 1996, "Prediction of risk of liver disease by alcohol intake, sex, and age: a prospective population study", Hepatology, vol. 1996 May; 23, p. 5-9
The orginal data from the study was very kindly provided by the authors, and we used it to create a 3 dimensional mathematical risk model, which we then have re-interpreted using our experience as liver doctors to include some other factors such as family history and weight.