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Alcohol and menopause

Alcohol, your liver, hot flushes and menopause hormones

Your thoughts may be turning towards the party season now where alcohol can appear to play a big part in your ability to have ‘fun’. Although that premise can apply at any times of the year.

Yet it’s not about choosing between ‘having fun’ and ‘being good’, it’s about making choices that allow you to balance your indulgences before they have a negative impact on your menopause hormones, and of course your health both now and in the future.

Following the 80:20 rule allows you that flexibility, and I encourage all my clients and YourNewLifePlan followers to do the same . Make the nutrition & lifestyle choices that you know support you 80% of the time, allow yourself some slack the other 20%.

It’s OK to have lapses, it’s what you do about them that counts.

After all, you are unique and there is no one size fits all rule. You have to take into account your personal hormonal symptoms, their severity, your overall diet, the triggers, listen to and know your own body, when making the choice whether to have a drink or two.

If you’re at the very beginning or your hormone balancing journey it would be preferable to avoid alcohol (and refined sugars) for at least 4 weeks and observe how your symptoms improve. If you then have a drink you can then compare and note the negative effects. Please do remember that drinking alcohol frequently will slow your healing down considerably.

You have to ask yourself “how quickly do I want to feel better and how long do I want the recovery process to take”?

To help you make the choices that are right for you, here’s a little more information and some useful strategies for reducing and negating the effects of alcohol consumption, and help to create that hormone harmony so necessary during the menopause years and beyond.

 

The Bad News: How alcohol impacts your liver & hormones

  • Women metabolise alcohol at a much slower rate than men, leading to the physical and emotional impact of alcohol to be far stronger and faster.
  • Drinking alcohol forces the liver to use your store of antioxidants, vitamin C and B vitamins to break it down; also the minerals magnesium and iron so important for maintaining energy levels in the body, which leaves you vitamin and mineral deficient.
  • Alcohol raises your oestrogen levels which worsens symptoms of PCOS, fibroids and endometriosis, increasing the incidence of hormone related cancers
  • Alcohol is actually a depressant. Drinking alcohol drains the adrenals, raises the stress hormones cortisol and makes you feel more tired and down.
  • Alcohol disrupts your blood sugar function leading to additional weight gain and the increased risk of diabetes.
  • Alcohol increases your risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis post menopause.
  • In a study published in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility, researchers examined the influence of alcohol consumption on hot flushes among menopausal women, and found that women who consumed more than three drinks a month were more likely to experience a recurrence in hot flushes.

Conversely, moderate alcohol consumption (three drinks or fewer per month) actually reduced the severity and frequency of hot flashes by 25%!

 

The Slightly Better News: How to minimise the negative effects of excess alcohol consumption

  • Continue to take a good multi B vitamin complex and vitamin C.
  • Continue with a good multi vitamin/mineral suitable for your stage of menopause.
  • Drink red wine in preference to white as white wine contains more sugar.
  • Never drink on an empty stomach
  • Decide to have 2 glasses maximum at any one time.
  • For every glass of wine drink 2 x volume in water

The following day:

  • Continue as always with multi vitamin/mineral supplement, B vitamins and vitamin C
  • Drink a large glass of body temperature water plus a slice of lemon on waking.
  • Drink coconut water throughout the day to replenish your electrolytes
  • Make a delicious ‘detox’ fresh juice using spinach, cucumber, coriander, parsley, half a lemon with rind, green apple, and carrot
  • Say ‘never again’ again!

Committing to a fresh start the morning after the night before, and following these steps will prevent you binging on alcohol and minimise the hormone disruption, damage to your liver and also the potential for long term chronic disease. Allow you to socialise confidently and safely with the odd glass of wine.

Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you!

For more information on how to love your liver and create balanced hormones you can download my Amazon No 1 Best Seller, Hormone Harmony, 8 Steps to a Vibrant Life Through Menopause & Beyond. Or buy in paperback, UK only.

Or you’re confused about how to make this work for you, I invite you to a free, no obligation chat. Apply here and I’ll get back to you very soon 🙂

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