Menopause Mondays: Is Menopause Turning You Into a Wine (o)? Why Alcohol Won’t Cure Your Hot Flashes

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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. 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!



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After struggling with her own severe menopause symptoms and doing years of research, Ellen resolved to share what she learned from experts and her own trial and error. Her goal was to replace the confusion, embarrassment, and symptoms millions of women go through–before, during, and after menopause–with the medically sound solutions she discovered. Her passion to become a “sister” and confidant to all women fueled Ellen’s first book, Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness. As a result of the overwhelming response from her burgeoning audiences and followers’ requests for empowering information they could trust, Ellen’s weekly blog, Menopause MondaysTM, was born.


  1. Susan T

    March 4, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Well POOH.

    • Ellen Dolgen

      March 19, 2013 at 8:18 pm

      LOL Thank you Susan for summing up many women’s reactions POOH and SHUCKS is another one I get.

  2. Haralee

    March 4, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    It was easier for me to just give up the wine :(

    • Ellen Dolgen

      March 5, 2013 at 2:03 am

      You’re not alone. Many women have to forgo wine… Haralee, as long as you’re now able to live your life to the fullest, you should toast to that… even if there is water in that glass.

  3. Carpool Goddess

    March 4, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Does that go for white wine too (getting dizzy just thinking about it)?! Next you’ll tell me I have to give up caffeine. Heaven forbid!

    • Ellen Dolgen

      March 5, 2013 at 1:59 am

      I’ll save the pros and cons of caffeine and menopause for a future menopause mondays…

  4. Janie Emaus

    March 4, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    That’s why I love my vodka! But to tell the truth, it gives me a hot flash, too.


    March 5, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Well if I am a Wino… It sure does help me sleep at night. HA!

    • Ellen Dolgen

      March 5, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      Shelley, the delicious food you cook pairs great with a nice glass of wine! Studies have shown red wines can boost the body’s melatonin levels which can result in a restful nights’ sleep.

  6. Barbara

    March 6, 2013 at 1:22 am

    I never cared for red wine until I hit perimenopause. Thank goodness it never triggered bad hot flashes or night sweats – and what I had were headed off by a glass of ice water or a fan above my bed. Whew!

  7. Ellen Dolgen

    March 6, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    Hi Barbara-Good for you! The glass of water and fan helps for sure. Were you a white wine drinker or alcohol gal before perimenopause? If you’re still in need of a fan and not just at nighttime, check out BlowMeCool fan in the Products That May Help You store on the website. It’s a discrete fan that fits in your hand for the girl on the go. It is great to hear from you!

  8. DarleneMAM

    March 15, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Yet-another reason for forgoing my pinot grigio (sigh).


    March 15, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    G+ and tweeted this one for you baby!!

    • Ellen Dolgen

      March 18, 2013 at 4:45 pm

      Thank you for helping to spread the information.

  10. Kat Meller

    March 16, 2013 at 11:19 am

    As of late, EVERYTHING gives me hot flashes so I’ve just decided I’m not giving up anything because this too will pass …..
    Does that make me selfish or silly or ?

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