Menopause offers us a whole new reason to want to drink. Forget work, spouses, kids, and money. Those may have been your old reasons for cracking open a bottle of Pinot Noir. Now there's a new one: the extremely frustrating, often debilitating, more-than-maddening symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. We've survived dating, figured out that we can't ever fully figure out our spouse, delivered and raised our children, and finally it should be OUR TURN. Unfortunately, Mother Nature has other plans for us. Instead of basking in our (almost?) empty-nest glory, we're in perimenopause. UGH!
Although red wine may be thought by some in the Community of Menopausal Warriors, as the go-to elixir for taking the edge off many of their menopausal symptoms, it actually may contribute and worsen them, according to Mayo Clinic. Meanwhile, the media is flooded with conflicting information. The New York Times has written about wine increasing your risks of breast cancer, while The Atlantic has written about red wine's ability to prevent breast cancer. That confusion is enough to drive a woman to drink! Unfortunately for the Perimenopause Sisterhood, that delicious, red (or white!) concoction of fermented fruit can be a double-edged sword.
We all know that alcohol can warm our insides. No coat in sub-zero temperatures? That's okay! You have Wine! Well, most of us don't need that anymore. We have Hot Flash. Hot Flash can sense when we're just getting comfortable in bed, or are in the middle of a presentation in front of a panel of employers. Hot Flash knows when we don't need our pajamas anymore, when we're on a hot date, and when we're standing in line at the grocery store -- especially the long lines.
Who needs alcohol? We are now vessels of the Hot Flash. Think of Hot Flash as that close-talking acquaintance who shows up at the most inopportune times, and doesn't get the hint that you're not interested in getting buddy-buddy.
For some reason, Wine (who may have been your old BFF -- the one who's always been there for you, seeing you through the roughest of patches) may enrage Hot Flash. Hot Flash is jealous of Wine, and when you begin to sip on your most favorite tried-and-true label, BAM! Hot Flash gets angry, and jumps right in to prove that it has a higher capacity furnace than anything you can drink.
So, how do you get rid of Hot Flash in order to be more available for that occasional relaxing and satisfying glass of wine? Find hormone happiness! If your symptoms are dictating your daily routines, get help. If you can't enjoy your life and its pleasures, whatever they may be, you need to reach out for expert medical advice. Be your own best friend and seek the support of a perimenopause and menopause specialist. (Remember, that may not necessarily be the doctor who delivered your babies!)
Hot Flash is not in charge unless you allow it to be. You are not alone! Trust how you feel and get the help you need and deserve. In a flash you can be sipping that wine - fresh as a daisy.
Remember: Reaching out is IN! Suffering in silence is OUT!
About Ellen Dolgen
Ellen Dolgen is a Health and Wellness Advocate, Menopause Awareness Expert, Author, Speaker and health blogger. Ellen is the author of Shmirshky: The Pursuit of Hormone Happiness -- a cut-to-the-chase book on perimenopause and menopause that's filled with crucial information, helpful guides and hilarious and heartfelt stories. Known for her humor, compassion and sassy personality, Ellen has appeared on numerous television and radio broadcasts, including: The Rachael Ray Show, The Doctors, Oprah Radio, Playboy Radio, "Tell Me More" on NPR, Doctor Radio and dozens of other regional and national media outlets. Ellen is a frequent guest on the popular radio show, "Broadminded," on Sirius XM Radio (Stars XM 107) and is a regular contributor on Huff/Post 50 along with blogging for many leading women's health sites. Ellen has dedicated herself to women's wellness through a wide breadth of activities ranging from being a founding board member of the UCSD Student Wellness Center, working with pharmaceutical companies in helping them to effectively address women's health needs, serving on hospital advisory boards and advocating for cardiovascular health.
Ellen's motto is: Reaching out is IN! Suffering in silence is OUT!