Women are at a greater risk for both mental health and physical health problems from drinking. Women should drink less than men because they metabolize alcohol more slowly. Women are triggered by different factors than men are when it comes to drinking.
If you have worried about alcohol and how much you drink, it’s time to learn about how alcohol impacts you.
Alcohol Metabolism in Women
As a woman you metabolize, or break down, alcohol differently than a man does. Most people would attribute this difference to size. Men are generally bigger than women and so they can drink more with less impact. This is only partly true. Size does play a role, but there are more complicated factors. Women naturally have less of a certain molecule that breaks down alcohol in the liver.
This means that when you drink the same amount of alcohol as a man, even if he weighs the same amount as you, it will take you longer to get it out of your system. This is an important concept to understand because if you continue to drink at the same pace, you will get drunk at a faster rate than the man. You will also begin to accumulate more alcohol in your body, which can cause health problems.
Alcohol Health Risks for Women
Drinking can lead to a number of health problems in both men and women. As a woman, though, you are at a greater risk because of the different way in which you metabolize alcohol. When you drink you start to get the negative effects of the alcohol before men do. You put yourself at a greater risk for liver damage and are more likely to have liver inflammation than a man. You are also more likely to have some type of heart disease from drinking than a man is.
Your mental health should also be a concern when you drink. Women are at a greater risk of developing depression when drinking and of making existing depression worse. Alcohol is a depressant and it can trigger bouts of depression or make them worse. If you feel depressed, drinking should not be a solution. Engaging in a healthy activity and seeking professional assistance is a more effective way of coping with depression.
Why Do Women Drink?
Women and men drink for different reasons. While a man’s drinking is often triggered by something external like a social activity or pressure from friends, women drink because of internal struggles. As a woman you are more likely to start drinking when you experience negative emotions. You may feel depressed, anxious, or stressed about work or family and turn to alcohol to try to feel better. You may also drink when you hear a negative voice in your head or when you are experiencing low self-esteem.
It’s important that you understand what triggers your drinking so that you can make positive changes. When you have that urge to drink, stop and think about why you want a drink and what you should do instead of picking up that drink.
As a woman you face many daily challenges. Adding alcohol to that mix will only make things worse. Use healthy ways of coping with negative motions like exercise, meditation or spending time with friends.
Women face greater risks when they drink and need to be careful about how much they drink and how often. Armed with this knowledge, you should feel empowered to make better choices about drinking.