Drinking may help you unwind and relax and can be enjoyable with friends and family. But, if you regularly drink more than the recommended limits for alcohol, you'll increase the chances of seriously damaging your health.

The NHS recommends Men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units a day, women 2-3 units a day and pregnant women or those trying to conceive should avoid alcohol altogether.

And the amount you drink, how often you drink and how long you've been drinking all make a difference. Alcohol also affects men and women differently and if you regularly drink more than the NHS advises over a long period your health could be at serious risk of conditions such as.

• Cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus or larynx.

• Breast cancer in women.

• Heart disease or an irregular heartbeat, which can lead to heart attack.

• High blood pressure.

• Stroke.

• Liver damage such as cirrhosis and liver cancer.

• Depression, memory loss, brain damage or dementia.

Most people who drink too much may not see any symptoms at first, but later in life it can lead to serious problems. And if you already have an existing medical condition, drinking alcohol can make it worse. So drinking less now can reduce the risk of harming your health later on.

Alcohol can also make you put weight on as it’s high in calories, be linked to skin problems, premature aging, reduced fertility and impotence, put you in unsafe or embarrassing situations, as it can impair your judgement, put a strain on relationships, make mental health problems such as depression worse and cause financial problems But by drinking less not only will you be less likely to develop serious health problems but you will also save lots of money, have more energy, sleep better, stop gaining weight, have better looking skin, feel better in the mornings and be less tired during the day.

For further information visit www.nhs.uk/livewell/alcohol