Morning Mix


Women more susceptible to health risk from alcohol than men

Posted at 12:30 PM, Jul 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-12 12:29:32-04

Summer can be a time of more causal and social drinking, and for most people that won't lead to a major health problem. But did you know that women are more susceptible to health risk that come from alcohol than men?

Dr. Diana Bitner, a nationally recognized menopause specialist from Spectrum Health, talks about the risks that come with drinking as women age.

Many women just get into the habit of a nightly drink and do not see how it can take away energy for activity and healthy aging. Social drinking can a good time to reconnect with a spouse or to enjoy relaxed time with friends, and a way to reduce alcohol can be to add more low calorie mixer such as club soda to alcohol or wine (make a spritzer!) or have two half-drinks instead of 2 full drinks.

Dr. Bitner says a standard drink is 12 oz of beer, 5 oz. of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard alcohol, and represent sugar and approximately 150 calories per drink.

Moderate drinking is defined as one drink per day for women, and two drinks per day for men. While moderate drinking can reduce the risk of heart disease for women over 55, it brings up other risks such as weight, activity,and cholesterol.

Heavy drinking is when a person has four drinks per day or more than eight per week. This can can lead to liver damage, reduced brain function, and depression.

Dr. Bitner says women tend to drink in response to stress, feeling less stress in the moment. If a women always drinks during these times, alcohol is clearly a problem, especially if associated with missing work, neglecting responsibilities, and causing harm to others.

Answering the following four questions can help you find out if you or someone close to you has a drinking problem:

  • Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
  • Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
  • Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
  • Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?

There are ways to enjoy alcohol safely-and never hurts to take stock and re-evaluate how much and why you are drinking. Please call us or see your Spectrum Primary Care Provider if you want to discuss more.

Dr. Bitner's office is located at 3800 Lake Michigan Drive Northwest, Suite A. To schedule an appointment with her, call (616)-267-8225.

All information was provided by Dr. Diana Bitner and her blog. Read more.