A few years ago while enjoying a much needed vacation, I drank a margarita with lunch, a glass of white wine with before-dinner appetizers and a couple of glasses of red wine with dinner. A blinding headache that evening made me realize that I could no longer: (1) mix hard liquor with wine, (2) mix red and white wines and (3) drink alcohol like I did in my much younger years.

And there are good reasons for this. At age 50, biological processes commence that affect our alcohol consumption, such as:

  1. The body loses muscle mass and gains fat (see my blog “Fit Fat – During Menopause and After”) and carries less water in the bloodstream. This results in a higher blood-alcohol content.
  2. The stomach and liver don’t produce as much of the alcohol-digesting enzyme called ADH, resulting in a higher blood-alcohol content that’s sustained longer — even if you are not drinking more. And here’s the rub, ladies: women have less ADH than men to begin with!
  3. Dehydration is a common and sometimes life threatening problem in older people, sober or not. Severe hangovers can cause dehydration.
  4. The skin’s antioxidant defense system is impaired by excessive use of alcohol. In non-medical jargon, this means wrinkles, wrinkles, wrinkles.

For those women experiencing menopause or who are post-menopausal, heavy drinking may increase the risk of depression, heart disease, obesity, breast and many other cancers, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, organ and nerve damage, and may trigger hot flashes.

Drink sensibly. And, remember those wrinkles!

Published by Another Sufferer

I am a woman over 65 who has experienced the many changes that happen to a woman's body and mind as they get older. I started this blog in order to share information and experiences.

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