Peri and Pinot Don’t Mix?!

July 22, 2020.
We connected with the lovely Rachel, who has offered incredible insight into some unexpected changes when she entered peri. Read on, friends!

Have any of you Perry beauties out there found that when your evening partakes in a little vino, or whatever strikes your fancy, is not as much fun as it used to be? Yeah, me too. And all I have to say is……WHAT? Perimenopause is literally trying to remove all of my vices! One. By. Stinkin’. One.
I was never much of a drinker. I’d have a glass here or there, especially with a meal that was particularly delish but I could go without it. And honestly, I never felt like I needed a drink to have a good time. When I moved to the suburbs, I was especially wary as it was my first experience going out to eat and then having to drive myself home, so that certainly kept me stone-cold sober. But even at home, alcohol was just never something I felt much of a love for.
But then came perimenopause and suddenly, I felt like I “needed to take the edge off.” Not a great feeling, as you know. Perimeno symptoms began for me about 7 years ago and my alcoholic beverage intake definitely, shall we say, took an upswing. Wheeeee! And, here’s the thing: I THOUGHT I WAS HELPING MYSELF!
As my symptoms grew in intensity, I thought I’d found a great solution.
And if I thought I was really doing myself a favor, I’d make it red wine because, you know, those antioxidants and all. Feeling hot flashy? I’ll have a drink! Feeling blue? Pour me another! Feeling achy? Where’s my glass? Feeling irritable? I’ll drink to that! Little did I know that I was actually exacerbating my symptoms. Damnit!
Alcohol can not only trigger symptoms of perimenopause it can actually make them a whole lot worse. Read on for the downer news on the downer beverage.
Hot Flashes. Oh, yeah, you want to increase those? Have a drink! Because booze can expand your blood vessels, you’ll feel hotter than you wanted to and not in the way you meant to! Drinking just before bedtime? You can be sure to expect those night sweats. Those hot flashes that drench you in sweat when you’re fast asleep and force you to drag your now freezing cold body out of bed to change your soaked PJ’s. And isn’t fun climbing BACK into those cold, wet sheets and trying to fall back asleep? I know, I love that part too.
Insomnia. The best part about drinking in the evening? I know you know this. Sure, you nod off nice and easy but then, just a few hours later you’re.…say it with me now….wide awake! Don’t you love it!? Yep, that drink will ensure you get a lousy night’s sleep. The same chemicals in your beverage that helped you feel ready to hit the sack just a few short hours ago have now worn off and you’re left staring at the ceiling telling yourself it wasn’t even worth it.
Joint Pain. I have arthritis. And I used to think, when I was feeling achy and creaky, that a drink really helped to numb the pain. In fact, I was actually making the pain worse! You know why?
Because even my little bit of boozing was increasing inflammation in my nagging body and that inflammation doesn’t wear off when the buzz does. NO! It sticks around, baby, ensuring you know it’s there for a long time.
Nutrient Stripper. As if I didn’t already share enough bad news, get this: alcohol strips your body of calcium and magnesium! You know what you need those two things for? That’s right, everything! You need these two things, especially as you age. Oh, and one more thing to note here, perimeno babes like us need to stay hydrated. Alcohol causes us to dehydrate and not only get drunker faster, but also feel super hungover in the morning. Nothing like spending an entire next day recuperating from a boozy night, am I right?
Obnoxiousness. This is my personal favorite. I know this isn’t technically a symptom of perimenopause but since hormones can disrupt our ability to mood regulate at any given time, I’m going to just include it as a “thing.”
Now, I know it’s super hard to believe that I have an obnoxious bone in my body (Ha. Ha.) but let me just tell you, I have a few and I thought I broke them all, but they seem to have healed up sometime in the last ten years and well, they’re super strong now.
I’m really lucky. And so is my partner, incidentally, because he gets to be the proud recipient of most of my alcohol-induced obnoxious zingers.
So, ladies, let me just say, if you have any interest in NOT needing to apologize to your partner the night after what was supposed to have been super FUN, keep your portions small, like 5oz small, and stop after one!

perry warrior Rachel is a CNC, wife, and empty-nesting mother with a sincere heart to create safe spaces where peri- and menopausal women can help each other navigate these particular years together with honesty, thoughtfulness, and a lot of laughter.
After finding that her own perimenopausal symptoms were disruptive to her life, Rachel sought out meaningful help and information and felt that there were not enough resources for mid-life women where they could learn from each other and express themselves with plenty of compassion and without judgment.
Rachel has worked with chronic pain patients for over 10 years and understands how food, nutrients, and movement can be used as powerful tools to help people rebalance and heal themselves from all sorts of physical and physiological challenges, including those driven by fluctuating hormones.
From her blog, Rachel hopes to encourage women to inspire each other to dispense stories and insights about everything from food to fashion, career to beauty so that we might together elevate our experiences and live out our best years yet!

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice, does not take the place of medical advice from your physician, and is not intended to treat or cure any disease. Patients should see a qualified medical provider for assessment and treatment.

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Julia Walker
perry expert Julia (RN, BSN, BA) is a registered nurse based in Colorado. Julia's nursing background in women’s health has ranged from neonatal and postpartum care to labor and delivery, to outpatient gynecological medicine for both adolescent and adult populations. She specializes in helping women optimize their health during perimenopause and beyond.

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