Alcohol!

I've been to the doctor as like most of you I felt like I was going mad and just didn't feel myself and after blood tests it was confirmed that I was going through the menopause which was a huge shock as I was still on the pill! so 12 months later I still feel nuts, have bad night and day sweats, have tried different treatments but my biggest problem is that I've seen to have turned to alcohol. Has anyone else done this? my husband is not happy at all as you can imagine! I know its not right but I have such a fear of not be able to sleep that I find it helps. Does anyone have the same issue?

Comments

  • KazKaz Posts: 400 mod

    Hello @Hardingetta

    Welcome!

    Oh I hear you with this one! It's good that you recognise that you do this!

    I readily admit that I used food and alcohol as coping mechanisms for menopause symptoms that made me miserable for a very long time. I knew, even as I watched the weight pile on, that I wasn't helping myself, and since I suffered with chronic insomnia, I also knew that I was kidding myself when I told myself (and my husband), that the 2 or 3 glasses of wine I had four or five nights a week, were to help me sleep. Of course, it didn't help at all ! It was just a way of making the world go away for a few hours, and that's ridiculous, because I didn't feel better, it didn't make me sleep better (it definitely only added to the sleep deprivation!), and I always felt worse in the morning. It was so self destructive, and it frightens me to look back and realise just how much I was drinking.

    After nearly 16 years, I finally persuaded a GP to prescribe HRT, and five months in, I feel so much better. I rarely drink. I can't say that I really enjoyed the alcohol when I was drinking in the evening. I was just trying to to numb the misery. So, I can honestly say that I don't really miss it. I've stopped eating rubbish - and that's easier to do now that I don't have so many symptoms to deal with. I'm two stone down. Now when I do have a glass of wine, or a gin, I enjoy just the one or two, and I no longer feel the need to drink to wipe out the sadness!

    My biggest discovery , and probably the most dramatic impact on my sleep, was finding mindfulness apps. It was one of those days when I was at the end of my tether, desperate for more than a couple of hours sleep a night so I downloaded an app. I swear that I thought it was all mumbo jumbo, but I'd tried everything I could (the wine definitely wasn't working!) and I thought it was worth a try. I put on a random sleep track - and I fell asleep. I kept going because I assumed it was a fluke - but little by little, I realised that this was working, so I carried on.

    I've since switched to the Clarity app by @Becks_Armstrong who is one of our brilliant experts on the forum. I find that the app has helped me in many ways. I'm able to keep my anxiety in check, I've had success dealing with my hot flushes, I seem to be calmer all round - but the biggest, and most transformative result of using this, has been the ability to get to sleep, and stay asleep. On the nights when I do have to get up to the loo, I find it easy to get back to sleep with the help of the app. It has no impact on my other half lying next to me (I worried that it would disturb him) but he's simply pleased that when he wakes up, I'm still in the bed next to him and not on the sofa, I'm no longer spending my evenings with a bottle of wine, and I feel and really am more like myself again. It's amazing how much better life is, and how well you can cope with everything, when you can get a decent amount of sleep.

    I would definitely recommend that you give this a try.

    What are you using for your other symptoms?

    Kaz 😊



  • HardingettaHardingetta Posts: 3

    Hi Kaz

    thanks sooo much, its like you read my mind. I am in tears now it's just like the flood gates have opened.

    I have the sleep issue, day sweats, mind fog - some days better than others, dry skin and feel like I'm going mad some days.

    I've tried menopace, sage, green tea, some weight loss tablets, the doctor gave me something to stop me sweating but I had a dry mouth so stopped that. I have made an appointment with the doctor to go on HRT as I just cant see the light at the end of the tunnel. I will definitely try the app and let you know how I get on.


    Thanks again

  • KazKaz Posts: 400 mod

    I'm glad it's helped to open up - it's a hard thing to admit to.

    I had similar tablets - used to treat hyperhidrosis. Literally dried out everything, except the hot flushes!

    I'm so glad you have an appointment booked. Be open and honest with your GP - if it helps, write a list to take with you. I get in front of my GP and forget everything I want to say so a list helps me just to stay focussed.

    And keep talking - to your husband, to your GP and to us!

    Good luck 😊

  • Julesfab50Julesfab50 Posts: 1
    edited June 4

    Hi

    I went on HRT 9months ago after months of night sweats, anxiety,mood swings, feeling emotional all the time and just not feeling myself. I really felt like I was going mad and felt I just couldn’t carry on the way I was. I’m so pleased I started HRT it’s made me feel like my old self again. The benefits definitely outweigh the negatives.I thought I’d give it ago for 6months and now I wouldn’t give them up, as I couldn’t go back to how I was feeling before!

  • Becks_ArmstrongBecks_Armstrong Posts: 28 Menopause Mindfulness Expert

    Hi @Hardingetta this stuff is really hard, isn't it? It can really knock you around, and sadly many of the coping mechanisms we have can at times hurt not help you.

    Alcohol sadly will be triggering your hot sweats and night flushes and actually doesn't help you have a deep and restful sleep (though it can help you get off to sleep) so you do get into a bit of a death spiral with things getting worse and then drinking more alcohol to "self medicate" to get around it.

    There are some little adjustments you can do that can start to make real and positive differences to you. First things first just be a little kind to yourself. I think there's can be quite a mind shift if you find out that you're perimenopausal when you're on the pill, it can be really confronting so give yourself a break. I'm pleased you had a cry and also coming on here and acknowledging you don't feel yourself and you don't like that feeling are really good and positive things, so well done you.

    For turning your sleep around there are some tricks you can try, start to get into a calming down to get ready for sleep process - sort of what you would do for little children. Turn the lights down after 8pm, turn off the tv, slow things down (maybe have a bath, nice smells, read a book etc) make your room as cool as you can (around 18 degrees is apparently optimal) make your bedroom as dark as you can to aid the deep sleep process and as @Kaz says start thinking about breathing and doing some mindfulness before you go to bed. (try Clarity as I've made specific sleep sessions just for this) If you go to bed worried about not sleeping you won't sleep. So thinking of a few grateful and positive thoughts, properly taking some deep breaths and relaxing your whole body will really help you to relax and have a restful nights sleep. Being consistent in this routine will make a real difference, I promise!

    You need to slowly come off the alcohol, you don't have to go tea-total, but you need to work towards not having alcohol daily. I would suggest you try to start backing off, one thing at a time - if you normally have 2 drinks just have one, then see if you can go a night without anything and how that makes you feel.

    Talking to your doctor about HRT is a good idea as well, but regardless, you should still look at making lifestyle changes as your body is changing with or without you being onboard 😉

    As I said before this stuff is really hard and can be super confronting, you've made a great step so be kind and gentle with yourself. I hope you are able to turn it from here. Best of luck x


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  • HardingettaHardingetta Posts: 3

    I don’t drink every night, but have noticed sometimes just dont feel good or didn’t sleep the night before and think a drink will help. I didn’t realise also that my bone health was so at risk, when the doctor tested me I had a vitamin d deficiency as well but have in the last 5 months had two broken ribs and a broken finger but never had broken a bone before that. It’s been a real ey opener today looking st what exactly other people are going through, just thought it was me x

  • Becks_ArmstrongBecks_Armstrong Posts: 28 Menopause Mindfulness Expert

    @Hardingetta I'm pleased to hear that. I completely see why you think it will help, just switch it out every once in a while for one of the other things and see how you go.

    Yes bone density is a big one. Have a chat to your doctor about that specifically as you may need to get a bone density check. Don't worry, you're not alone! x


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