Journalist and author Ann Dowsett Johnston has raised the question of whether women are in denial about their drinking habits and it is one, we believe, that should be looked at. The truth is that for some, a glass of wine at the end of the day forms part of the unwinding process. However, is the relaxing process the start of something more sinister? A glass of wine after coming in from a hard day of work can quickly become habitual and the worry is that that glass of wine could then lead to a glass of wine with dinner and then another when the kids are in bed and while unwinding in front of the TV. Soon, a full bottle of wine is gone and a deeper problem has surely begun – alcohol addiction.
When Habit Becomes a Problem
A glass of wine at the end of a hard day does not signal an addiction to alcohol. However, if you find yourself reaching for a glass of wine every time you feel stressed or depressed, it may be cause for concern.
Our image of an alcoholic can often be quite different from the reality. Yes, there are still the stereotypical ‘winos’ drinking their bottle of cheap plonk from a brown paper bag on a park bench. Nevertheless, these days, alcoholics come in all shapes and sizes and you may be shocked to know that the professional woman in the office beside you is a full-blown alcoholic knocking back a bottle or more of wine every night.
Alcohol and Women
Many women try to keep up with their male counterparts when it comes to knocking back the booze but this is a major mistake. Besides the obvious differences between a man and a woman, there are internal differences, which mean women process alcohol more slowly than men do. Women will feel the effects of alcohol quicker than a man will, even if both are of similar weight. It used to be the case that men drank more than women did, but in recent times, women have been keeping up with men. However, this can cause many health problems for women including infertility, breast cancer and an increase in menopausal side effects. Drinking too much alcohol can also affect the appearance, with those who drink too much tending to look old before their time.
How Women Process Alcohol Differently to Men
As previously mentioned, women take more time to process alcohol than men do but there are other differences that affect how alcohol is processed, including:
- An average woman will weigh less than an average man, which means that she does not have as much tissue for absorbing alcohol.
- Women find it harder to dilute alcohol in the body because of the fact that they tend to have a higher ratio of fat to water. This is why, when a man and woman drink the same amount of alcohol, the concentration of alcohol in the woman’s blood will be higher.
Do You Have a Problem?
If you find that you have been drinking more alcohol than the recommended daily amounts and on a regular basis, it could be the case that alcohol is becoming a problem. Getting help now is advisable; at Addiction Helper, we have an expert team on hand ready to talk you through your options. We can tell the signs of addiction and will be able to advise if you should be looking for help and for treatment options. Call us today if you are worried.