Alcohol: A Big Risk for Women

This post was written by Volunteer Blogger Diana via UN Volunteering Service.

When I was fourteen friends would make fun of me if I didn’t have a drink. Fortunately, I realize that actually, they were not my friends. I didn’t drink because it doesn’t call my attention. However, I think the problem is not drinking, but the way you do it. So I decided to investigate a little more, to decide what the real problem is for us: girls, women: What does Alcohol represents? What are the consequences of start drinking? In the following lines I present you some results of my research that answer these questions. 

Alcohol represents a health challenge for women. Even in small amounts, alcohol affects women differently than men. In some ways, heavy drinking is much more risky for women than it is for men. There are times and ways to drink that are safer than others. Every woman is different. 

Why are lower levels of drinking recommended for women than men? 
Women are at greater risk than men to develop alcohol-related problems. Alcohol passes through the digestive tract and is dispersed in the water in the body. The more water available, the more diluted he alcohol. As a rule, men weigh more than women, and, pound for pound, women have less water in their bodies than men. Therefore, a woman's brain and other organs are exposed to more alcohol and to more of the toxic byproducts that result when the breaks down and eliminate alcohol. 
  • The number of female of female drivers involved in alcohol-related fatal traffic crashes is going, even as the number of male drivers involved in such crashes has decreased. This trend may reflect the increasing number of women who drive themselves, even after drinking, as opposed to riding as a passenger. 
  • Long term health problems from heavy drinking include liver, heart and brain disease, suppression of the immune system and cancer.  
  • Because women are more likely to become pregnant in their twenties and thirties, this age group faces the greatest of having babies with growth and mental impairment of fetal alcohol syndrome, which is caused by drinking during pregnancy. 

How Do You Know If You Have an Alcohol Problem? 

Answering the following four questions can help you find out if you or someone close to you has a drinking problem:
  1. Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking? 
  2. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking? 
  3. Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking? 
  4. Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover? 
One "yes" answer suggests a possible alcohol problem. If you responded "yes" to more than one question, it is very likely that you have a problem with alcohol.

In either case, it is important that you see your health care provider right away to discuss your responses to the questions. Even if you answered "no" to all of the above questions, if you are having drinking related problems with your job, relationships, health or with the law, you should still seek help. 

By Diana Huaman, UN Volunteers 

ABOUT AUTHOR Diana, 21, from Peru is an International Business student and a teacher too. She would love to travel the world, study translation to learn different languages, start her own company one day and contribute to society through education. 

Diana Huaman
IN HER OWN WORDS: " My name is Diana and I am 21 years old. I have a small family I love: mum and brother, and a boyfriend I adore.  I’m Peruvian and I have lived all my life in Peru and haven’t finished knowing it. My country is so big, so beautiful; I’m so in love of my country! – think you could notice that. I’m studying international business administration, although in fact I always wanted to study translation since I love learning languages, but I decided to do business because someday I want to start my own company so I can show everybody what beautiful things we have here and travel and travel around the entire world doing that, while at the same time I can help my compatriots by giving them work. I could define myself as a woman committed to every goal she sets, that loves meeting new people and very competitive!  In addition to my studies I am a teacher, which I discovered it’s kind of my real vocation. I teach children and adolescents and I believe it’s the best contribution I can make: education."


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