Alcohol and Menopause

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Alcohol and Menopause

A View of Alcohol, Menopause & Health

You would think in this age of technology and the mass of information ‘out there’ that you would be able to find some concrete evidence supporting the benefits or not of the odd glass of red wine.

But, of course, you can’t. The media say it’s good for you one day, contradicted by more evidence the following day. It’s so difficult to make an informed choice.

And you may have noticed this contradiction of facts is constant across many foods and lifestyle habits and medical drugs? All to do with health.

I do wonder who actually pays for this ‘research’ and marketing. Maybe I’m just being an old cynic?

What I do know, and what can’t be disputed, is the fact that an excess of alcohol has the potential to cause long term chronic disease, and even death.

What I also know, both from my knowledge of the liver and experience both personally and from working with many, many clients over the last 13 years, is that alcohol does not mix well with menopause and chaotic hormones.

It’s not great!

Generally, whatever your age, moderating alcohol consumption is a good idea, As well as hangovers becoming harder to cope with (have you noticed this?) there is strong evidence that as women age their intolerance for alcohol increases.

If you’ve been drinking heavily in your 30’s and 40’s, and by that I mean more than the equivalent of half a bottle of wine/night, alcohol will already have been impacting you in some way or another. Especially noticeable with sleep, weight and mood.

And other symptoms are heightened too, including:

  • hot flushes
  • low energy
  • constant fatigue
  • depression
  • anger and irritation
  • headaches
  • nausea
  • aches & pains

Scary Statistics:

Health experts report that drinking alcohol also increases your risk of cancer, heart and liver disease and osteoporosis. The additional weight gain due to alcohol affects major body organs including the liver, brain, nervous system and heart.

  • The risk of breast cancer increases by 1.5 times for those drinking 2-5 drinks/day
  • Heart disease is the biggest killer for women. Women are more susceptible to alcohol related heart disease than men.
  • Liver disease potential is heightened during menopause due to oestrogen levels falling. Nor does the liver regenerate as efficiently
  • 1 in 4 women will develop osteoporosis and fractures. Alcohol promotes calcium loss from the bone.
  • The ageing (and probably dehydrated) brain is more sensitive to alcohol so you may experience more memory issues or depression when you drink

Alcohol & Ageing

Don’t like what you see in the mirror? Not just weight, but the wrinkles and deep lines, the crepey skin on arms, chest and legs, and elsewhere? Is your skin looking thinner?

Here’s a few reasons why:

  • The conflict of the liver stress and dropping oestrogen lowers the available collagen to plump up the skin.
  • Drinking too much is also thought to deprive the skin of vital vitamins and nutrients.
  • Alcohol is dehydrating, showing first in the skin
  • Alcohol can also cause your face to look bloated and puffy. You might find it bloats your stomach too.
  • And then there’s the cellulite; many believe the toxins in alcohol contribute to its build up.
  • Vogue Magazine did an article recently on alcohol and the skin, here’s the link if you would like to read it.

So is the odd glass good for you?

That’s debatable, and totally unique to the individual’s biochemistry, and genetic disposition.

There is some research that suggests that one drink/day (usually referencing red wine) may actually decrease a women’s risk of heart disease and may also slightly boost bone density. Moderate drinking is also associated with a lower risk of type II diabetes dementia, stroke and obesity.

It’s confusing isn’t it?

The choice has to be completely yours. Only you know your body, but please work with it, listen to it, don’t work against it.

The solution?

  1. Drink more water, less alcohol.
  2. Drink Responsibly! If you do choose to have a drink, please stay within the recommended guidelines.
  3. Drink 2 times the volume of water for every drink you have to help negate the detrimental effects, and show your liver some love.
  4. Savour the pleasure. Look at the color, smell the fragrance and slowly sip it. Learn to relish it as the treat it is and allow that one treat on a maximum of one a day only.

A full hysterectomy in her 30s led nutritional therapist and health coach Clare on an amazing adventure exploring the many opportunities available to manage her enforced menopause and create long-term health.

Clare prefers the natural approach, and qualifying in nutritional therapy gave her the confidence to come off HRT, take back control of her life and health, and look forward to living the best third of her life free of prescription drugs. Understanding the importance of creating harmony of health of both body and mind through menopause and beyond, she’s now on a mission to inspire, educate and empower other women, too.

Click HERE to find out more about how Clare shares her years of exploring, experience and knowledge through 1:1 consultations and online programmes, and where you can request a FREE 30 minute consultation with Clare to discuss any personal menopause/health concerns you may have.


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