What Alcohol does in the body after the age of 40?

Alcohol affects about every system in our body, because it’s a small molecule that goes everywhere in the body. From the gut to the heart, blood vessels to skin, its effects are persistent.  

Here the concern is why we feel like the effects of drinking Alcohol are so much worse after 40’s?

Liver the organs that metabolize alcohol and Stomach minimize with the increasing age, reluctantly Alcohol stays longer in the system.

Plus, the total fluid in the body will become less with our increasing age, so we get more dehydrated, that’s why alcohol distributed in blood will be more concentrated, it won’t be broken down as quickly as it would in the age of a 20 year. 

What alcohol does in the body after the age of 40

Here’s what else Alcohol will do in the body post-40.

Brain

  • We feel quite excited and stimulated when we sip-up alcohol, because it’s having a depressing effect on controlling behaviors such as judgment, self-monitoring, planning and reasoning.
  • Over time this gives you a higher tendency to mood problems such as anxiety and depression.
  • People in their 60s with slight alcohol related brain damage after a lifetime of casual drinking. 
  • Brain is get affected a lot earlier than our liver
  • Alcohol also has a sedative effect on the brain, which can leave drinkers tired and can mess up their sleep. For seniors, who are prone to have sleep-disorders, less shut-eye may have to face even more problematic.

Skin

  • Alcohol can make people stressed and anxious and this stress produces the androgen hormones which arouse acne.
  • The skin becomes dehydrated and the fluid lost due to Alcohol can lead to flakiness and puffiness around the eyes
  • Plus, the excess sugars you’re consuming – especially with beer and wine – can damage the DNA and collagen in the skin which can leads to more rapid ageing.

Heart

  • People, who regularly drink 3-4 drinks [Peg or say 60 ml] for a man and 2-3 for a woman or more in one session, are classified as binge drinkers.
  • Drinking raises blood pressure both short and long term which increases heart attack and stroke risk.
  • Excessive alcohol also damages the heart’s ability to pump, a condition called cardiomyopathy which increases risk of heart failure.
  • But surely a glass of red wine in the night is good for the heart. But the benefits come from less than one glass of red wine a day, so the first glass might be good for you but anymore won’t.

 Liver

  • Liver disease can rises, those at risk are not just chronic alcohol abusers, but also middle-aged, professionals who drink a little too much at most of the nights.
  • The liver may start out a little fatty and even then if you continue binge drinking between the ages of 40 to 55 the fat and inflammation creates scar tissues and liver get shrinks which can leads to cirrhosis or liver disease.

Cancer risk

  • In terms of cancer risk, there is no safe level of drinking
  • The cancers most closely linked to alcohol consumption are those of the mouth, oesophagus, bowel, breast and throat,’ 
  • More you drink, risk will be higher because ethanol in alcohol is broken down into acetaldehyde which damages DNA and directly impacts cells that cause cancer. 
  • If you’re smoking and drinking at a time, you’re increasing your risk of mouth and throat cancer because alcohol makes cells more responsive to the toxins in tobacco smoke. This effect is even in casual drinker/smokers also.

Fertility

  • alcohol-and-fertilityOne of the studies on thousands of couples who had discontinued contraception in order to conceive found that tee-totallers [a person who never drinks alcohol] got pregnant much sooner than even very light ‘social’ drinkers and they had a lower miscarriage rate.
  • Even where couples resort to IVF, a study found that moderate drinking (half a bottle of wine a week) was associated with an 18 per reduction in success rates for women.
  • For men, excessive alcohol consumption lowers testosterone levels and reduces sperm quality and quantity.  

Weight

  • Alcohol contains seven calories per gram; nearly the same as fat (9 calories per gram) and when you drink the body recognizes its by-products as toxins and chooses to break these down first over the nutrients in food
  • When the body gets round to metabolizing the food, it may no longer require the calories, so they get stored in form of fat.
  • Studies also show that drinking can suppress the hormone leptin, which controls appetite which is why people can over eat when drinking. 
  • As a sugar source, alcohol raises insulin and turns on fat storage by increasing fatty deposits in the liver and , in middle age, excess can lead to fat storage around the stomach –  a root cause of the classic ‘beer belly’

Isn’t alcohol good for you?

For men over 40 + and for women post menopause, it is thought that drinking a small amount of alcohol helps to protect heart disease and stroke. The exact quantity of Alcohol is not clear but it could be small. So, do not exceed the recommended quantity of alcohol as mentioned above may be mistaken belief that it might be good for the heart.

Alcohol and pregnancy

Alcohol gets to a baby through the placenta if a pregnant woman drinks alcohol. A baby cannot process alcohol very well. So, any alcohol in your baby stays in their body for a longer then in you. This is a risk for causing serious problems such as:

  • A low birth weight.
  • Learning, behavioral and thinking (cognitive) problems.
  • Defects of the heart and other organs.
  • Abnormal facial features.

The same quantity of alcohol can have a greater effect on an aged person than on someone who is younger.

Over time, whose drinking habits haven’t changed may find a problem.

When the liver is not detoxifies alcohol properly, drinkers will start to feel alcohol’s effects more quickly, which can easily lead to hangovers later.

If you’re consuming two scotches when you’re 60-70, it’s probably equivalent to four scotches when you’re 40,”