Even moderate alcohol consumption can take a toll on your physical health. Women who struggle with alcohol use disorder, however, are more likely to experience serious health problems as a result of their alcohol consumption. Ranging from organ damage to an increased risk of cancer, the physical effects of alcohol abuse can be devastating. Learning how alcohol affects physical health can help you prevent these issues before they start.
How Alcohol Impacts Women Differently Than Men
While men and women can both be susceptible to the physical effects of alcohol abuse, women are often more vulnerable. This is due to a variety of factors, including:
- Women’s bodies generally contain less water than men’s bodies. This means that there is a higher concentration of alcohol in the blood when they drink.
- Women’s bodies also break down alcohol differently than men’s bodies. Women tend to have less of the enzyme that breaks down alcohol, which means that it stays in their systems for longer.
- Hormones can also play a role. Since estrogen levels fluctuate throughout women’s menstrual cycles, they may be more sensitive to the effects of alcohol at certain times of the month.
These differences also highlight the need for distinct men’s and women’s treatment programs. A women’s rehab program can provide the tailored care that women need to overcome addiction as well as the physical health effects that alcohol can have on the body.
What Are the Physical Effects of Alcohol Abuse?
There are many different physical effects resulting from alcohol abuse, some of which are more serious than others. These effects can include:
- Liver damage – The liver is responsible for metabolizing alcohol, so it’s often one of the first organs to be affected by alcohol abuse. Over time, this can lead to fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, and cirrhosis.
- Brain damage – Alcohol abuse can cause a variety of changes in the brain, from impaired motor skills and memory loss to problems with decision-making and processing information.
- Heart damage – Drinking too much alcohol can lead to high blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat, and an increased risk of heart disease.
- Cancer – Alcohol abuse can increase your risk of developing cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and breast.
- Digestive problems – Alcohol abuse can cause everything from gastritis to pancreatitis.
- Weight gain – Alcohol contains a lot of calories, and those who struggle with alcohol use disorder can be more likely to make poor nutritional choices. This can lead to unintended weight gain.
- Sexual health problems – Alcohol abuse can cause irregular periods in women.
- Immune system problems – Alcohol abuse can weaken the immune system, making it more difficult for the body to fight off infection and disease.
Additionally, recent studies indicate that 10% of pregnant women drink alcohol, a factor that can contribute to a number of birth defects and complications.
If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol addiction, it’s important to get help as soon as possible. Alcohol abuse can cause serious physical health problems, and the sooner you get treatment, the better your chances are of avoiding these issues. The wellness services at Hammocks on the Edisto can help you overcome addiction and heal from the physical effects of alcohol abuse.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Hammocks on the Edisto
Hammocks on the Edisto provides comprehensive alcohol addiction treatment for women. Our program includes individual and group therapy, 12-step support groups, family counseling, and more. We also offer a variety of wellness services to help you heal from the physical effects of alcohol abuse. These services include:
- Nutritional counseling – A healthy diet is an important part of recovery. Our nutritional counselors can help you make the right choices to support your recovery.
- Fitness classes – Exercise can help improve your overall health and well-being. Our fitness classes are designed specifically for women in recovery.
- Yoga – Yoga can help reduce stress, improve flexibility, and increase strength. Our yoga classes are offered at both beginner and advanced levels.
- Massage therapy – Massage therapy can help relieve pain, reduce stress, and promote relaxation.
If you’re ready to start your journey to recovery, we’re here to help. Contact Hammocks on the Edisto today at 833.793.0191 to learn more about our alcohol addiction treatment program.