Alcohol has many harmful effects on anyone who drinks regularly, however alcohol has risks that are specifically unique to women. Studies show that when compared to men, women who drink have a significantly worse experience processing and handling alcohol. Awakenings for Women is an alcohol treatment facility in Boca Raton, Florida specifically for women. It is important to understand how certain drugs, like alcohol, affect women as opposed to men.
A woman’s body reacts differently to alcohol than a man’s body does, and women develop alcohol related problems quicker than men do. Women face health consequences from drinking alcohol quicker than men, even if they have consumed smaller amounts. The following are the reasons why alcohol affects women differently.
-Women typically weigh less than men, which equates to less body fat and less water. Less fat to retain alcohol and less water to dilute the alcohol means more alcohol is concentrated in a woman’s body water, exposing her brain and organs to higher levels of alcohol.
-Women are more likely than men to develop liver inflammation and liver cirrhosis due to drinking.
-Women are more likely than men to develop heart disease from alcohol abuse.
-As compared to women who don’t drink, women who drink and consume alcohol regularly are far more likely to develop breast cancer.
-As compared to men, women who drink are more likely to develop alcohol induced brain damage leading to loss of mental function.
-Women who become pregnant and continue to use alcohol are putting their unborn child at serious risk of damage to their cognitive and physical development. No amount of alcohol is considered safe during pregnancy. Alcohol abuse during pregnancy may lead to miscarriage. Health problems caused by drinking while pregnant can affect a child for their entire life.
-Alcohol also contributes to higher chances of premature menopause, infertility, high blood pressure, heart disease, and Osteoporosis.
-Once drink for a woman has the same effects as two drinks for a man, and women process alcohol slower than men do, leaving them impaired for longer.
-Women have less of alcohol metabolizing enzymes in their body, therefore alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream.
-Women experience many hormonal changes in their bodies. Hormonal fluctuations in a woman’s body further limits her ability to metabolize alcohol.
Women with alcohol problems are at a higher risk of suicide than men with alcohol problems or women who do not drink.
-Women who drink are more likely to develop throat cancer, mouth cancer, brain disease, heart disease, liver cancer, and colon cancer.
Alcohol is damaging to both a woman’s mental and physical health. Studies show that more women and young girls are participating in alcohol consumption at parties, social events, or even alone when trying to unwind. From 1993-2001 the rates of college women who admitted to frequently binge drinking doubled. Unfortunately, women are less likely than men to seek treatment for alcohol addiction, frequently blaming their behavior on family issues or stress. Luckily, both men and women have the same chance of recovering from alcohol abuse and addiction, when they seek the proper help.