Dr. Wilson: OK, let’s see what we’ve got. Your cholesterol is doing pretty well. Your LDL, the bad kind, is 110 and your HDL, the good kind, is 50.

Mr. Jackson: That’s good to hear.  I’ve been taking my meds.

Dr. Wilson: On the other hand, you’ve gained 10 pounds and your blood pressure is 135 over 85 – which is up a bit since last year. Everything else looks OK – your EKG, physical exam, and the other labs, including your liver tests.  It’s good that you’re still not smoking—that’s really important. But you’re drinking more than is medically healthy, and it’s affecting both your weight and your blood pressure.

Mr. Jackson: Wait, are you saying I’m an alcoholic?

Dr. Wilson: Based on what you’ve told me, I don’t think so. But I would recommend that you quit or cut down significantly. I think we would see improvements in both your weight and your blood pressure. I am concerned that if things keep going the way they are, you’re probably going to need blood pressure medication.

Mr. Jackson: I don’t want to take any more pills.

Dr. Wilson: Are you willing to consider changing your drinking?

Mr. Jackson: If it means I don’t have to take more meds, sure.

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