Alcohol and Older Adults: What You Should Know About Drinking As You Age

Overtime alcohol can do damage to key organs of the body including the liver and the brain. Alcohol can also lead to weight gain and other health-related issues. Alcohol and aging are also synonymous due to the negative effects alcohol has on the body. Once a person has identified a problem and wants treatment, it may be possible to reverse certain signs of aging that come from abusing alcohol.

But too much can lead to an abnormal heartbeat and high blood pressure. So if you don’t drink, this isn’t a good reason to start. People who drink daily do not necessarily have alcohol use disorder.

Can Alcohol Cause a Smell?

You may have more trouble regulating your emotions or managing your coordination. If you’re blessed with genetics that resists wrinkles and other visible signs of aging, you might not notice the way that alcohol affects your appearance. Adults of all ages who drink alcohol and drive are at higher risk of traffic accidents than those who do not drink.

  • Also, a person may have heightened risks of developing skin infections.
  • This can lead to stains, yellowing, and permanent tooth loss.
  • Many medicines — prescription, over the counter, or herbal remedies — can be dangerous or even deadly when mixed with alcohol.

People shouldn’t expect huge health benefits from imbibing, but at least it doesn’t seem to harm their health — or their appearance — in a significant way. It is common knowledge that drinking alcohol slows down your reaction time. This can put you at a higher risk of falling and breaking or fracturing bones.

Are the Effects of Alcohol and Aging Reversible?

Effects of aging can show themselves early because of alcohol use. These signs of aging can show themselves on your skin or be invisible to the eye. Getting treatment for serious alcohol use benefits you as you age. Since alcohol depletes levels of vitamins, (especially vitamin A) the skin’s collagen levels plummet. As a result, a person’s skin may lose all elasticity and become wrinkled. Wrinkles may be caused by alcohol’s ability to dehydrate the skin as well.

  • Alcohol reduces the amount of vasopressin that your body makes.
  • Usually, alcohol makes a person toss and turn during the night.
  • It can impact your physical, emotional, and spiritual health, too—making you not only look but also feel older than you are.
  • If you drink heavily or consistently, you could activate the aging process, putting you at risk of health conditions that typically affect older people.

So this award is for everyone who contributed to the book, congratulations and thank you! Older people should also limit their alcohol consumption to ensure that they aren’t using alcohol to numb themselves to painful feelings. In addition, mixing alcohol and antidepressants is as dangerous as mixing alcohol and pain medication, so older adults who are being treated for depression may want to abstain.

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Both weight gain and loss can affect the way your body processes alcohol. The blood alcohol level is another way that alcohol use affects aging. Drinking while taking prescribed medications can have undesirable effects.

So, overdoing the drinks can make you look older than you are. Because drinking alcohol dehydrates you, it can leave you with a dull look and bags under your eyes from poor quality sleep. To help battle the effects of drinking alcohol, drink plenty of water when you drink alcohol to stay hydrated.

Oar Health Member Stories: Cutting Back on Alcohol

We welcome anyone who wishes to join in by asking for support, sharing our experiences and stories, or just encouraging someone who is trying to quit. Please post only when sober; you’re welcome to read in the meanwhile. Having an amazing time in #Japan and managed to head south out of Tokyo for a few days today to Kamakura by the ocean. The drinking culture here is totally different to the UK, but all the bars are full, not many AF options either, but I wouldn’t want to visit such an amazing place and spoil it by boozing. #tokyo #kamakura #tokyonight #tokyoneon #kamakuratemple #japaneseshrine #buddhisttemple #japantravel #tokyotrip #ramen #japaneseculture #japanlife …

does alcohol make you look older

From time to time, most people enjoy an alcoholic beverage. However, alcohol abuse is known to bring negative health effects. For example, it can lead to liver damage, cancer, immune disorders, and brain damage.

What are signs of alcohol misuse or alcohol use disorder?

These kinds of changes can cause loneliness, boredom, anxiety, or depression. In fact, depression in older adults often aligns with drinking too much. For men, heavy drinking is defined as four drinks a day or more than 14 drinks a week. For women, it’s defined as three drinks a day or more than seven drinks a week (1). Moderate drinking is defined as 14 or fewer drinks per week for men, and seven or fewer drinks per week for women.

Over time, exposure to UV light can damage the skin causing irreversible changes. Older people who are undergoing cancer treatment should also be careful with managing their alcohol intake. Introducing the body to toxins, such as alcohol, can result in more immune system deterioration. Research conducted at the University of Liverpool found that individuals who drink alcohol regularly throughout the day are attracted to salty and fatty foods.

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