Drinking alcohol for entertainment becomes very common for women in western and Asian countries. Not much different, Cambodian women nowadays also involve in drinking in their entertainment activities such as attaining wedding, hanging out with friends and family, or celebrating party, etc.
Besides from this, the majority of Cambodian women who involved much in either moderate or excessive drinking are Beer girls. They sell beer and drink it when customer request to do so. Those women are at high risk facing with health problem. As a matter of fact, alcohol presents another health challenge for women. In some ways, heavy drinking is much more risky for women than it is for men.
Why are lower levels of drinking recommended for women than for men?
It is because women are at greater risk than men for developing alcohol-related problems. Alcohol passes through the digestive tract and is dispersed in the water in the body. The more water available, the more diluted the alcohol. As a rule, men weigh more than women, and, pound for pound, women have less water in their bodies than men. Therefore, a woman’s brain and other organs are exposed to more alcohol and to more of the toxic byproducts that result when the body breaks down and eliminates alcohol.The Dietary Guidelines define moderate drinking as no more than one drink a day for women and no more than two drinks a day for men.
The Dietary Guidelines point out that drinking more than one drink per day for women can increase the risk for motor vehicle crashes, other injuries, high blood pressure, stroke, violence, suicide, and certain types of cancer.
Benefits and Risks of Moderate Drinking
Moderate drinking can have short- and long-term health effects, both positive and negative:
Heart disease: Once thought of as a threat mainly to men, heart disease also is the leading killer of women. Drinking moderately may lower the risk for coronary heart disease, mainly among women over age 55. However, there are other factors that reduce the risk of heart disease, including a healthy diet, exercise, not smoking, and keeping a healthy weight. Moderate drinking provides little, if any, net health benefit for younger people. (Heavy drinking can actually damage the heart.)
Drinking and driving: It doesn’t take much alcohol to impair a person’s ability to drive. The chances of being killed in a single-vehicle crash are increased at a blood alcohol level that a 140-lb. woman would reach after having one drink on an empty stomach.
Medication interactions: Alcohol can interact with a wide variety of medicines, both prescription and over-the-counter. Alcohol can reduce the effectiveness of some medications, and it can combine with other medications to cause or increase side effects. Alcohol can interact with medicines used to treat conditions as varied as heart and blood vessel disease, digestive problems, and diabetes. In particular, alcohol can increase the sedative effects of any medication that causes drowsiness, including cough and cold medicines and drugs for anxiety and depression. When taking any medication, read package labels and warnings carefully.
Breast cancer: Research suggests that as little as one drink per day can slightly raise the risk of breast cancer in some women, especially those who are postmenopausal or have a family history of breast cancer. It is not possible, however, to predict how alcohol will affect the risk for breast cancer in any one woman.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Drinking by a pregnant woman can harm her unborn baby, and may result in a set of birth defects called fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).
Drinking over the long term is more likely to damage a woman’s health than a man’s, even if the woman has been drinking less alcohol or for a shorter length of time than the man.
The health effects of alcohol abuse and alcoholism are serious. Some specific health problems include:
Alcoholic liver disease: Women are more likely than men to develop alcoholic hepatitis (liver inflammation) and to die from cirrhosis.
Brain disease: Most alcoholics have some loss of mental function, reduced brain size, and changes in the function of brain cells. Research suggests that women are more vulnerable than men to alcohol-induced brain damage.
Cancer: Many studies report that heavy drinking increases the risk of breast cancer. Alcohol also is linked to cancers of the digestive track and of the head and neck (the risk is especially high in smokers who also drink heavily).
Heart disease: Chronic heavy drinking is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease. Among heavy drinkers, women are more susceptible to alcohol-related heart disease, even though women drink less alcohol over a lifetime than men.
Stress and Drinking:
Stress is a common theme in women’s lives. Research confirms that one of the reasons people drink is to help them cope with stress. However, it is not clear just how stress may lead to problem drinking. Heavy drinking by itself causes stress in a job and family. Many factors, including family history, shape how much a woman will use alcohol to cope with stress. A woman’s past and usual drinking habits are important. Different people have different expectations about the effect of alcohol on stress. How a woman handles stress, and the support she has to manage it, also may affect whether she uses alcohol in response to stress.
There is neither accurate figure nor study about alcohol related-issue of how much and how many Cambodian women drinking alcohol, but it is believed that somehow women in Khmer society drink alcohol for many purposes. It is important to know how alcohol can affect a woman’s health and safety. As you can see, alcohol has developed many risks for health such as stress, heart and liver disease, fatal syndrome, family and social issue, traffic accident and so on, that is why we should be well aware of any bad consequences of drinking alcohol.
We only hope that, this article will serve as information to all Cambodian women as well to all the women as a whole to be aware of excessive drinking alcohol beverages.
Care about your health, it is better to moderate your alcohol consumption!