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Question : I drink at least two jiggers (three ounces) of gin most days, and lately, I’ve been drinking three. Is that too much for a 65 year old woman? I understand that women are more easily affected by alcohol than men.
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The Trusted Source
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Howard LeWine, M.D.

Howard LeWine, M.D., is chief editor of Internet Publishing, Harvard Health Publications. He is a clinical instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. LeWine has been a primary care internist and teacher of internal medicine since 1978.

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May 24, 2013
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I think it’s too much. In the United States, a drink is often defined as 1.25 ounces of gin and other types of hard alcohol. So you’re having the equivalent of more than three drinks most days.

Though there’s still some controversy, most experts agree that for the average woman, a drink a day is healthier than none. On the other hand, there’s fairly wide agreement that two or more drinks begin to have unhealthy effects. So your daily alcohol intake is much higher than what’s generally regarded as healthy.

Women are more easily affected by alcohol. Compared with men, they have less water in their bodies to dilute the alcohol and more fat to retain it.

Everyone’s stomach juices contain an enzyme that breaks down alcohol before it’s absorbed into the blood. It’s called alcohol dehydrogenase. Women generally have less of this enzyme. It varies from person to person. But on average, one drink for a woman is the equivalent to two for a man.

Drinking more than a drink a day doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll suffer ill effects. But it does increase the risk. Many health problems become more likely. include:

  • Liver disease
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
  • Several types of cancer
  • Heart problems
  • Depression
  • Memory loss

So I’d recommend you cut back. And seek some help if you have a hard time doing it on your own.

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