Alcohol doesn’t always mix well with women

  • By Team TDO

Alcoholism has been granted the status of a regular disease and health condition by the NIAAA (National Institute of Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism). As such alcoholism is a terrible affliction be it to man, woman, teenager or to the elderly, and there is ample evidence of it eating the very fabric of our seemingly civilized world.

And no, it is not with any chauvinistic bias that alcohol wrecks havoc on a woman’s body. But why make light of a serious issue affecting literally millions of women across the globe from every strata of the society. Let’s delve into the physiology of the matter to see why.

If considering sheer numbers then male drinkers by far outnumber women drinkers; however, if heavy drinking is concerned then women drinkers suffer greater consequences than the male tippler.


Female alcoholics have death rates 50 to 100 percent higher than male alcoholics, including deaths from suicides, alcohol-related accidents, heart disease and stroke and liver cirrhosis.

- Source NIAAA

Alcoholism is also one of the important factors responsible for breast cancer in women.

A woman is more likely to suffer from alcoholism due to the following reasons:

  1. Parents and siblings (or other blood relatives) with alcohol problems.
  2. A partner who drinks heavily.
  3. The ability to “hold her liquor” more than others.
  4. A history of depression.
  5. A history of childhood physical or sexual abuse.

The difference in physical structure has a lot to do with the ability to hold alcohol. Women need smaller quantities of alcohol to be in a state of inebriation. It has a lot to do with the levels of concentrated alcohol in the blood stream. Women have lower water body content thus as a consequence have higher levels of concentrated alcohol running through their blood stream. This rips apart even fluctuations in hormone level during menses and affects response to alcohol levels. So at different phases the ability to tolerate alcohol would differ. More research is underway and as yet, the results in this direction have been quite inconclusive.

So just imagine as a woman your body breaks down alcohol at a slower rate then chances are that you are more prone to the hazards of alcohol which are equal to everyone. That means there is almost a 50% chance of something drastic happening to those women who abuse alcohol or are heavy drinkers.

Even without alcohol, a woman is more vulnerable to mental and physical abuse in almost all societies so with alcoholism the chances of being abused in some form also increases considerably.

As a female if you have an uncontrollable urge to drink regularly or cannot stop drinking once you begin or have neglected children, family or work due to alcohol then chances are that you might have an alcohol problem. Search for the nearest AA program which can really help you assess your condition and provide valuable hand holding and the moral support for you to battle the disease of alcoholism. Alcoholism can affect anybody irrespective of what quality liquor they drink or where. If you feel you are a social drinker then it is good to be aware of the detrimental effects alcohol can have on an individual at all levels, especially health. As a woman you can also make other women aware that wine + women is a deadly combination.