Alcohol and menopause

I am a connoisseur of good wine and would miss eliminating it entirely. What effect does drinking wine have on menopausal symptoms--particularly weight gain around the middle? How much is okay? By the way, I've already learned that red wine can enhance hot flashes--yikes!

Elizabeth's reply

Yes, I'm sorry to say that lovely as a glass of good wine tastes, it's not a particularly good thing to be imbibing during the menopause.

As you say, alcohol can make hot flushes worse, and can also have a negative effect on other menopausal symptoms such as mood swings and insomnia. According to Dr Mary Dan Eades, too much alcohol also stresses the liver, and can encourage it to lay down fatty deposits right around the midriff - which is the one thing we menopausal women can definitely do without!

Added to all of this, wine and other alcoholic drinks are also high in calories, and drinking with a meal can make it harder for you to make the healthier choices.

One problem with drinking is that having a glass of wine encourages you to drink more...it's a vicious circle. If you don't want to give up alcohol completely, I suggest you try cutting down to one glass of something splendid, a couple of times a week.

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