skip to Main Content
a woman drinks a glass of wine while looking out a window

Like age, hormones can also affect how we process alcohol. Higher estrogen levels, for example, slow alcohol metabolism. For women, that means tolerance is generally highest around menstruation, when estrogen levels drop, and lowest around ovulation, when estrogen is high. (Other factors can affect this equation: Overall hydration, for instance, can dip during menstruation, decreasing tolerance.)

In general, excess alcohol consumption increases production of estrogen and decreases the ways it’s metabolized, says functional-medicine practitioner Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN, NP. “There are different pathways where estrogen is metabolized, and some pathways increase the risk of breast cancer. That may be one reason there’s an association between regular alcohol consumption and breast cancer.”

People with uterine fibroids, endometriosis, or PMS symptoms may want to be especially careful to moderate their consumption, says Haas. “PMS symptoms like breast tenderness or night sweats are indicative of an estrogen imbalance.

Alcohol may exacerbate perimenopause symptoms, too, in part because it increases noradrenaline, which contributes to hot flashes. It can also lower testosterone by increasing levels of the enzyme that breaks it down.

This was excerpted from “A Toast to Moderation” which was published in the December 2021 issue of Experience Life magazine.

Mo
Mo Perry

Mo Perry is a freelance writer and actor in Minneapolis.

Thoughts to share?

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

City and state are only displayed in our print magazine if your comment is chosen for publication.

ADVERTISEMENT

More Like This

winter mocktails
By Betsy Nelson
Festive and healthy beverages ideal for any holiday — with or without alcohol.
a glass of wine sitting along side a book
By Mo Perry
Here's how that nightcap contributes to sleepless nights.
Phoebe Lapine
By Phoebe Lapine
Phoebe Lapine shares her tips for a healthy — and fun — holiday.
Back To Top