You Are What You Drink: Heres How Alcohol Ages You Aesthetics Plastic Surgery located in Richmond and Sommerville Court, Midlothian, VA

If you’re aging faster than you would otherwise, you’re also increasing your risk of age-related health problems. Drinking alcohol may make you feel younger as you lose your inhibitions and gain some energy, but the hangover the next day can make you feel sick, sluggish, and downright old. Even if you don’t experience acute after-effects, alcohol can age you. You may not realize it, but alcohol and aging effects go hand-in-hand.

  • It always lingers in the back of your mind, no matter how long you’ve been clean.
  • While heavy drinkers are more likely to have cirrhosis (permanent damage to your liver), even moderate drinking can lead to problems like fatty liver disease.
  • Such an age-related impairment in tolerance development to alcohol also has been observed in rats that had to perform a previously learned task while under the influence of alcohol (Mayfield et al. 1992).
  • For example, the body can “ learn” to increase body temperature in response to alcohol-related stimuli to offset alcohol-induced decreases in body temperature (i.e., alcohol’s hypothermic effects) (Mansfield and Cunningham 1980).
  • While we might know the more famous Alcoholics Anonymous, there are more alcohol addiction support groups a person can choose from.

This can be the direct result of changes to the composition of the body and hormonal changes. This is why you may notice that the older you get, the more prone you may become to hangovers the next day. The biggest visible change that alcohol makes to the body is one that is actually indirectly made.

You Can Drink, But …

Drinking heavily and often can have a significant impact on your overall health. It can also age you prematurely, making you look, feel, and act older than you actually are. This can result in the increased chances of serious medical conditions developing or minor ailments becoming major ones. And because aging often brings more and more prescription medicines, your body has to work harder to process both the meds and the alcohol. “After 60 and 70 we probably also developed a few chronic ailments that are going to be needing a few medications,” says Dr. Sonpal.

  • Age of onset of alcohol problems has been posited as a consideration in treatment outcomes.
  • ۱) Effects were only found in current drinkers, and not previous or never-drinkers; 2) The most influential genetic variant in the MR analysis was AD1HB, an alcohol metabolism gene.
  • Some also were moderate drinkers who had periods of episodic heavy drinking or binge drinking defined as drinking four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men on the occasion of the largest amount of drinking.
  • For example, drinking alcohol when you take aspirin can raise your chances of stomach problems or internal bleeding.
  • Such a genetic influence is evident in people who have inherited a defective form of a particular gene that is involved in alcohol metabolism.

While this condition is generally harmless, it is a visible sign of aging. Research shows that people who drink heavily have a 33 percent greater chance of getting arcus senilis, a telltale gray ring around their corneas before they turn 60. Normally, the body creates a hormone called vasopressin, which helps your body retain water, limiting the amount of fluid that you excrete through the renal system. This helps prevent you from becoming dehydrated when you’re not drinking. At Lifetime Recovery in Mullica Hill, New Jersey, we can help you or a loved one suffering from alcohol abuse recover with our winning treatment solutions, and become free from the cycle of addiction. Although these results do not conclusively prove that alcohol directly affects telomere length, two findings from the study support this being the case.

Skin Changes

Without the chronic inflammation caused by alcohol in your system, your skin will have a better immune response. Inflammatory conditions such as plaque psoriasis and acne may become less severe or resolve altogether. If you quit drinking altogether, conditions exacerbated by frequent alcohol use are likely to improve.

  • As discussed below, impaired cortisol negative feedback in older humans may contribute to a greater risk of alcohol-induced pathophysiology.
  • Individuals who had been diagnosed with an alcohol-use disorder had significantly shorter telomere lengths compared with controls, equivalent to between 3 and 6 years of age-related change.

Healthy gut bacteria are negatively affected by alcohol, and over 70% of the body’s immune cells are made in the gut. Your bacteria also control your mood, skin conditions, weight, blood sugar, food intolerances, autoimmune disorders, ability to fight infections and disease, bacterial overgrowth, damaged stomach lining and inflammation, energy levels, and more. Without a balanced gut microbiome, you open yourself up to getting sick more often and a wide variety of issues that add stress and cause early aging.

How Alcohol Affects Us as We Age

The main component of alcohol is carbohydrates, and  glucose (blood sugar) just happens to be the main building block of carbs. When glucose is released in our bodies, our pancreas produces insulin, which helps our cells digest this blood sugar. However, simple carbs like glucose are easier for our bodies to digest than complex carbs—which contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber—and any glucose that our cells can’t digest is quickly converted does alcohol make you look older into fat and stored in our bodies. Today more than 10 percent of adults 65 and older are binge drinkers, according to a 2019 study of nearly 11,000 U.S. adults published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. For resources related to AUD, including how to get support, please visit the NIH website. We’ve also partnered with Moderation Management, a non-profit dedicated to reducing the harm caused by the misuse of alcohol.

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