A Scientific Perspective: The Impact of Alcohol on Menopausal Women

A Scientific Perspective: The Impact of Alcohol on Menopausal Women

I had been thinking more recently about how often throughout the week our culture relies on 'a glass of wine with dinner' to unwind after any kind of day - stressful, exciting, busy, sorrowful, you name it.

Obviously it’s not GOOD for us, but I always kinda thought, how bad can that one glass really be?

Upon further research…maybe it's time to rethink the old-school evening routine. The whole 1-glass-a-day thing is actually making things noticeably worse for us with menopause kicking in, as numerous studies have linked a worsening of menopause symptoms with consumption of alcohol. 

The last thing we need is more mood swings and hot-flash disrupted sleep, right? 

Additionally, as we get older and after years of pumping toxins out of us, our bodies can't always keep up quite the same way they used to. When it comes to drinking, some people even develop a sensitivity or full blown allergy to alcohol as they age. 

Let's get into why you should join me on the alcohol-free train 🚂👇

Alcohol's Influence on Hormonal Dynamics 📊

Alcohol intake during menopause can disrupt the delicate balance of endogenous hormone levels, especially estrogen. The effects on estrogen signaling pathways by alcohol has been shown to worsen symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats.

Effects on Sleep Architecture 💤

Studies have shown alcohol's double effect on sleep patterns. While initial ingestion may induce sedation (make you tired), each of the stages of sleep that follow are fragmented and disrupted. 

This phenomenon, known as "alcohol-induced sleep disturbance," is particularly relevant during menopause when we are already experiencing sleep difficulties from other symptoms. So give yourself the best chance at a good night’s sleep by skipping that glass of wine at dinner - and over time, you’ll probably even notice the 3 a.m. hot flashes becoming less frequent. 


Dehydration and Vasomotor Symptoms 💧

Alcohol's diuretic properties contribute to fluid loss and dehydration, again worsening those vasomotor symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. Dehydration-induced thermal dysregulation (body temperature dysregulation) can intensify the number of and severity of these symptoms, significantly impacting quality of life.

Impact on Bone Health 🦴

As we know, the menopausal transition is marked by falling estrogen levels which pose known risks to bone health. Alcohol consumption worsens these risks by impairing the function of our osteoblasts (the cells that create new bone) and reducing bone mineral density, predisposing menopausal women to osteoporosis and injuries.

I know I know - I don’t like it either. But truly, you do feel the difference by reducing/eliminating alcohol from your diet.

The hardest part of quitting an old habit of any kind, I feel, is at the start when you are trying to convince the brain that it can still get its dopamine reward, but in another way. 


A healthier you is around the corner!

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