Mixed drink sitting on table

Alcohol Addiction And Its Aging Effects

Last Updated: Aug 1st 2022

Reviewed by EliteStrategies

Drinking alcohol might be viewed as a savory indulgence that temporarily allows you to shed your inhibitions and gain some vitality. Many consumers of alcohol are aware of the health problems and risk factors, but not too many are aware of the premature aging it can cause. Seeking treatment for alcohol addiction is the most efficient method for preventing these negative effects on the body. Premature aging from alcohol abuse can wreak havoc on your health and make you look and feel older than you are.

North Jersey Recovery Center offers a plethora of programs for alcoholism that can help with curbing your alcohol use disorders and reclaiming your life in the process. 

Alcohol And Vasopressin

It’s no secret that alcohol dehydrates anyone that is consuming copious amounts. The substance is a diuretic, so naturally, it pulls fluids out of the body and eliminates it through urination. Typically, the body will create a hormone called vasopressin (responsible for helping the body to retain water and regulating the amount of fluid secreted through the renal system.) This helps you from becoming dehydrated when you are not drinking.

Alcohol reduces the production of vasopressin in the body. That is why you have to urinate more than normal when drinking. Older adults retain less water in the body than young people. Since water is vital for virtually every bodily function, you might feel the aging effects more intensely if your alcohol addiction is persistent.

What Are The Effects Of Alcohol Addiction On Aging?

The effects of alcohol on aging are boundless, but some of the most common age-related effects include the following:

#1- Depletion Of vitamin A & Other Essential Nutrients

Alcohol can certainly impact your nutritional levels. These healthy nutrients are responsible for carrying oxygen through the body. One of the key vitamins that depletes is vitamin A. This vitamin is an antioxidant for the skin and body, as it helps with the formation of new cells. Ever heard of collagen? Well, vitamin A is also responsible for its production. Insufficient levels of collagen can lead to premature wrinkles.

#2- Dissipation Of Collagen and Face Fullness

Reduced levels of collagen deteriorate the elasticity and fullness to your skin. Collagen gives your skin the supple look that many want to retain for as long as they can. If you drink too much, it will continue to exacerbate the accelerated aging.

#3- Dehydration

As mentioned earlier with vasopressin, alcohol is dehydrating because it acts like a diuretic. The more you consume, the more dehydrated you will be. Your skin will appear less plump and fresh the day after. Over time, it will appear dry and wrinkly. For moderate drinkers of alcohol, it’s best to chase it with water in between drinks to hydrate yourself and avoid hangovers.

#4- Puffiness And Swelling

Alcohol functions as a vasodilator, enlarging the blood vessels that bring blood to the face. This issue contributes to puffiness, swelling, and even redness. If the alcohol consumption does not wane, the blood vessels will continue to grow, leading to permanent redness and blotchiness, like rosacea. The blotchy look is further compounded from broken capillaries or vessels which erupt underneath the surface of the skin.

#5- Weight Gain

A few extra pounds around the body and face can add years to your appearance. Alcohol addiction can cause one to pack on as much as 10 pounds or so. Since alcohol is a source of sugar, it raises insulin and triggers fat storage by augmenting fatty deposits in the liver, contributing to the appearance of subcutaneous fat around the stomach–commonly referred to as a “beer belly” or “muffin top”.

#6- Sleep Disruption

Dark circles and puffy bags are aesthetic imperfections that no one wants to deal with. But, when alcohol consumption is heavily imbued in your day-to-day life, expect your sleep cycle to also suffer. Drinking before bed makes it more likely that you will wake up during the night, preventing less deep sleep. Suppose alcohol makes you lethargic enough to pass out quickly, the chances of waking up in the middle of the night are still high. Deep sleep is needed for healthy restoration and ample cognitive function. 

Final Thoughts On Alcohol Addiction And Aging Effects

Even for anyone that isn’t or does not consider themselves a heavy drinker, alcohol can still age you. Feeling comfortable and in control is what often can lead someone astray and into the arms of drug and alcohol addiction if they are not careful. Regular drinkers can activate biological functions that make them age from the inside out. Heavy drinkers or alcoholics teeter that fine line, and are unintentionally speeding up what should be a steady process of aging.

If you or someone you immensely care about is struggling to regulate or limit their alcohol consumption, you will never have to endure these uncertainties and spiraling moments alone. Give your body and mind a fighting chance and reclaim your youthful exuberance. Our programs at North Jersey Recovery Center are never stringent and are malleable with your needs in mind. We always work with you to ensure that everyone involved is operating on the same recovery plane. Contact us to find out how to navigate down this path of health and wellness.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by EliteStrategies

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