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Why Does Alcohol Effect People Differently?

Alcohol Can Effect People Differently Based On Body Size, Gender, And Genetics

Alcohol is a type of drug which has mood altering effects. Since drinking alcohol makes people feel happy and relaxed, most people find alcohol to feel much like a mild depressant. Alcohol is often used to “calm the nerves.” However, when a person drinks alcohol, their brain’s ability to process effectively becomes impaired. Poor judgment is a common side effect of drinking too much alcohol. There are other physical side effects as well. Blurred vision, slurred speech, and impaired balance and coordination can also occur with the consumption of too much alcohol. The more a person drinks, the more their body is affected by alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant. In large quantities it can have dangerous consequences such as producing a coma, unconsciousness and can even lead to death. Vomiting during sleep or while unconscious can also result in death due to suffocation.

It’s important to note that alcohol affects people differently.  How exactly is this possible?  Some people respond to the effects of alcohol quickly depending upon the following:

Size of the body – A drinker's blood alcohol level rises as a factor of the relationship among the amount of alcohol consumed and their body size. Obviously, a larger person has a larger content of blood in their system verses a smaller person. Hence, the concentration of alcohol in a larger person has more time to be digested. Alcohol quickly enters the blood stream, but because they have more blood in their bodies, their alcohol concentrations would be much lower than that of a smaller person.  A smaller person, on the other hand, is affected more rapidly because they have less blood in their systems.  Both a large person and a small person can consume the same amount of alcohol, but smaller people will have higher alcohol concentrations in their bodies.

Gender – Women’s bodies contain less fluid and more fat as compared to the body of a man. Therefore, even if women are similar in weight and size to a man, the concentration of alcohol in the blood will be higher compared to men even if both men and women consume the same amount of alcohol. During the period of ovulation, which is usually 2 weeks before a period, as well as during the last 2 to 3 days before the period, women tend to be more sensitive to the immediate effects of drinking.

Age – Both young as well as elderly people process alcohol more slowly and therefore they will have alcohol in their systems for a longer time.

Genetics – There are slight variations on the effects of alcohol on people of different races. For example, most of the people of East Asian origin have an enzyme that results in a strong allergic reaction to alcohol.

Are there really alcohol addicts? Absolutely.  Regardless, of one’s culture, age, size or ethnicity, becoming addicted to alcohol can happen to anyone. Alcoholism does not discriminate.  Someone can become alcoholic after taking their first drink while someone else can start as a social drinker and develop alcoholism over time.

To learn more about the Signs of Alcoholism, click here.

©2011 Signsofalcoholism.org

 

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