– By Priyanka Sawant

Menopause and alcohol consumption is a relationship left mostly unexplored. While menopause symptoms and symptoms of alcohol consumption are usually studied separately, their combined bonanza is hardly ever talked about. Well, it might surprise you to know that a number of menopause symptoms affect the same areas of your body that alcohol does. So your body takes double the hit through menopause and alcohol consumption when it needs to be nurtured and cared for instead.

Now you might find yourself dredging up the article you came across in some magazine that said how great wine is for your health. While it might have a sliver of truth, reality for the most part begs to differ. Age makes women and men more sensitive to alcohol. The effects of alcohol you might have felt after consuming an entire bottle in your 20s, now you might feel after drinking a glass or two during menopause. We all know how bad our hangovers have become as we’ve aged!

The reason is that your body holds less water because your cartilage and tendons tend to lose their ability to retain water as you age. Less water in the body equals to less alcohol being diluted, which results in feeling the effects of alcohol more quickly. Women feel the effects of alcohol more acutely than men due to their smaller size. So we absorb alcohol faster than men do. We have fewer enzymes used to regulate alcohol in our stomachs compared to men. This gives birth to the stereotype of women being lightweight drinkers. Unfortunately, it has its basis in biology.

Drinking Alcohol ANd Menopause

Moderation, it is said, is the key to everything in life. It might be hard to define what falls under moderate from person to person though. What might be moderate for you, might make another pass out blind drunk. And vice versa.

A number of things have to be considered to define moderate alcohol consumption. Age, weight, familiarity to drinking alcohol, other health conditions you might be dealing with, medications you might be on, are some of the factors that influence how your body might respond to varying quantities of alcohol.

Once you start drinking it might be hard to draw the line between moderate drinking, flirting with the line and going straight over. Especially as we age and go through various mental, emotional and physical changes, alcohol might take on a different role in your life. Menopause struts in and changes the game. Menopause symptoms arrive like a tornado into your life, altering everything you believed to be true about your body and yourself. So when alcohol is added to the mix, there’s a good possibility of a shitstorm on the horizon. 

So let’s take a look at the effects of alcohol consumption on your body when you’re going through the customised hell of menopause.

Effects of Alcohol Consumption During Menopause

Mental Loss Of Reality :

Once inebriated, you might not even realise when one drink turns to five. Alcohol leads to changes in your typical behaviour and impairs your ability to make smart decisions. Your mental clarity goes for a toss. Menopause symptoms, in their own right, screw with you mentally as well. Someone tapping their leg, or an innocent comment by your partner, might just set you off. It’s not the world out to irritate you, it’s just menopause symptoms setting your teeth on edge.
Irritation, Anxiety and Depression, are some of the major menopause symptoms you need to look out for. Keeping an eye out on your mental health and managing the various menopause symptoms, is of utmost importance. You might need to alter your habits and lifestyle to accommodate the ever changing needs of your body. 
You might be in 7th heaven as you feel the woozy warmth from the alcohol sliding from your tongue, down your throat, into your stomach. Effectively driving all of your menopause woes right out of your brain. However, alcohol is a depressant. While your brain loves a bit of alcohol, any more of it makes the chemicals in your brain go lopsided right alongside your balance. Your emotions and inhibitions might also be all over the place, with the contents of your stomach. Since women enduring menopause symptoms are more susceptible to anxiety and depression, alcohol can make those negative feelings a whole lot worse.