Senior Health, Alcohol Effects

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

Health Tips for Seniors - Living the Good Life

Retirement for some presents a window of boredom rather than a window of opportunity. And boredom sometimes breeds a need to do something - anything to bring a bit of contentment and satisfaction to life.

With that said, many times as we grow older alcohol becomes an uncontrollable force in our lives. It not only disrupts our lives, but everyone's lives that we live around.  

It may begin as a simple drink that we enjoy while we're playing around on the computer, and in time our computer desk transforms into a bar.

Unfortunately, alcohol is often used to mask pain - and as we grow older we tend to develop and experience far more pain than we did in our younger years.

For men, only two to three drinks per day can lead to liver disease. For women, only one or two. Food can slow the absorption rate of alcohol.

Effects of Alcohol on the Body

So what effect does alcohol have on the body and at what percentage? Our data table below provides this information. Take note that most highway safety ordinances regular a 0.08 percent level of blood alcohol to equal intoxication. This is a rather high mark as the effects of alcohol can be experienced at much lower levels.

Also take note that the following is based on an average response to the percentage of blood alcohol. Some individuals have a higher tolerance ratio while others have a much lower ratio. It generally takes more alcohol to produce effects on the brain for males than females. And the size of the individual is also a big part of how impaired the individual may be.

% of Blood Alcohol Level

The Brain's Response

0.05% The intoxicated individual may experience difficultly in judgment. At this point, the individual is in no condition to operate machinery or a motor vehicle.
0.10% Emotions become impaired; the individual may break down and cry or become violent.
0.15% Staggering is induced; balance is impacted as well as the body's reflexes.
0.20% Blurred vision and spinning may occur. It may be difficult to keep the eyes open.
0.30% This stage is considered a drunken condition; the individual lacks both physical and mental control.
0.35% This stage in considered as 'in a drunken stupor'.
0.50% to 0.60% At this point, the individual loses unconsciousness and is highly likely to die.

So if you find that you're particularly bored these days, do the hoochie coochie rather than straight hooch. The alcohol will only add more red to the eyes, and it can even hamper our gait. When balance is impacted, we are more apt to experience falls - at times serious. In the ageing body, balance is already a challenge which increases as we continue to age.

Adding alcohol to the mix is just asking for health woes.

It couldn't be any worse than driving up to a fast food establishment and ordering the triple-meat, triple-cheese supreme deluxe burger just after we've been told that we're at serious risk for stroke and heart attack.

Another reason why older individuals turn to alcohol is because they may feel lonely. Because they can't enter the workforce as they did in their younger days, the opportunity to make new friends decreases and they must rely on older acquaintances. And when a best friend or loved one passes, it only adds to the feeling of being lonely or of sadness. At times, that in itself is enough to drive an individual to drinking - no matter what age they might be.

While a plethora of jokes have been made about drinking, and in particular the drunken individual - it's no laughing matter when it comes to an individual's safety or their level of health.

Alcohol attacks the body in numerous ways.

As we have detailed in this health article, the liver is impacted in a great way. And when it quits working - the body is placed in peril.

If you are drinking alcohol on a daily basis, this is red fag which you should discuss with your doctor at your earliest convenience. It's too easy for that single drink to turn into a bottle a day.



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