Alcohol and Older Adults: What You Should Know About Drinking As You Age

does alcohol make you look older

You have to be old enough to drink it legally, and once you are, it can age you faster than normal. Heavy drinking can have a direct effect on certain parts of your body and on your mental health as you get older. If you’re bothered by wrinkles and the appearance of ageing, contact the team at the Harley Clinic to talk about your options. Although alcohol might make you feel more relaxed in the moment, in the long run it can increase anxiety and depression, feeding into a negative cycle. And then there are the frequent hangovers from binge drinking. Overall, the less you drink, the more energetic and youthful you will feel.

Treatment Process

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans define excessive drinking as more than two a day for men and more than one a day for women. There are just as many negative invisible body changes that can occur due to heavy drinking as there are visible body changes. Perhaps the biggest sign of aging that you can’t physically see is the does alcohol make you look older effect that drinking has on your brain. Studies have shown that alcohol can age the brain so much that young people who drink regularly have been found to share similar brain activity to those of elderly adults. For example, young people who drink regularly have been shown to perform poorly in tests of executive function.

does alcohol make you look older

Does Drinking Alcohol Make You Look Older?

Unfortunately, the already low levels of these enzymes continue to decrease as women age, meaning that alcohol is metabolized (changed into a form your body can use) much more slowly. Alcohol abuse in older people has become more common in the past few decades. Alcohol is now the most abused substance among people over 65. Alcoholism is often overlooked or misdiagnosed in older people. Depressive symptoms like insomnia, mood swings, and anxiety can mimic those of alcoholism. Most medications and alcohol don’t interact well with each other.

Alcohol Abuse

While alcohol may initially make you feel drowsy, it can interfere with your sleep cycle, cause frequent night awakenings, and lead to poor sleep quality. Chronic or heavy alcohol consumption can worsen these effects and contribute to long-term health problems. A feeling of fatigue after a night of drinking isn’t just from sleep interruptions. Alcohol has other effects on your body that contribute to feeling tired and sluggish the following day.

Holiday Heart Syndrome: Knowing the signs could save a life

does alcohol make you look older

When a person drinks large amounts of alcohol, it is easy to make poor decisions. He or she may stuff themselves with food or simply pass out in bed at the end of the night. In the moment, it becomes easy to forget to practice a normal hygiene routine. For instance, a person may forget to wash their face or brush their teeth. Habitual actions like these will lead to cavities, acne, and similar issues. This delayed healing response contributes to inflammation, chronic pain and recurrent infections.

  • Gateway Foundation is here to help you take back your appearance, health and life.
  • A nonlinear relationship between alcohol consumption and epigenetic age is very interesting.
  • Liver disease caused by heavy drinking can cause jaundice and hyperpigmentation, which will give the skin a darker appearance.
  • For women, it’s defined as three drinks a day or more than seven drinks a week (1).
  • Your doctor can give you abuse screenings to see how your drinking has affected your health.
  • Elevated cortisol levels can contribute to feelings of irritability, anxiety, and overall stress and increase the risk of long-term health problems.

If you’re someone that is a heavy drinker, chances are you have begun noticing changes to your body over time. For example, you may notice unexplained weight gain or changes in your skin. In some cases, you may even notice that minor ailments due to alcohol consumption are now becoming more serious. They studied beer, wine, liquor and “total alcohol” (sum of the three alcoholic beverages consumed by an individual). Alcohol can affect the way your body fights off life-threatening illnesses like tuberculosis or pneumonia.

  • If heavy drinking is a regular thing, you could face some potentially irreversible skin damage.
  • Alcohol’s diuretic effects can also contribute to dehydration, as your body expels fluids faster than you replace them.
  • Vidya contributes to a variety of publications, having written for Square, Rally Health, EatingWell, TODAY and more.
  • Cultural norms would have you believe that drinking is integral to certain activities, like a wedding reception, football game, brunch or night out on the town.
  • Heavy drinking over a long time can shrink brain cells and lead to alcohol-related brain damage (ARBD) and certain types of dementia.
  • Consuming alcohol increases the secretion of cortisol, a stress hormone.
  • However, when a person has a preoccupation with alcohol, he or she may lose control and have the inability to stop.
  • If you’ve been wondering if drinking alcohol causes you to look older, we’ve got the answer.
  • We can help you with alcohol addiction, so contact us to learn more about our therapy services.
  • Red wine has antioxidants called polyphenols that may help your cholesterol level and protect your blood vessels.
  • It’s because alcohol can affect your balance and sense of judgment.

That damage can, in turn, contribute to diabetes, heart disease, neurodegenerative illnesses and other age-related conditions you want to avoid. A nonlinear relationship between alcohol consumption and epigenetic age is very interesting. While chronological age is how old you are (measured by the time that’s passed since you were born and today), biological age is how old your cells are.


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Although you can’t change your genetics, you can take control of other factors that lead to premature ageing. Stay looking younger for longer and limit unhealthy habits that speed up the ageing process. Ria’s telemedicine-based program is designed to simplify things, allowing you to access the support you need from the comfort of home. We use evidence-based methods to help you moderate or stop drinking, and our convenient smartphone app makes the whole process portable. You no longer need to disrupt your life in order to start drinking less.

Can Alcohol Affect Your Skin?

does alcohol make you look older

There is no recommended number of times that someone should jump out of a plane. It’s fun for some people, but there is no medical reason to do it or health benefit from it. Heavy drinking over time can cause weight gain, which might result in the appearance of a double chin. Heavy drinking over a period of time can cause a physical dependence on alcohol.

  • Between deodorant and cologne, most people go out of their way to have a pleasing scent.
  • Alcohol is now the most abused substance among people over 65.
  • Broken capillaries, the tiny blood vessels near the surface of the skin, tend to crop up as you get older.
  • What’s not so well known is the effect of alcohol consumption on biological aging, specifically binge drinking, long-term drinking and type of drinks — such as beer, wine or liquor.
  • At Grace Land Recovery, we know the challenges that come with addiction.
  • For example, it can lead to liver damage, cancer, immune disorders, and brain damage.