Detrimental effects of alcohol on women’s health
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After a long day at work, bringing the children back from daycare, preparing dinner and winding up the kitchen, Megan likes to catch up with her husband over a drink or two, almost every other night. While the drink helps her unwind and relax, Megan is probably oblivious to the effects of consuming even small amounts of alcohol on her overall well-being. On discovering that she was pregnant for the third time, she quit alcohol on the advice of her doctor as no amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy. Alcohol consumption can have far-reaching consequences on the physical and psychological health of women. In comparison to men, females have more body fat and less body water. After alcohol enters the body, it mixes with water concentrating alcohol levels and posing a greater threat to their organs.
Here are some of the other ways how alcohol affects a woman’s health:
- Breast cancer – Research established that alcohol increases the propensity of women towards breast cancer especially among those in postmenopausal stage or have a family history of breast cancer. This is because alcohol causes more production of estrogen, which can get carcinogenic, Additionally, alcohol is capable of damaging DNA of the cells. In comparison to women who do not drink at all, women drinking alcohol are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer by 15
- Fetal alcohol syndrome – Women who consume alcohol during pregnancy make their babies susceptible to fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). FAS is a preventable disorder in which the infant might be born small or might have growth problems and brain damage. FAS can lead to disproportionate facial features, deformities of joints and limbs, small head circumference, heart defects as well as social and behavioral issues.
- Liver damage – In comparison to their male counterparts, females are more susceptible to alcohol and drug-induced liver damage and liver failure. Despite men abusing alcohol more than women, the latter are more susceptible to its toxic effects on body organs. Additionally, in comparison to men, women with alcoholic liver disease have a faster progression to fibrosis, which continues even after abstinence.
- Brain damage – Magnetic resonance imaging-based research (MRI) shows that in comparison to men, women are more susceptible to alcohol-induced brain damage. Using MRI, the researchers have shown that a brain region involved in coordination of multiple brain functions was found to be smaller in women who consumed alcohol in comparison to their counterparts and men who consumed alcohol.
- Heart disease – Despite a lesser use of alcohol over their lifetime, in comparison to men, women have an equal rate of alcohol-associated heart muscle disease.
Alcohol recovery roadmap
Alcohol not only affects the physical health, it also has damaging consequences on the psychological health in women. Under the influence, many time, women become victims of dating violence, or physical or sexual assault. The intoxicating effects of liquor increase the likelihood of accidents, injuries and self-harm behavior. Women who are regular drinkers are also likely to become pregnant in their twenties and thirties, and can expose their babies to developmental impairments. Fortunately, with treatment the addiction can be cured.
If you or your loved one is looking for the best facilities to help overcome alcohol addiction, and attain lifelong sobriety, contact the Colorado Alcohol Addiction Help representatives for the right guidance. Call our 24/7 helpline 866-592-9261 or chat online with one of our counselors to get connected to some of the finest alcohol addiction treatment centers in Colorado.