Wine, Women, and Danger

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Wine, Women, and Danger

In a 2016 Washington Post article based on U.S. federal health data, it was reported that “women in America are drinking far more, and far more frequently, than their mothers or grandmothers did, and alcohol consumption is killing them in record numbers.” The article concluded that “The current and emerging science does not support the purported benefits of moderate drinking.”

Women are far more vulnerable to the effects of drugs and alcohol than men, also becoming addicted more easily than men.  When a woman drinks, her body absorbs 50% more alcohol than a man.  Because of this, women who drink have more medical problems than men.  This includes more heart problems, liver issues, immune system problems, osteoporosis, and nerve problems.  Additionally, the risk of death from cancer appears to go up with any level of alcohol consumption.

As alcohol enters the blood stream and goes to the limbic system – the brain’s control center – it releases dopamine, which makes you feel good.  As more of it is released over time, it injures the brain, causing the control center to short circuit.  This overwhelms how you think, feel, and manage your emotions.  Over time, using alcohol to cope with the normal stresses of daily life becomes really dangerous.

Terry Pfau DO, HMD