Whether we like it or not, the simple fact is that alcohol affects men and women differently.
According to US research, alcoholism among women is on the rise across the globe. The reasons are hotly debated but it is thought that greater entry into the job market, and the stresses that it brings, greater financial independence and greater pressure on the home front are all contributing factors. As well as anxiety, depression and loneliness in single and divorced women.
How does it affect our bodies?Women are, on average, smaller than men, so equivalent doses of alcohol lead to greater concentration in their bodies.
Women carry more fatty tissue than men. Body fat contains little water, so women have less water with which to dilute the alcohol.
Women have lesser amounts of the enzyme that metabolises alcohol, so more of the alcohol that women consume enters the bloodstream as pure alcohol.
When women’s oestrogen levels are high, such as when they are premenstrual, the intoxicating effects of alcohol will set in faster.
Chronic consumption of alcohol also increases the risk of breast cancer.
Moderation is the key
The secret lies in moderation rather than total abstinence (unless advised otherwise by your doctor); if you are a social drinker and suddenly go cold turkey you are more likely to start a cycle of binge drinking. For the same reason, it’s also best not to abstain for a whole week and then take the whole week's units in one sitting.
What are your views on women and alcohol? Share them in the comment box below.