Alcohol and Menopause

alcohol and menopause

Menopause causes dramatic physical and emotional changes, including hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia and unpredictable mood swings. Some pre- and post-menopausal women may find themselves turning to alcohol for relief, unaware of the potential risks of this coping mechanism.

Alcohol and Menopause Symptoms

Approximately 75% of women experience hot flashes and night sweats due to hormonal shifts affecting their bodies’ temperature regulation. Alcohol can trigger these symptoms, exacerbating discomfort rather than alleviating it.

Insomnia is a common complaint among menopausal women, who may reach for a nightcap to help them fall asleep faster. Despite its initial sedative effects, alcohol ultimately disrupts the sleep/wake cycle, making restful nights even more elusive.

Menopause can also usher in a heightened vulnerability to mood disorders, including depression. The combination of menopausal symptoms and mood changes can lead some women to self-medicate with alcohol. However, heavy drinking can increase your likelihood of depression, creating a vicious cycle that is hard to break.

Aging and Alcohol Sensitivity

As women age, alcohol’s effects become more pronounced due to physiological differences, such as lower body mass and a slower metabolism. This increased sensitivity means older women are at a higher risk of alcohol’s long-term health impacts, including organ damage and memory problems.

The stigma surrounding alcohol dependence among women can also hinder your access to treatment and recovery. Despite these hurdles, recognizing the need for support is the first step toward reclaiming health and well-being.

Finding Healthier Coping Mechanisms

If menopause has caused you to reevaluate your relationship with alcohol, it’s time to explore more effective coping strategies.

  1. Seek support: Your OB-GYN or general practitioner can recommend healthy ways to find relief from your menopausal symptoms.
  2. Prioritize wellness: Exercising, eating a balanced diet and practicing stress-relieving techniques like meditation can improve your health and mitigate discomfort.
  3. Explore therapy: Ask a mental health professional to help you manage your mood swings and depression without relying on alcohol.
  4. Consider recovery programs: Alcohol treatment offers customized care plans for the unique challenges associated with menopause and aging.

Find Your Solution Today

Menopause is a significant life transition requiring understanding and compassion. Women dealing with the dual challenge of menopausal symptoms and alcohol dependence must recognize the risks and seek appropriate help.

At Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat, we offer compassionate, hospital-based treatment for those looking to overcome addiction and find healthier ways to cope with life’s changes. If you struggle with menopause, mental health difficulties and addiction, let us guide you to a path of recovery and renewal.