How does wine consumption affect menopause and its symptoms, like hot flashes?

How does wine consumption affect menopause and its symptoms, like hot flashes?
Nov 10, 2021

Q: How does wine consumption affect menopause and its symptoms, like hot flashes?—Samantha, London

A: Menopause is a natural decline in reproductive hormones that occurs when women reach their forties or fifties. One of the most common symptoms is hot flashes, which are sudden feelings of warmth in the upper body. Although menopausal symptoms are unavoidable, they could be positively or negatively affected by alcohol consumption depending on what menopausal stage you’re in.

Dr. Michael Cackovic, a maternal fetal medicine physician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, says that as we age, our body’s water volume decreases. Less water means less dilution for alcohol and more vulnerability to the effects of menopause. He adds that many women find that drinking worsens menopause symptoms due to the vasodilation (expanding of blood vessels) caused by alcohol consumption. Studies show a complex relationship between alcohol and women’s health.

"Some studies show that perimenopausal women who drink [alcohol] had a lower risk for hot flashes compared with [abstainers], while some studies show that postmenopausal women who drink have more hot flushes and sleep disturbances," Dr. Cackovic told Wine Spectator. "The effects of alcohol [may be] different with regard to where you are in your menopausal journey."

Consult your physician to explore how daily wine consumption may affect your hormonal health.—Shawn Zylberberg

Q & A health women-s-health

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