Sep 09

5 Things You May Not Know about Women and Alcohol

5 Things You May Not Know about Women and Alcohol

5 things you may not know about women and alcoholBoth men and women drink but men and women are different when it comes to alcohol. Moderate drinking has been touted to have some pretty significant health benefits for your cardiovascular system. And this can be great for people who want to unwind over dinner. But as most of us know the dangers of alcohol especially for women outweigh the benefits. It is especially important for women to be aware of these dangers because they are different than men. When it comes to women and alcohol, it poses specific risks.

Here are 5 things you may not know about women and alcohol

Women and alcohol #1: More women are binge drinking. Binge drinking is the exact opposite of moderate drinking. For women, binge drinking is defined as having four or more drinks in a single period. Most women binge drinking today average about six drinks. According to the CDC earlier this year, nearly 14 million women in the United States binge drink around three times a month. Not only that but women with an income over 75,000 dollars a year are more likely to binge as well as women who are between the ages of 18 and 34. High school girls are also more likely to binge. According to the CDC, 1 in 5 teenage girls binge drink. Binge drinking is dangerous it can cause unintentional injuries, alcohol poisoning, liver disease and stroke.

Women and alcohol #2: Many women may think keeping up with the guys when it comes to dinking is no big deal, but that just isn’t true. Women’s bodies tolerate alcohol differently than men’s for reasosn that aren’t quite understood yet. NIAA or the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism points out that it could be that women’s bodies have less water per pound than men’s. So if a man and woman who weigh the same amount also drink the same amount, the woman will likely have a higher BAC because the alcohol disperses in water and her body has less of it.

Women and alcohol #3: Drinking becomes a problem for women quicker. This is largely because wmen;s bodies handle alcohol differently than men’s. Because of this difference women are more likely to be at risk for alcohol related health problems. These risks include health disease and conditions that include liver disease, heart disease, breast cancer and also alcohol dependence. NIAA considers the low risk drinking limit for women as being seven drinks per week and no more than three drinks in one sitting.

Women and alcohol #4: A German study published last year found that alcoholism may be deadlier in women. It concluded that alcohol dependence is twice as deadly for women as it is for men. The death rate for alcohol dependent women was four time that of a sample of comparable non-addicted 18 to 64 year old women. It was only double for men. The why of this is still unknown but it is assumed that the effect of alcohol on women is much more severe.

Women and alcohol #5: Luckily women seek treatment for alcoholism sooner. A study that included more than 500 males and females found that women who abuse alcohol usually try to get help four to five years earlier than their male counterparts. The why of this is also unknown but it is hypothesized that women may attach less social stigma to drinking problems than men and therefore might be more likely to report their problem drinking.

There are also studies that have been done that show that drinking in women ups the risk of breast cancer and that NO AMOUNT of alcohol is safe during pregnancy. Those facts are pretty well known though. Regardless of the reasons it might be safe to go ahead and say that women are better off just not drinking unless they are going to drink moderately.

Apr 04

Alcoholism and Cancer in Women

Alcohol and Cancer in Women

Alcoholism and Cancer in Women

Cancer kills 526,000 Americans every year and is only second to heart disease. Cancers in the lungs, large bowel, and breasts are the most common in the United States. There is a lot of evidence linking alcoholism and cancer, especially in women. It is estimated 2 to 4 percent of all cancer cases are thought to be caused either directly or indirectly by alcohol consumption.

What is cancer?

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by cells that start growing out of control. Most of the time cancer forms from masses of cells or tumors that crowd out and even destroy normal tissue. The body normally controls normal cells to grow within the confines of tissues, cancer cells reproduce and grow all by themselves and are not stopped by tissue boundaries. Cancer develops in three stages: initiation, promotion and progression. Cancer-causing agents are known as carcinogens and can contribute to the first two stages of cancer.

Alcoholism and its link to cancer

Alcohol enhances the carcinogenic effects of other chemicals. Alcohol’s enhancing effect on certain carcinogens may have to do with enzymes. Some enzymes that normally help the body to detoxify can also increase the toxicity of some carcinogens. For instance carcinogens from tobacco and diet can become more potent as they pass through the esophagus, lungs, and intestines and encounter the activated enzyme. Alcohol is able to create an enzyme that associated with cancer in the liver, lungs, esophagus, and intestines.

Alcoholism and cancer in women

Women who consume even one alcoholic drink a day have an increased cancer risk, a study shows. The study showed that women who drank alcohol, around one drink day, had an increased cancer risk. The risk for cancer increased with alcohol intake especially for cancers of the breast, liver, rectum, mouth, throat and esophagus. Based on the findings in the research, it is estimated that alcohol could be the culprit for 13% of the cancers found in the women. The link between alcoholism and breast cancer has been proven over and over again but this is the first study to link low-to-moderate alcohol consumption to other cancers in women.

Alcoholism and breast cancer in women

Last year alone about 250,000 women were diagnosed with invasive and non-invasive breast cancers in the United States, according to the American Cancer society. The latest research on alcoholism and breast cancer in women suggested that 27,000 of those cancers were related to alcoholism. Women who drank only wine had the same risk for developing cancer as those who drank beer, spirits or a combination of different alcoholic beverages. Along with that, less than 2% of the women who participated in the study consumed more than three drinks a day but each drink heightened their risk for breast cancer. There is also the fact that women who smoke and drank alcohol had a very increased risk of oral, throat, and esophageal cancer. The risk was greater than the risk associated with smoking alone.