“For women around the time of menopause, alcohol intake can exacerbate hot flushes and add to the risk of excess weight gain”.1

Umbrella
What may the Alcohol and Menopause Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Alcohol
  • Booze
  • Drug
  • Grog
  • Liquor
  • Menopause

Alcohol

What is alcohol?

DotS the definition of alcohol may vary. The (United States) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) definition is:

“Ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, is an intoxicating ingredient found in beer, wine, and liquor. Alcohol is produced by the fermentation of yeast, sugars, and starches”.2

Benefits and Risks

Is alcohol good for you or not?

In Alcohol: Weighing Risks and Potential Benefits the (United States) Mayo Clinic explain:

“Understanding the risks and any possible health benefits of alcohol often seems confusing; that’s understandable, because the evidence for moderate alcohol use in healthy adults isn’t certain”.3

Menopause Symptoms

Is there an association between alcohol and menopause?

In Alcohol: Alcohol & Menopause the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH) explain:

Alcohol and Menopause

“For women around the time of menopause, alcohol intake can exacerbate hot flushes and add to the risk of excess weight gain”.4

Osteoporosis

Is there an association between alcohol and osteoporosis?

In Osteoporosis: Symptoms & Causes – Risk Factors: Lifestyle Choices the Mayo Clinic elaborate on:

“Excessive alcohol consumption. Regular consumption of more than two alcoholic drinks a day increases your risk of osteoporosis”.5

Cancer

Is there an association between alcohol and cancer?

In Alcohol and Cancer: Alcohol Can Increase Your Risk of At Least Seven Types of Cancer (United Kingdom) Drinkaware.co.uk note:

“Drinking alcohol has been identified as a contributory factor for seven types of cancer:

  • Bowel cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Laryngeal cancer (voice box)
  • Liver cancer
  • Mouth cancer
  • Oesophageal cancer (food pipe)
  • Pharyngeal cancer (upper throat)
Heavy drinking can also cause cirrhosis of the liver (where damage to the liver causes scar tissues to build up) which can then lead to cancer”.6

Alcohol + Smoking

Is there an association between alcohol + smoking and a greater risk of cancer?

In Alcohol and Cancer: Drinking + Smoking = Greater Risk of Cancer Drinkaware.co.uk explain:

“Throw cigarettes into the mix when you’re drinking and you increase the risk of damage caused to your body’s cells. Smoking and drinking together increases your risk of developing throat and mouth cancer more than doing either on their own. A recent review of studies looked at how often oral and upper throat cancers happen in those who drink and smoke. It found that those who drank but had never smoked were around a third more likely to develop oral or upper throat cancer compared with non-drinkers. However, of those people who currently smoke or used to smoke the risk was almost three times higher compared with non-drinkers who have never smoked”.7

Breast Cancer

Is there an association between alcohol and breast cancer?

The JH explain:

“Regular alcohol consumption increases a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. This risk rises with the level of alcohol consumed, so a reduction in alcohol consumption by women who drink alcohol regularly may reduce their breast cancer risk”.8

Women and Alcohol

If women choose to drink alcohol, what does moderate drinking mean?

DotS and/or DotC (Depending on the Country) this may vary. For the United States in Alcohol and Public Health: Frequently Asked Questions – Drinking Patterns: What Does Moderate Drinking Mean? the CDC explain:

“According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, moderate alcohol consumption is defined as having up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men. This definition refers to the amount consumed on any single day and is not intended as an average over several days. However, the Dietary Guidelines do not recommend that people who do not drink alcohol start drinking for any reason”.9

For the United Kingdom in UK Alcohol Unit Guidance: CMO’s Low Risk Drinking Guidelines – Low Risk Drinking Guidelines the Drinkaware.co.uk elaborate on:

“The Chief Medical Officers (CMO) guideline for both men and women states that:

  • To keep health risks from alcohol to a low level it is safest not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis
  • If you regularly drink as much as 14 units per week, it’s best to spread your drinking evenly over three or more days. If you have one or two heavy drinking episodes a week, you increase your risk of long-term illness and injury”.10

The JH note:

“The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guideline for reducing health risks associated with drinking alcohol defines ‘low risk’ alcohol consumption for healthy women as no more than two standard drinks on any day with regular alcohol free days. This ‘low risk’ level of alcohol consumption in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle does not appear to be associated with long-term illness”.11

High Risk Drinking

What is high risk drinking?

According to the JH:

“High risk alcohol consumption is best defined as anything that exceeds the consumption of more than two standard drinks per day. High risk drinking, including binge drinking (consumption of excess alcohol over a short space of time) can put your health at serious risk. Having more than four standard drinks on a single occasion (even if you only do it once or twice per week) may cause health problems, increase risk of injury and accidents and affect relationships with those close to you”.12

Health Care Provider

What if I would like to drink, drink less or stop drinking?

If you would like to drink,  drink less or stop drinking, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this.

In Alcohol: Weighing Risks and Potential Benefit – Deciding About Drinking the Mayo Clinic note:

“If you don’t drink alcohol, don’t start because of potential health benefits. However, if you drink a light to moderate amount and you’re healthy, you can probably continue as long as you drink responsibly. Be sure to check with your doctor about what’s right for your health and safety”.13

The JH explain:

“If alcohol is affecting your health and you are having trouble stopping drinking, talk to your doctor and seek expert help”.14

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to Alcohol?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Alcohol?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Alcohol: Alcohol & Menopause. Last Updated: 15 January 2020 | Last Reviewed: 17 February 2014. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/healthy-living/alcohol Accessed: 04 June 2020
  2. Alcohol and Public Health: Frequently Asked Questions – About Alcohol: What Is Alcohol? Page Last Reviewed: 15 January 2020. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/faqs.htm#top Accessed: 04 June 2020
  3. Alcohol: Weighing Risks and Potential Benefits. 26 October 2019. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/alcohol/art-20044551 Accessed: 04 June 2020
  4. Alcohol: Alcohol & Menopause. Last Updated: 15 January 2020 | Last Reviewed: 17 February 2014. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/healthy-living/alcohol Accessed: 04 June 2020
  5. Osteoporosis: Symptoms & Causes – Risk Factors: Lifestyle Choices. 19 June 2019. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteoporosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351968 Accessed: 04 June 2020
  6. Alcohol and Cancer: Alcohol Can Increase Your Risk of At Least Seven Types of Cancer. Last Reviewed 17 November 2017. Drinkaware.co.uk https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/check-the-facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/effects-on-the-body/alcohol-and-cancer Accessed: 04 June 2020
  7. Alcohol and Cancer: Drinking + Smoking = Greater Risk of Cancer. Last Reviewed 17 November 2017. Drinkaware.co.uk https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/check-the-facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/effects-on-the-body/alcohol-and-cancer Accessed: 04 June 2020
  8. Alcohol: Alcohol & Breast Cancer. Last Updated: 15 January 2020 | Last Reviewed: 17 February 2014. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/healthy-living/alcohol Accessed: 04 June 2020
  9. Alcohol and Public Health: Frequently Asked Questions – Drinking Patterns: What Does Moderate Drinking Mean? Page Last Reviewed: 15 January 2020. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/faqs.htm#top Accessed: 04 June 2020
  10. UK Alcohol Unit Guidance: CMO’s Low Risk Drinking Guidelines – Low Risk Drinking Guidelines. Drinkaware.co.uk https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/alcohol-facts/alcoholic-drinks-units/latest-uk-alcohol-unit-guidance/ Accessed: 04 June 2020
  11. Alcohol: Alcohol: Alcohol & Your Health – Low Risk Drinking. Last Updated: 15 January 2020 | Last Reviewed: 17 February 2014. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/healthy-living/alcohol Accessed: 04 June 2020
  12. Alcohol: Alcohol: Alcohol & Your Health – High Risk Drinking. Last Updated: 15 January 2020 | Last Reviewed: 17 February 2014. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/healthy-living/alcohol Accessed: 04 June 2020
  13. Alcohol: Weighing Risks and Potential Benefits – Deciding About Drinking. 26 October 2019. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/alcohol/art-20044551 Accessed: 04 June 2020
  14. Alcohol: Alcohol & Menopause. Last Updated: 15 January 2020 | Last Reviewed: 17 February 2014. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/healthy-living/alcohol Accessed: 04 June 2020
Topic Last Updated: 04 June 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 04 June 2020
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