'I have to fix myself': Chrissy Teigen speaks candidly about alcohol consumption

PHOTO: Chrissy Teigen attends the 5th annual Beautycon festival at Los Angeles Convention Center, Aug. 13, 2017, in Los Angeles.PlayJason LaVeris/FilmMagic/Getty Images
WATCH 'I need to fix myself:' Chrissy Teigen speaks out about alcohol

Model and television personality Chrissy Teigen spoke candidly about her decision to cut down on her drinking in a new interview with Cosmopolitan magazine, saying, "I was, point blank, just drinking too much."

"Nobody really brought it up to me," she told the magazine, adding that she cannot "just have one drink."

Teigen, 31, revealed that her decision to change her ways came after she attended a wellness retreat with her family in Bali in Indonesia earlier this month. She told Cosmopolitan that she abstained from alcohol during the entire trip and that it was "really, really wonderful."

"I woke up feeling amazing. My skin felt amazing. I was just so happy," she said.

"I used to think it was kind of nutty to have to go totally sober," she added, "but now I get it. I don't want to be that person ... I have to fix myself."

Her comments have sparked discussions about how to know whether you are drinking too much and the different ways alcohol can affect women.

Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News' chief medical correspondent, explained the CAGE questionnaire, a framework she said is often taught in medical schools to assess people's alcohol consumption. CAGE is an acronym for four questions that health professionals can use to screen people for possible drinking problems.

C: Have you ever tried to cut down on your drinking?
A: Has anyone ever annoyed you about the amount that you drink?
G: Do you ever feel guilty about your drinking?
E: Do you ever need an eye-opener?

"You get zero points for the answer 'no,' one for every 'yes,'" Ashton said. "A score of two or more is considered clinically significant, indicating there may be a problem."

In her practice, she said, she also sees "subtle signs" of alcohol abuse, such as weight gain because of the amount of alcohol a person is consuming, drinking interfering with work life and alcohol getting a person into trouble on social media or even with the law.

"It is possible to consume alcohol in moderate amounts safely, but in excessive amounts, it's a toxin, and we know it's been associated with various types of cancers," Ashton said. "So again, it's on a spectrum here, ranging from it's OK to it's deadly."

Ashton said that for women, one drink per day is considered an average amount, while for men, it's two.

"Above that, it's considered excessive," she added.

"The definition of binge drinking is four or more drinks in a two-hour period, and we're seeing that go up among women, not so much against men," Ashton said.

For people trying to cut back on the amount they drink, she suggests limiting the number of days each week you consume alcohol, cutting the amount that you're consuming or trying a dry period that could be a weekend, a week, a month or longer.

"Recruit social support or family support. It's very difficult to do this by yourself," she said. She also encouraged people who are struggling to "seek professional help."

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