Have you ever been at a holiday party or cookout and someone offers you a glass of wine or a mixed drink? You may say to yourself, “ Oh, one drink is fine!” Or partake only to appease your host/ess or guests (if you are the one throwing the shindig!) The drinks may taste so yummy and you may forget how many you’ve had, right? For women with PCOS, alcohol is not a friendly addition to our diet. Let’s take a look at what alcohol can do to a PCOS body.
So Much Sugar!
The first thing to consider is that most alcoholic drinks (cocktails, wine, mixed drinks, and beer) are high in sugar. We are already prone to insulin resistance and trying to increase our body’s insulin sensitivity plays a key part in helping our bodies heal from the effects of PCOS. When we drink that margarita, a spike in our blood sugar occurs and more fat is sent to storage.
The vicious cycle resumes and all of your hard work is for not. Well, you can turn that around by drinking Mocktails (non-alcoholic drinks), being mindful of the sugar content. You can get our Holiday Mocktail Guide here!
Your Stomach Won’t Be Thankful
In addition to this, if you take Metformin to manage your PCOS symptoms, ingesting alcohol can cause an increase in any gastrointestinal issues that often are associated with Metformin use. Those martinis that you had the other night? They can add to any gastrointestinal issues by damaging the lining of our intestines. What happens next includes poor nutrient absorption. Getting the right nutrients into a PCOS body is super important. If these nutrients aren’t absorbed properly, our bodies have trouble healing and remaining balanced! Your balance of microflora becomes disrupted and this can impact digestion and immune function. So, whenever you think about having a few glasses of wine, remember that your stomach is not going to be thankful.
Your Body Is Already Working Overtime to Balance Your Hormones
Another thing to consider when ordering that mixed drink, it that alcohol tends to reduce our inhibitions and as a result, we may not make the best choices when it comes to food. It stimulates our appetite and instead of eating that delicious, healthy grilled chicken salad, we end up eating an entire pizza! Plus, our livers are already prone to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. We don’t want to increase the chances if we can help it! Our livers are smart and process the toxins we ingest first. Our PCOS bodies know that alcohol is a poison, so it metabolizes the alcohol BEFORE it works on processing our hormones! And we definitely need our bodies to focus on hormone balancing. The glasses of wine that you had after dinner can change the way our bodies metabolize estrogen, causing blood estrogen levels to rise. Our hormones, especially progesterone and estrogen, are already struggling to remain balanced. We can make our body’s job less difficult by skipping the alcohol.
Alcohol can be Sedating, but that’s not all!
Last but not least, alcohol can disrupt our sleep. To remain balanced and to feel our best, we need to make sure we get enough beneficial sleep. Yes, alcohol can make us feel relaxed and often sleepy. But, did you know that it also increases our stress hormones while we are dreaming and this, in turn, causes a poor night’s sleep (that’s it if we are lucky)? Our bodies become dehydrated, inside and out. Being dehydrated comes with a host of unpleasant symptoms that we do not want to deal with!
To sum it up, alcoholic beverages do more harm than good. If you ask me, it’s not worth the harm it does to our bodies and we are already trying hard to help it to heal. Why make it harder? If you are partaking in alcohol on a daily basis, don’t beat yourself up. Try to avoid alcohol at least one day this week! Then cut back slowly each week. If you don’t drink much alcohol, then try going an entire month and see how amazing you feel. Still tempted? Try a Mocktail, but make sure it is low in sugar. Who knows? Maybe your party guests/hosts may want to try that delicious-looking non-alcoholic drink that you are sipping on.