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  • Writer's pictureLouise Bentley

Alcohol and Menopause - I know, I know, you’re going to hate me….

… but before you close this tab and never speak to me again, hear me out.

I’ve been reading a great book called ‘Hormone Repair Manual’ by Lara Briden, (available on amazon) who is a Naturopathic Doctor from New Zealand, and her book has so much great info in it to help get through perimenopause, menopause and beyond. This is not an ad for the book, I don’t know this person, but she’s written about something I’m interested in, and passionate about helping women through, and there is so much good info in it!

She has written a whole bit about alcohol and the hormonal shift we go through at this time which I thought I’d share here.

Now I’m not writing this info to be a buzzkill, but loads of us suffer with perimenopausal symptoms when something as tiny as dropping alcohol could make our lives so much better. In her book, Lara states that her patients who drink little or no alcohol are more likely to report symptom-free perimenopause transition. That's huge!

Alcohol is a toxin in our body, it has no place being there, we don't need it to function, and it can impair our ability to eliminate other toxins too. We’ve been told by the media that a glass of wine a day is healthy - good for the heart etc - but it’s not and never has been.

Here are a few more reasons to avoid the plonk -

It’s bad for your sleep - it can reduce melatonin and interrupt circadian cycles. Sleep is hard enough to come by these days, let's not make it harder for us.

It can worsen hot flushes and night sweats - again interrupting sleep (sensing a pattern?)

We need sleep to heal, it helps with weight loss, energy levels, hormone regulation, mental and emotional health as well.

Alcohol stimulates the appetite, leading to overeating, and I don't need to tell you that it's hard enough to shift excess weight at this point, without adding more hurdles!

It makes it harder for us to build bone and muscle - both of which is already hard during menopause.

And finally alcohol decreases our ability to metabolise oestrogen, making it a risk factor for conditions such as breast cancer and fibroids, which are oestrogen related. Lara states that drinking alcohol is estimated to be the sole cause of 8% of breast cancers. 8%!!!!

Now we all do things we know aren't good for us - sit too much watching telly, not eat enough kale (blurgh!!), spend a bit too long in the sun etc etc, and I would never judge anyone for having a drink, but I always believe that knowledge is power, and if you have this info tucked away in a small recess of your brain it may mean that you might not open that bottle tonight, and you might get a fab nights sleep and feel amazing tomorrow…… and then you’ll thank me :D

Be well,

Lou x

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