Published on July 17, 2018

Think before you drink

Growing older brings many changes to the body.

pouring drinkBut here’s one that might surprise you: Aging can lower the body’s tolerance for alcohol, which can make drinking risky for seniors.

“If you’re an older adult who drinks, you’ll probably feel the effects of alcohol more quickly than when you were younger,” says Robert Furia, MD, Primary Care Physician.

This means you may feel high without increasing the amount of alcohol that you drink. “And that high can affect your safety,” Dr. Furia cautions. “It raises your risk of falling, breaking a bone or being in a car crash.”

Heavy drinking can make many health problems older adults face worse, including:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart failure
  • Liver problems
  • Memory loss

Many drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, can also be dangerous or even deadly when mixed with alcohol.

Lots of adults give up alcohol as they get older. If you want to stop drinking, talk to your doctor. He or she can offer advice on how to quit.