What Alcohol Does to Perimenopause Symptoms: Revealed
Ah, alcohol, my old pal! We used to have sooo much fun but it's just not as fun as it used to be...
Do you find alcohol affects you completely differently being in perimenopause? Like, much worse than when you were 20?
You're not alone and you're not imagining it.
Alcohol can make your perimenopause symptoms 1000% times worse so if you've been thinking of giving booze a bit of a swerve lately, seriously, now's the time to do it.
So which perimenopause symptoms might alcohol affect?
Quite alot as it happens - we're talking symptoms like mood, sleep, and hot flashes. Alcohol can interfere with the quality of your sleep, exacerbate feelings of anxiety and depression, and trigger or worsen hot flashes.
Strap into the truth train, gals - here we goooooooooo....
How Alcohol can Make Your Mood 1000% Worse in Perimenopause
Alcohol consumption can exacerbate mood symptoms because it is a central nervous system depressant that can further disrupt the delicate hormonal balance. Alcohol can also interfere with sleep, which is already a challenge for many women during perimenopause, and lack of quality sleep can also contribute to mood upsets.
How Alcohol can Make Your Sleep Worse in Perimenopause
Alcohol affects sleep in perimenopause in several ways.
First, yes it can make you fall asleep faster, but the quality of your sleep is likely going to be absolutely poop. Why? Because alcohol disrupts your normal sleep cycle, causing you to spend more time in the lighter stages of sleep and less time in the deeper, more restorative stages (our favourite stages!).
Second, alcohol can cause you to wake up heaps in the night as your body works hard to metabolise the booze. This can lead to broken sleep meaning ain't no-one waking up feeling rested the next morning.
Gosh this really sucks... let's keep going...
Third, alcohol can exacerbate sleep apnea - this is that condition when your breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep. This can lead to snoring, gasping, and other symptoms that can break up your sleep.
Bottom line: yes, alcohol will make you feel drowsy and help you fall asleep initially, it's gonna have negative effects on the quality of your sleep and how you feel the next day (awful).
How Alcohol can Worsen Hot Flushes in Perimenopause
Alcohol can trigger or make hot flashes worse in women going through perimenopause. What even are hot flashes? Well, they're a common symptom of peri: sudden feelings of warmth, sweating, and flushing of the face and neck.
Alcohol is a vasodilator (no, not a species of dinosaur) which means it can cause blood vessels to expand and increase blood flow to the skin making you feel hot. URGH
Alcohol can also interfere with the body's natural thermoregulatory mechanisms, making it harder for the body to regulate its temperature and making hot flashes more likely.
If you're experiencing hot flashes during perimenopause, limiting booze is likely to really help the severity of them. Be sure to drink plenty of water, do what you can to stay cool, and practice relaxation techniques to help manage hot flashes and improve your overall sleep quality.
How Alcohol can Bugger up Bone Health During Perimenopause
Oh it just gets better and better....
Alcohol interferes with the balance of calcium, an essential nutrient for healthy bones so can have negative effects on your bone health. That's definitely a concern for us perimenopausal women due to the fact that we're already at risk of bone loss.
We do also want note here that individual responses to alcohol are going to be different - we're all unique so it's really about what you know about you and your own unique responses. Some women may find that moderate alcohol consumption doesn't really worsen their perimenopausal symptoms, while others may find that even small amounts of alcohol can have a seriously negative impact.
So, any insights here? Will you be looking to limit your booze or do you feel you've found a good balance?