SAMHSA’s National Helpline phone 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

Women and Alcoholism: Signs, Stages, Symptoms, and More

Women and Alcoholism Signs, Stages, Symptoms, and More

The pathological urge to drink, the desire to solve problems with the help of alcohol, and the obvious destruction of the personality are all indicative of alcoholism. In women, the disease is more severe than in men. For a long time, it was believed that female alcohol dependence was not amenable to treatment. Fortunately, this is not the case. A timely visit to a doctor and advanced methods of exposure are the keys to achieving a positive result.

Female alcoholism: features and causes

According to statistics, 45 alcoholic patients out of 100 are women. In women, the ailment is aggravated by an increased sense of shame and guilt, when the patient does not dare to talk about the problem, preferring to hide it even from those closest to her. This is explained not only by the peculiarities of the psyche but also by the deliberately contemptuous attitude towards the drinking lady on the part of society. Hence the diagnosis and its treatment are late.

Why does alcoholism develop faster in women?

The mechanisms of the onset of the disease and the process of its course, in general, are similar in men and women. However, in the second case, we have to talk about a more complex situation, which is due to natural differences:

  • Increased emotionality and reduced resistance to stress. The intuitive side of the brain activity predominates, and not the logical one. Female alcoholism often “grows” out of a desire to quickly relieve tension, relax, and push the problem into the background instead of solving it;
  • High sensitivity to ethyl alcohol. Enzymes cannot cope with the processing of toxic substances, the elimination of toxins is difficult. Thus, even small doses of alcohol act for a long time, causing a detrimental effect on the liver up to cirrhosis;
  • Slow metabolic processes and hypotension. Hence, the low blood flow velocity in the liver and spleen, as well as a negative effect on the venous vessels;
  • Insecurity of neurons from toxins. One of the reasons for the rapid development of female alcoholism is the weak blood-brain barrier: a special membrane is unable to completely protect the brain from the crushing effect of ethanol;
  • A low rate of elimination of alcohol breakdown products through the skin and kidneys: harmful substances have time to significantly poison the body.
  • Incompatibility of toxins with female sex hormones;
  • Rapid absorption of alcohol in the gastrointestinal tract.

The result is a painful condition when a woman increasingly reaches for a glass, not fully realizing the danger. If you do not help her in this difficult period, then alcoholism is rapidly developing and progressing.

What are the symptoms of female alcohol addiction?

The occurrence of at least one symptom mentioned below is a good reason to sound the alarm. Taking into account the rapid development of the disease and its danger to the female body, it is necessary to contact medical specialists and take alcoholism medications as soon as possible. Trusted Tablets pharmacy, a health expert, points out several types of stop-drinking medicines: disulfiram, cyanamide preparations, and systemic drugs.

Signs of alcoholism in women are:

  • A state of joyful excitement in anticipation of taking alcohol and a constant readiness to drink it. Often a glass or a bottle of beer is perceived as a kind of “reward” after a hard day;
  • Frequent “invention” of reasons for drinking. As alcoholism gains the upper hand, the woman begins to incline others to drink;
  • Finding excuses for drinking alcohol – both in the eyes of relatives, friends and for yourself. The “reasons” are fatigue, troubles in the family or at work, even just a bad mood;
  • Increasing the dose of alcohol needed to relieve anxiety, achieve a sense of relaxation and euphoria. In the chronic stages of the disease, women take alcohol in the same volumes as men. This is especially characteristic of beer alcoholism, which many people do not take seriously;
  • The desire to hide the addiction from others. One of the signs of female alcoholism is attempts to mask the smell of alcohol with the help of aromatic agents (sweets, chewing gum, etc.);
  • Irritability, aggression, emotional breakdowns during periods of sobriety;
  • Drinking in questionable companies or alone is an indicator symptom of female alcoholism. The factor of a decent environment ceases to play any significant role;
  • Refusal of snacks, complete loss of normal appetite during drinking and hangover;
  • Loss of a critical attitude to one’s behavior, rudeness, obscene language, which were not typical of the patient before.

Stages of female alcoholism: how to recognize the severity of the disease?

The disease occurs against the background of the systematic flow of ethanol into the blood. The body produces this substance in small doses on its own, because it needs it. A safe amount of alcohol for a woman is up to 50 ml if we talk about an alcohol solution of 40-50%. Anything that exceeds this volume entails female alcoholism.

When determining the stage of the disease, the doctor identifies the signs characteristic of each of them. They are almost the same as those of males, but they also have their own specifics:

  • 1 stage. It is characterized by a loss of control over the volume of drinking. The so-called individual norm is more and more often exceeded several times. The patient deliberately seeks to achieve alcohol intoxication. The body’s defenses cease to react normally to an excess of alcohol, and nausea no longer occurs even with large doses. This is due to the suppression of the cerebral area responsible for the gag reflex. The hangover is becoming a habit. There may be alcoholic amnesia;
  • 2 stage. Further decrease in sensitivity to ethanol. At this stage of female alcoholism, there is a persistent withdrawal syndrome. The patient goes on binges, which can last from several days to weeks. During such periods, a woman loses adequacy, often acts thoughtlessly, violates moral norms;
  • 3 stage. The process of drinking alcohol acquires the opposite features: a small amount of the potion is now enough for intoxication. The symptoms of female alcoholism at this stage are visible even to a non-specialist. The disease hits the reputation, personality, general state of the body and ultimately life.

Dependence in women often takes the form of regular alcohol consumption, although the ailment can develop as a binge-drinking type. Even if the patient tries to hide her condition, it is easy to identify it by external signs. We are talking about puffiness of the face, bags under the eyes, tremors of the hands. If it comes to serious liver damage, the abdomen increases in size. This may indicate cirrhosis. Females who are heavily addicted lose their neatness. The women may overuse cosmetics in the hopes of masking the effects of alcohol abuse.

What are the consequences of the disease?

Doctors call the course of female alcoholism “lightning fast”. Prolonged uncontrolled exposure to ethyl alcohol and its decay products on the body cause:

  • Alcoholic encephalopathy and brain dysfunction;
  • Damage to the structure and malfunction of the peripheral nervous system;
  • Alcoholic delirium, or delirium tremens, as well as epileptic seizures;
  • Falling intellectual level;
  • Hepatitis toxic type with further liver cirrhosis, accompanied by ascites;
  • Poisoning by alcoholic surrogates;
  • Renal failure;
  • Pancreatitis in chronic form and pancreatic necrosis in acute form;
  • Violation of blood circulation in the arms and legs due to the syndrome of positional squeezing in a state of alcoholic intoxication. There is a great danger of gangrene, which will entail amputation;
  • High risk of stroke and heart attack.

It is important to start fighting alcoholism as early as possible before the painful condition becomes a woman’s way of life and leads to death.

Stages of diagnosing and overcoming female alcoholism

If a woman realizes addiction and wants to get rid of it, or if relatives are inclined to save a loved one, then the best solution would be to go to a specialized hospital. Based on the results of the conversation, the doctor will establish the severity of the disease, taking into account the duration of alcohol abuse, the general condition of the body, personality traits, and the severity of motivation.

The choice of methods of influence is carried out on an individual basis, but there is one indispensable condition – a woman must refuse alcohol for good. Neither the patient’s promises to reduce the dose, nor the intention to “drink only on holidays”, nor other half measures will lead to a result.

That is why the woman should seek help from a drug treatment clinic. Self-sustained attempts to cope with female alcoholism are doomed to failure in almost 100% of cases.

Professional help for female alcoholism

Addiction to alcohol in a wife, mother, daughter is a real challenge for the whole family. Do not leave a loved one alone with a problem! Getting rid of female alcoholism in a rehabilitation center is a real chance to return to a healthy life.

The first step to the result is detoxification with droppers. After cleansing the body of ethanol decay products, the doctor will prescribe treatment based on diagnostic data.

We use progressive methods that have helped hundreds of patients forget about alcoholism:

  • Psychotherapeutic technologies: such as Erickson’s and anchor hypnosis;
  • Coding by medication administration;
  • Rehabilitation programs. With alcoholism, it is extremely important to maintain motivation to quit alcohol, to form interests and hobbies that are not related to drinking.

Another significant point is the correction of pathological conditions of internal organs and systems, the work of which is disrupted by alcoholism.

Rehab centers offer effective relief from ailment strictly according to a personal program. Subject to all medical recommendations, female alcoholism will certainly recede. The use of all the necessary measures in a complex, round-the-clock observation of patients, the help of psychologists and close interaction with the relatives of the wards are the basis of victory in the fight against female alcoholism.

folder_special Health Care

alcohol addiction