Women should be aware that alcohol can have an increased negative effect on their bodies during menopause. Here, we discuss how women can reduce the impacts of alcohol during menopause.
If you’re currently experiencing menopause and have recently started noticing the effects of alcohol a little more, even after consuming just a glass or two, then you are not alone. The body’s alcohol tolerance can change when menopause hits, which is largely due to the ageing process, rather than hormonal changes associated with this stage of life.
This is where Edenvale can help. Edenvale wines are sophisticated alternatives that allow you to enjoy a glass of wine without needing to worry about the effects of alcohol.
How our bodies handle alcohol with ageing
As we age, our cartilage and tendons lose water. Our bodies become less capable of diluting any alcohol in our systems, making women much more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol.
Women are naturally less alcohol tolerant than men, partly because of the differences in body type and physical shape. Women also have smaller alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), an enzyme that metabolises alcohol in the stomach. It is also known that enzymes in the liver, responsible for breaking down alcohol, decline as part of the ageing process. Therefore, women tend to absorb significantly more alcohol into their bloodstream than their male counterparts.
Drinking during menopause
There is no evidence to suggest that women should eliminate alcohol completely during menopause; it’s entirely a personal preference. Like most good things in life, moderation is key. Most women can still drink if they choose to – however it’s recommended that they do not drink to excess.
Non-alcoholic options are also available for those who choose to cut back on their alcohol consumption during this time. Alcohol-free alternatives to traditionally alcoholic beverages, such as Edenvale’s range of alcohol-removed wines, provide the perfect opportunity to enjoy your favourite beverages without needing to worry about the level of alcohol.
How alcohol affects menopause
Anecdotally, many women have reported that alcohol can exacerbate a few common symptoms of menopause including hot flushes, mood swings, night sweats and sleep disturbances.
According to the Royal Women’s Hospital (Victoria), approximately 80% of women experience hot flushes and night sweats during menopause. The effect of alcohol on hot flushes is contentious. While some studies have revealed that alcohol can trigger hot flushes, others reported a reduction in frequency and severity. Many women also stated that red wine specifically can induce hot flushes. On the other hand, other studies discovered that moderate consumption of beverages, such as beer, may ease symptoms.
Women going through menopause are at an increased risk of depression, anxiety and changes in mood. Mood swings can be triggered by decreased levels of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone or attributed to other menopause symptoms. Drinking alcohol can have a negative impact on both depression and moods.
Many menopausal women complain of insomnia and restlessness at night, with 25% of women between the ages of 50 – 64 years experiencing sleep difficulties. Multiple lifestyle factors including alcohol can contribute to this. While many people believe alcohol assists with sleep due to its sedative effects, excessive consumption of alcohol has been linked to reduced duration and sleep quality, with one study suggesting that high amounts of alcohol decreased sleep by nearly 40%.
Decreased Bone Mass
It is estimated that in the first five years after menopause, the average woman will lose up to 10 per cent of their bone mass density. Alcohol can strip the body of essential nutrients such as calcium and magnesium, which naturally deplete during menopause. Avoiding excessive alcohol intake can reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.
Staying hydrated is essential for healthy living. The average human body is made up of 60% water but this percentage may fall significantly for women after menopause. Common symptoms of menopause, such as hot flushes and night sweats, can lead to increased dehydration. Similarly, the use of alcohol can further impact this, as alcohol possesses strong diuretic properties. Drinking in moderation or total avoidance of alcoholic beverages during menopause should be considered if dehydration is of concern.
Reducing your alcohol consumption during menopause can be as easy as going a few days per week free of alcohol or simply swapping to low or no-alcohol alternatives.
Edenvale’s extensive range of alcohol-removed wines can be purchased from your local supermarket, bottle shop or online at Edenvale.