In this re-released episode (from Oct 2022), Dr. Lisa and Toni discuss who is and isn’t drinking alcohol and why. Did you know that any consumption of alcohol increases your risk of cancer and can impact symptoms of perimenopause like hot flashes? There are new recommendations for drinking alcohol in Canada based on new research and it might be time to question our culture around drinking alcohol, especially for moms.
Research shows that any alcohol intake over 100 grams/week can increase your risk of death and reducing your alcohol consumption from 196 g per week to 100 g per week or below may increase your life by 1–2 years when you are 40 years of age.
100g of alcohol = less than 7 standard drinks
14g of alcohol per standard drink
- 12 oz of 5% beer, cider or cooler
- 5 oz of 12% wine
- 1.5 oz of 40% liquor/distilled alcohol – gin, vodka, rum, etc
Standard Alcohol Calculator: https://therightamount.ca/sensible-guidelines/standard-drink-calculator/
Signs of alcohol use disorder include:
- Blacking out or not remembering things that happened.
- Continuing to drink even if it causes distress or harm to you or others.
- Drinking more or longer than you planned.
- Feeling irritable or cranky when you’re not drinking.
- Frequent hangovers.
- Getting into dangerous situations when you’re drinking (for example, driving, having unsafe sex or falling).
- Giving up activities so you can drink.
- Having cravings for alcohol.
- Having repeated problems with work, school, relationships or the law because of drinking.
- Needing to drink more and more to get the same effect.
- Not being able to stop drinking once you’ve started.
- Spending a lot of time drinking or recovering from drinking.
- Wanting to cut back but not being able to.
- Obsessing over alcohol.
Women have a different metabolism of alcohol!
Women have lower activity of the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase in the stomach than men, which leads to a higher absorption of alcohol in women by up to 30% when the same volume is consumed compared to men.
How Alcohol Can Impact You in Perimenopause:
- Affects hormones
- Increases estrogen levels through aromatization
- Increases stress hormone cortisol
- Decreased libido
- Increased fat storage and weight gain
- Increased risk of cancer:
- Low (1 drink daily or less) alcohol consumption increases the risk of esophageal cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer
- Moderate (1-2 drinks daily) alcohol consumption increases the risk of colon cancer, rectal cancer, colorectal cancer, esophageal cancer, breast cancer
- High (over 2 drinks daily) alcohol consumption is linked to almost all cancer incidence and increased cancer mortality
- Poor sleep
- See Episode 73
- Worsens hot flashes
- See Episode 32
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Worsens mood swings, feeling stress and anxiety
- Worsens blood sugar swings/feeling hangry
- Poor impulse control “say, do” things you otherwise may not
- Increased risk of accidents
- Disrupts your gut microbiome and can lead to leaky gut
- See Episode 8
- Increased inflammation
Alternatives to Drinking Alcohol:
- Enjoy other drinks like tulsi tea, kombucha, sparkling water
- Avoid triggers
- Connect with friends over coffee, tea or an activity like walking or sports
- Enjoy dry bars or mocktails at a cocktail bar
- Attend social events that don’t revolve around alcohol like Jaybird, othership, sober music festivals
Today’s Mama Must-Have:
Dr. Lisa is a big fan of 24gooddeeds.ca charity advent calendar.
Dr. Toni loves getting outside on the weekend to enjoy the fall colours at local parks.
What’s Else is Happening?
Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing session for expecting parents looking to decrease fear and anxiety to support their natural instincts around labour and birth is happening this fall. Join her at https://www.hypnobirthingcalgary.com/register
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Stay safe and healthy everyone!Disclaimer:The information provided is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.