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Alcohol And Women Heart

Alcohol and women

Alcohol has a greater effect on women than men. Drinking even in small amounts affects women differently than men.

Why the difference between women and men?

The ability of metabolism (break down) is limited due to size of the liver, water content of the body, higher percentage of fat as alcohol is not taken up by fatty tissues. Female hormones also affect the metabolic rate.

Risks

Fetal alcohol syndrome

Alcohol can damage the baby of a mother who drinks during pregnancy, resulting in a set of birth defects called fetal alcohol syndrome. Watch for characteristics of the syndrome, which include:

  • Low birth weight
  • Small head circumference
  • Developmental delay
  • Organ dysfunction
  • Facial abnormalities, including smaller eye openings, flattened cheekbones, and indistinct philtrum (an underdeveloped groove between the nose and the upper lip)
  • Epilepsy
  • Poor coordination/fine motor skills
  • Poor socialization skills, such as difficulty building and maintaining friendships and relating to groups
  • Lack of imagination or curiosity
  • Learning difficulties, including poor memory, inability to understand concepts such as time and money, poor language comprehension, poor problem-solving skills
  • Behavioral problems, including hyperactivity, inability to concentrate, social withdrawal, stubbornness, impulsiveness, and anxiety

Heart disease

Chronic heavy drinking is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease. Among heavy drinkers, men and women have similar rates of alcohol-related heart disease, even though women drink less alcohol over a lifetime than men.

Breast cancer

Studies have shown that in some women, as little as one drink per day can slightly raise the risk of breast cancer.

Other cancers

Reports suggest that smoking and heavy drinking is linked to head and neck cancer and gastric cancer.

Drug interactions

Many medications do interact harmfully with alcohol. Many of the cough formulas interact with alcohol (increases drowsiness).

If you are on medications check before you consume alcohol.

Brain disease

In most of the alcoholics there is reduced mental function, brain size, and changes in the function of brain cells. Research suggests that women are more vulnerable than men to alcohol-induced brain damage.

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  • MOH Approval No. BO99038
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