How Much is Too Much?
You’ve probably heard that a glass of red wine now and then can actually be good for you. In fact, studies have shown that antioxidants found in red wine can be healthy for your heart. But this silver lining could be attached to a pretty dark cloud.
Alcoholism affects 1 in 10 Americans over 60. Although men are more likely to be affected by alcoholism overall, women are more likely to become alcoholics later in life.
Drinking in moderation, with the OK from your doctor, is generally safe. But as we grow older, it can become difficult to gauge how much is too much to drink. So when does drinking become a problem and what can you do about it?
Alcohol abuse is tough to spot. Sometimes, the symptoms of alcohol abuse mimic other conditions, such as depression. Also, some symptoms of alcohol abuse are similar to things that occur during normal aging, such as sleep struggles, falling, loss of appetite and memory problems.
Another issue is that the way we respond to alcohol changes over time. Our body’s ability to break down alcohol slows as we get older. This makes us more sensitive to the effects of alcohol.
So what should you do?
First, drink safely. Adults over 65 who are healthy should have no more than two alcoholic drinks per day or seven in a week, said Eric Haas, M.D., Florida Blue’s senior medical director for Medicare. Talk to your doctor to find out how much is safe for you to drink. Your doctor can also tell you if any of your medications might react badly to alcohol.
If you or someone you care about has a drinking problem, talk about it. Discuss alcohol use with your health care providers. Open up to your family members. We are here to help, too. Look at the “Need help” section on this page for more information.
Are you at risK?
Stick to these limits on alcohol use:
Per day: No more than 2 drinks
Per week: No more than 7 drinks
One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 ½ ounces of 80-proof spirits
If you’re experiencing problems with alcohol or need to find help for a loved one, call Florida Blue’s partner New Directions at 1-866-287-9569, Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., ET. TTY users call 1-800-955- 8770. They can help you find qualified professionals to talk to.
Filed under: Healthy Living