November 17, 2014

Understanding How Alcohol Uniquely Affects Women

Understanding How Alcohol Uniquely Affects Women

When it comes to processing alcohol, men and women are quite different. Contrary to common belief, men and women of almost the same height and weight do not experience similar effects after consuming equal amounts of alcohol. Studies prove that women on the whole are more adversely affected than men are by alcohol abuse. That makes it necessary for women to understand this particular difference between the sexes.

Here are four explanations as to why women react differently than men to alcohol consumption:

  • While the concentration of water in the body of the average adult man is around 61 percent, a woman has far less water content, around 52 percent. As a result, a man’s body is naturally equipped to dilute alcohol more efficiently than a woman’s body, regardless of the weight factor.
  • Women have lower concentrations of dehydrogenase, the enzyme that metabolizes alcohol before it passes into the bloodstream. Therefore, a woman’s body processes alcohol comparatively slower than a man’s body does.
  • Variations in hormonal levels prior to menstruation can cause women to become intoxicated faster. This is especially evident during the days just before the commencement of the period. Women who regularly take estrogen-added medications like birth control pills often experience extended effects of intoxication since the medication slows down the rate at which the body is able to eliminate the alcohol content.
  • The content of body fat is directly related to the rate of absorption and metabolizing of alcohol. Women have a higher concentration of body fat than men do. Since fat does not absorb alcohol, the entire alcohol content remains in a highly concentrated form in the bloodstream. Consequently, women experience alcohol-induced intoxication faster.

Although women face different dangers from alcohol abuse than men do, one factor extends hope for recovery. Women are far likelier to seek treatment and maintain abstinence than men. Treatment in an addiction treatment center can help with detox if necessary, and help you leave alcohol abuse in the past.

 

http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/womens-health.htm

http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/08/24/jnci.djt213.full

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