People suffering from PCOS are recommended to make modification in their diet and lifestyle. They are also asked to eliminate alcohol from the diet. Many have a question in their mind is alcohol that dangerous that you need to give it up for the whole life?
Women process alcohol much slower as compared to men, which is why it has a greater impact on women.
Why You Must Limit Alcohol When Suffering from PCOS?
Below mentioned are a few reasons why alcohol is not safe to be used by those suffering from PCOS.
Cocktails are high sugar content beverages. Once alcohol is mixed with the sugary syrups it’s sugar and carb content is highly raised.
Wine, beer, and distilled alcoholic beverages are also high in sugar and calories.
Consuming alcohol and related beverages can lead to weight gain. Those suffering from PCOS and gaining weight, adds to the trouble, hence should stay away from it.
Disturbs Your Insulin Level
Consuming alcohol in excess reduces insulin sensitivity. It also increases the glucagon and other hormones which raise the glucose level.
It can lead to a fluctuation in the insulin levels thus disturbing the sugar levels of the body.
Heavy alcohol consumption can lead to irregularity in the periods. Consuming alcohol increases the risk or infertility and may negatively impact the time to pregnancy (1).
Alcohol is the most widely used recreational substance, and it is estimated that 12% of U.S couples experience difficulty in conceiving or have impaired fertility due to it (2).
It is important to avoid binge drinking to prevent disruption of menstrual cycles.
Those suffering from PCOS are already suffering from fertility issue there is no need of adding one more cause to it.
Alcohol Stresses The Liver
The liver gets stressed after a few glasses of drinks as it views alcohol as a dangerous toxin and works hard to metabolize it.
The liver uses up the stored antioxidants and vitamin C to breakdown alcohol causing deficiency of vitamin and minerals in the body.
Alcohol Can Cause Estrogen Dominance
Alcohol is associated with increased estrogen levels and there are many studies supporting this (3). Those suffering from PCOS already have an imbalance in this hormone level. Alcohol consumption further aggravates it.
There might be a noticeable increase in the PCOS symptoms after a night of binge drinking.
In females with PCOS, due to increased testosterone levels, there is a problem of appetite fluctuation. It might be due to reduced cholecystokinin secretions.
Cholecystokinins mediate satiety and give a feeling of fullness. Reduction in the level means the body will not get a signal that it is full. This leads to binging even after meals.
Similarly drinking excess alcohol drifts PCOS out of the mind and makes you susceptible to more poor food choices. This would affect weight, blood sugar and other health risks related to PCOS.
Irritates Gut Lining
PCOS is related to low-grade systemic inflammation which leads to gut dysbiosis and imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut.
Alcohol is an irritant for the lining of the intestine and can worsen the condition. It disrupts the balance of gut flora and also causes poor nutrient absorption. It worsens the bloating faced by females suffering from PCOS.
Interferes With Sleep
Regular sleep is important for those suffering from PCOS and alcohol interferes with the restful sleep.
You may feel drowsy after a few drinks, and if you sleep and be awake after a few hours, might find it difficult to go back to sleep.
Worsens Triglyceride Levels
Women with PCOS are at risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases and most of them have high triglyceride and LDL levels.
Drinking alcohol even in moderate amounts can raise the triglycerides levels, which can prove to be harmful to the female suffering from PCOS (4).
Increase The Risk Of Depression
Regular consumption of alcohol affects the adrenals and makes you feel fatigued. It also makes you less motivated to stick to PCOS friendly lifestyle choices.
If suffering from PCOS and taking metformin, be very cautious as a combination of metformin-alcohol-PCOS can be a dangerous combination. It may lead to hypoglycemia. In some, it may also lead to lactic acidosis which is very dangerous as it can damage the lungs, heart, kidney, and blood vessels.
Having a drink as a part of socializing is fine. Remember it’s your body and the disease you are suffering from already comes with a list of health risk. Why add to the trouble.