Alchoholism and Men’s Health: Men vs. Women
Alcoholism is more common in men. Men are twice as likely as women to abuse or become dependent on alcohol. A man who regularly drinks more than four drinks a day risks a ton of health issues ranging from low energy to sexual difficulties in the short term and heart disease to cancer in the long term.
Men are also twice as likely to develop liver cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and have nearly twice the chance of being diagnosed with high blood pressure. Alcoholism and men’s health are very closely linked for the heavy drinkers, old and young. In fact young men are not immune to alcoholism effects on their health. A quarter of the deaths of men between the ages of 16 and 24 were attributed to alcohol.
Men’s bodies, in general, process alcohol better than a woman’s. The average woman weighs less than the average man and so a woman has less tissue to absorb the alcohol. Women also have a different proportion of fat to water than men. This makes them less able to dilute alcohol in their body.
This is dangerous for men because drinking too much can easily lead to a higher tolerance and a hight tolerance to alcohol can easily lead to alcoholism.
Alcoholism and Men’s Health: Sexual Performance
In small amounts it may seem like alcohol can give men confidence in the bedroom and it may even help them feel less inhibited, but that’s all mental. Alcohol will not help a man’s performance in the bedroom because it is a depressant. In order to have sexual intercourse a man needs to have an erection and too much alcohol can prevent that from happening. When arousal occurs, messages are sent from the brain to the sexual organs, alcohol slows downs theses messages. Alcoholism or the consumption of alcohol can also reduce a couple’s chance of getting pregnant. One research study that evaluated semen from alcoholic men found that only 12% had normal, healthy sperm. (In non-drinkers and non-smokers, 37% had normal healthy sperm.)
Alcoholism and Men’s health: Testosterone
Drinking alcohol reduces the testosterone levels in men which can lead to a loss of their sex drive and can reduce their sperm count as well as the quality of their sperm.
“Alcohol can interfere with the function of the male reproductive system, and can lead to tissue shrinkage, reduced testosterone production, and sperm abnormalities, in the testes. Low levels of testosterone (i.e., hypogonadism) in adult men have been associated with a variety of medical problems including accelerated osteoporosis, decreased muscle and prostate function, anemia, altered immune function, and decreased reproductive ability. Alcohol markedly affects testosterone metabolism independently of cirrhosis or nutritional factors.
Alcoholic men often present with symptoms of decreased sexual function, such as impotence and infertility. Decades ago it was recognized that alcohol per se is a testicular toxin, with low testosterone levels in alcoholic men, and that alcohol intake may cause a transient acute decrease in blood testosterone levels in healthy nonalcoholic men. Later this acute effect of alcohol was shown to be due to an inhibited testosterone synthesis. One study found an acute increase in plasma testosterone after intake of alcohol corresponding to two or three standard alcohol drinks in healthy nonalcoholic men.
Stop drinking alcohol if you want to preserve testosterone, help prevent impotence and improve your quality of life.” (Leo Sher, M.D.)
Alcoholism and men’s health: Sperm production and movement
Alcoholism affects a man’s hormone levels but it also is directly and prominently toxic to the testes. This means that sperm production is harmed. Alcoholism can stop sperm from developing correctly and it can reduce their ability to move towards an egg. Alcohol can also affect the structure and movement of sperm by stopping the liver from being able to metabolize vitamin A which is needed for the development of sperm.
Alcoholism and Men’s Health: Calories
Alcohol is fattening. Not only is it the calories in alcohol but alcohol also reduce the amount of fat your body will burn for energy. Alcohol cannot be stored in the body, so the body wants to be rid of it as quickly as possible and this takes precedence over burning fat and absorbing essential nutrients. Want to know exactly how much calories are in those alcoholic drinks? Check out this Alcoholic Calorie Counter.
Alcoholism and Men’s health: Unattractiveness
Alcoholism especially long-term drinking can cause some serious differences in appearance including but not limited to:
- Withering of the testicles
- Enlargement of breasts
- Loss of hair on the body
- Exacerbate skin disorders (making the face red)
- Red bumps and pus spots on the face and body
Alcoholism and Men’s health: Gout and other health issues
Heavy drinking or alcoholism can easily lead to gout and is more common in men than it is in women. Gout is a condition that causes inflammation and swelling pain in the joints (much like arthritis). Here are some more specific health issues associated with alcoholism.
Long term heavy drinking or alcoholism can also cause or increase the chances of getting:
- Liver damage- cirrhosis, liver disease
- Heart disease
- Bone disease
- Stomach lining becoming irritated
- Type 2 diabetes
- Anxiety and depression
If your loved one is in need of treatment for alchol addiction please give us a call at 800-951-6135.