I hate to be a wet blanket, but …
Coming in to the Christmas period, this may not be the blog post anybody wanted, But forewarned is forearmed and alcoholism in women is a growing problem, especially among young girls.
Studies show that women who drink too much alcohol are more likely to suffer from significant alcohol problems than men. They age more quickly and are liable to look a good 10 years older than a woman of the same age who doesn’t drink. More wrinkles … and weight gain.
Women who have alcohol problems are more likely to commit suicide and be involved in accidents … almost double the figures for men. Is it caused by a general disappointment with life?
No prizes for guessing women drink to relax, to gain confidence in social situations, to get to sleep, and to relieve stress.
□ They may also drink if they have problems with a loved one. Unmarried, divorced, or separated women are more likely to have problems with alcohol.
□ If a woman’s husband has alcohol problems, she is more likely to drink
□ Women who have been sexually abused are more likely to drink to excess.
□ Seventeen percent of ninth grade girls admit that they had more than five drinks at one time in the past month which means women start out by drinking more.
Because women are smaller, have less water in their bodies and metabolise alcohol more slowly than men, the blood alcohol level in a woman who just drank the same amount of alcohol as a man will be higher.
This means that women can also develop liver damage and other alcohol-related health problems more quickly than men, even though they may be drinking less.
It’s not all bad news. There are benefits …
If you’re a woman of a certain age ( over the age of 55 in this instance), one drink per day may lower your risk for heart disease. Moderate drinking for a woman is defined as one alcoholic drink per day which equates to one 5-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce bottle of beer, or 1.5 ounces of spirit.
Of course, women who drink beyond moderation may increase their risk of heart disease and if you’re younger than 55, there may be no health benefits to drinking alcohol.
But wait, there’s more …
□ Women who drink alcohol may increase their risk of breast cancer and head and neck cancers.
□ Alcohol kills brain cells and women are more susceptible to this alcohol effect than men.
□ Alcohol can affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant.
□ Alcohol during pregnancy can have serious harmful effects on the foetus. No amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy.
□ Women who have alcohol problems have a higher risk of becoming victims of sexual assault or other acts of violence.
□ Alcohol consumption can contribute to depression, sleeping problems, heart failure, falls, and poor nutrition in women, especially older women of a certain age.
The risk of developing an alcohol problem is greater if you have a family history of alcoholism. Some of the warning signs are:
□ Missing work or school because of drinking
□ Driving while impaired by alcohol
□ Having a strong urge to drink
□ Needing more alcohol than you previously did to get a pleasurable response
□ Finding that people who care about you are concerned about your drinking
□ Having more than seven drinks per week
□ Finding yourself drinking alone or early in the day
If you think you have a problem you must get help and the hardest part of getting help is admitting you have a problem.
Talk to your doctor or somebody you trust and feel comfortable with in order to find a solution. And yes, you will need a lot of help …
Korsakoff’s Syndrome http://bit.ly/vWRitL
Health problems associated with alcoholism http://bit.ly/sP7kZi
Signs and symptoms http://bit.ly/v6sRxE