“Drinking too much alcohol can impact menopause by:
contributing to unwanted weight gain, interfering with sleep
causing changes in your mood which may affect…”.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

Benefits and Risks

Is alcohol good for you or not?

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

“Research on alcohol suggests a sobering conclusion: Drinking alcohol in any amount carries a health risk. While the risk is low for moderate intake, the risk goes up as the amount you drink goes up”.2

Menopause

How can drinking too much alcohol impact menopause?

In Looking After Yourself: Alcohol the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH) explain:


Alcohol and Menopause“Drinking too much alcohol can impact menopause by:

  • Contributing to unwanted weight gain
  • Interfering with sleep
  • Causing changes in your mood which may affect your relationships
  • Triggering hot flushes and night sweats

In the long term, heavy drinking can also lead to an increased risk for developing some cancers, depression, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and poor bone health”.3

Cancer

Is there an association between alcohol and cancer?

In Alcohol and Cancer: Alcohol and Cancer (United Kingdom) Drinkaware.co.uk note:

“Drinking alcohol has been identified as something that can cause seven types of cancer:

  • Breast cancer
  • Bowel cancer
  • Mouth cancer
  • Food pipe (oesophageal) cancer
  • Upper throat (pharyngeal) cancer
  • Voice box (laryngeal) cancer
  • Liver cancer

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”.4

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”.6

In Alcohol: What Is High-Risk Drinking? Drinking In Midlife the JH also note:

“Research shows that the consumption of alcohol in women aged 45 to 64 years has increased since 2001. This is concerning, as about 75% of breast cancer cases happen in women aged 50 years and over”.5

Alcohol + Smoking

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

In Alcohol and Cancer: Drinking and Smoking Combined Lead To A Greater Risk of Some Cancers Drinkaware.co.uk explain:

“If you drink alcohol and you’re a smoker too, this increases your risk of developing throat, mouth, food pipe and bowel cancers, more than doing either on their own.

People who use both alcohol and tobacco have a five-fold increased risk of developing cancers of the mouth, throat, voice box and food pipe compared to people who use either alcohol or tobacco alone. For heavy users, the risk is up to 30 times higher”.7

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 the risk of osteoporosis”.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 Use: Alcohol and Your Health – Understanding Alcohol Use: Moderate Alcohol Use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note:

“Moderate drinking is having one drink or less in a day for women, or two drinks or less in a day for men”.9

For the United Kingdom in UK Low Risk Drinking Guidelines: Weekly Guidelines the Drinkaware.co.uk elaborate on:

“The Chief Medical Officers’ guideline for both men and women are:

  • To keep health risks from alcohol to a low level it’s 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 over three or more days. If you have one or two heavy drinking episodes a week, you increase your risk of death from long-term illness and from accidents and injuries
  • The risk of developing a range of health problems (including cancers of the mouth, throat and breast) increases the more you drink on a regular basis
  • If you wish to cut down the amount you drink, a good way to help achieve this is to have several drink-free days every week”.10

High-Risk Drinking

What are the health effects of high-risk drinking?

According to the JH:

“High-risk drinking can have short-term and long-term effects on your health. Short-term effects can include poor sleep, headaches, dehydration and changes in mood. Long-term effects can include alcohol dependence, depression, weight gain and increased risk of some cancers (e.g. breast cancer)”.11

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:

“Drinking moderately if you’re otherwise healthy may be a risk you’re willing to take. But heavy drinking carries a much higher risk even for those without other health concerns. Be sure to ask your healthcare professional about what’s right for your health and safety”.12

The JH explain:

“If you or someone you know needs alcohol support, talk to your doctor. They will give you information and may recommend counselling, treatment and support programs”.13

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics A-Z related to Alcohol and Menopause?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Alcohol and Menopause?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Looking After Yourself: Alcohol. Last Updated: 19 January 2024 | Last Reviewed: 19 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/looking-after-yourself#alcohol Accessed: 04 July 2024
  2. Alcohol Use: Weighing Risks and Benefits. 21 June 2024. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/alcohol/art-20044551 Accessed: 04 July 2024
  3. Looking After Yourself: Alcohol. Last Updated: 19 January 2024 | Last Reviewed: 19 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/looking-after-yourself#alcohol Accessed: 04 July 2024
  4. Alcohol and Cancer: Alcohol and Cancer. Last Reviewed: 27 January 2022. Drinkaware.co.uk https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/check-the-facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/effects-on-the-body/alcohol-and-cancer Accessed: 04 July 2024
  5. Alcohol: What Is High-Risk Drinking? Health Effects of High-Risk Drinking. Last Updated: 12 February 2024 | Last Reviewed: 23 January 2024. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/healthy-living/alcohol Accessed: 04 July 2024
  6. Alcohol: What Is High-Risk Drinking? Drinking In Midlife. Last Updated: 12 February 2024 | Last Reviewed: 23 January 2024. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/healthy-living/alcohol Accessed: 04 July 2024
  7. Alcohol and Cancer: Drinking and Smoking Combined Lead To A Greater Risk of Some Cancers. Last Reviewed: 27 January 2022. Drinkaware.co.uk https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/check-the-facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/effects-on-the-body/alcohol-and-cancer Accessed: 04 July 2024
  8. Osteoporosis: Symptoms & Causes – Risk Factors: Lifestyle Choices. 24 February 2024. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteoporosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351968 Accessed: 04 July 2024
  9. Alcohol Use: Alcohol and Your Health – Understanding Alcohol Use: Moderate Alcohol Use. 15 May 2024. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/about-alcohol-use/ Accessed: 04 July 2024
  10. UK Low Risk Drinking Guidelines: Weekly Guidelines. Last Reviewed: 30 June 2022. Drinkaware.co.uk https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/facts/information-about-alcohol/alcohol-and-the-facts/low-risk-drinking-guidelines Accessed: 04 July 2024
  11. Alcohol: What Is High Risk Drinking? Health Effects of High-Risk Drinking. Last Updated: 12 February 2024 | Last Reviewed: 23 January 2024. Jean Hailes https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/healthy-living/alcohol Accessed: 04 July 2024
  12. Alcohol: Weighing Risks and Potential Benefits – Deciding About Drinking. 21 June 2024. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/alcohol/art-20044551 Accessed: 04 July 2024
  13. Alcohol: Where To Get Help. Last Updated: 12 February 2024 | Last Reviewed: 23 January 2024. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/healthy-living/alcohol Accessed: 04 July 2024
Topic Last Updated: 04 July 2024 – Topic Last Reviewed: 04 July 2024

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