Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Study: Drinking Weakens Muscles in Post-Menopausal Women

You likely know that chronic drinking can damage your liver – but did you know that it can also silently shrink your muscles? 

A new study published in the journal Menopause strongly links drinking to the worsening of sarcopenia, or the substantial loss of both muscle mass and strength. It’s estimated that as many as 15 percent of Americans age 60 and older have sarcopenia.

Why worry about sarcopenia? Possible effects of sarcopenia can include the following: 
  • Decreased muscle strength
  • Problems with mobility
  • Frailty
  • Weak bones (osteoporosis)
  • Falls and fractures
  • Decreased activity levels
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Severe menopausal symptoms
  • Middleage weight gain
  • A loss of physical function and independence
For the study, South Korean researchers used the medical records of roughly 2,400 postmenopausal women who were then prompted to fill out questionnaires about their frequency and quantity of alcohol use to assess any signs of problem drinking. For example, they were asked whether they drank alcohol in the morning, had any guilt or concern about their drinking habits or experienced any known alcohol-related injuries. 

Not surprisingly, women who were at risk for alcohol problems also had a higher risk for sarcopenia. In fact, heavy drinkers were more than four times more likely than those in the low-risk group to have sarcopenia.

The good news: Muscle deterioration can be stopped, slowed and even reversed – and, of course, making a commitment to get (and stay) sober is a great first step. Doing your best to lead a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a well-rounded diet that includes lean proteins and good-for-you fats will help, too.

Ask About Our Alcohol Abuse Treatment for Women 
Rising Roads Recovery is dedicated to helping women who are struggling with alcohol use disorder and/or a co-occurring mental disorder. Our treatment center was created to inspire women to thrive in recovery. To learn more, call today: 866-746-1558.

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