How Alcohol Affects Your Hormones

How Alcohol Affects Your Hormones - androgens, estrogen - estrogen dominance. Severe PMS and heavy, painful periods.

Let’s talk about the effect of alcohol on your hormones. And for the sake of this topic, I’m talking about consistent alcohol consumption, not the odd glass of wine. I get it, I like wine too - this post doesn’t come from a place of judgement.

So - the liver is responsible for detoxing alcohol. But it’s also important for metabolizing estrogen. In women, more than one alcoholic drink per day has been shown to increase circulation of androgens (ie. testosterone) and estrogens (1, 2) – this predisposes you to symptoms of estrogen dominance.

In women, estrogen dominance (essentially, not being properly balanced with progesterone) can present as severe PMS (irritability, headaches, breast tenderness), and heavy, clotty (and/or painful) periods. In fact, fibroids are strongly associated with estrogen dominance. Additionally, estrogen dominance (among many other factors) can increase the risk of hormone-dependent cancers (breast, uterine and ovarian). (3)


Significant, consistent alcohol intake is also associated with increased levels of cortisol. (4) And speaking of cortisol – higher levels will contribute to low progesterone (which further amplifies the estrogen dominance)! (3) And as we’ve previously discussed (go take a peek at older posts), inappropriate cortisol moderation is also involved with sleep concerns, weight gain and all sorts of other fun things.

 

For both men and women alike, better moderation of alcohol can create great improvements in hormones.

Reference(s):

(1) PMID: 15784178

2) PMID: 26728472

(3) Warshowsky, A. Integrative Medicine: Uterine Fibroids. Chapter 58, 578-591. E2.

(4) PMID: 23584113

 
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