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STDWatch
Hannah Kingston

Sep 19, 20227 min read

Alcohol and Estrogen: A Complete Guide

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There are many factors that affect your hormone levels, and in turn, your overall health. There are dozens of hormones that play important roles in your body and their levels fluctuate everyday. But if your hormones become imbalanced, it can lead to serious health issues. You may have wondered whether alcohol is one of the factors that can alter your hormone levels.

So can alcohol affect hormones, including estrogen? Keep reading to find out now.

How does alcohol affect hormones?

Alcohol can affect many functions in your body, especially if you’re drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Hormones work as messengers inside your body, carrying signals between different tissues and organs to stimulate or inhibit certain processes. Hormones play a vital role in a healthy metabolism.

When you drink alcohol, it can alter the function of the glands that release different hormones. Alcohol can also impact the way in which tissues respond to hormones, making them less effective.

Excessive alcohol intake can affect different hormones and functions, such as blood pressure, bone metabolism, blood sugar levels, energy production, and even fertility. Alcohol can also lead to spikes in cortisol production, which is known as the stress hormone.

More research is still needed to determine alcohol’s effect on hormones, but evidence suggests that drinking alcohol excessively could promote hormone imbalances.

According to the Susan G. Komen Organization, there are studies that show that women who drink alcohol have a higher risk of breast cancer when compared to women who don’t consume it. The risk of breast cancer increased for each alcoholic drink consumed per day. 

This could be due to the fact that alcohol changes the way in which the female body metabolizes estrogen. According to Breastcancer.org, alcohol increases estrogen levels and affects other hormones that are linked to breast cancer. Alcohol intake could also increase this risk by damaging the DNA in your cells over time.

Limiting your alcohol intake can be a good step to lower your breast cancer risk, especially if you have a family history of the disease.

Estrogen and alcohol in men

Although estrogen is primarily known as a female sex hormone, male bodies also make small quantities of estrogen. Scientists aren’t sure whether alcohol increases estrogen in males yet. But are there other hormonal side effects for men due to beer or other beverages?

According to a study published by the journal Addiction Biology, higher levels of estrogen could be linked to earlier and higher alcohol intake in teenage boys. High testosterone levels have also been associated with alcohol use in men. More research is needed, but this evidence could suggest that hormonal imbalances could be a risk factor for alcohol misuse.

What hormone does alcohol inhibit?

Alcohol’s effect on your hormones isn’t limited to estrogen. According to a study published by BMC Medicine, alcohol can suppress testosterone in men, but increase testosterone levels in women.

Alcohol intake can also inhibit the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which is a hormone that helps regulate the reproductive system. It also interferes with the production of insulin and glucagon, which are responsible for keeping healthy blood sugar levels.

Overall, drinking alcohol excessively has been shown to be detrimental to your health, and it can also severely affect your hormonal balance. You can learn more about other reproductive health topics and STD testing at STDWatch.com now.

Sources

Alcohol - komen.org

Drinking Alcohol - breastcancer.org

Sex hormones in alcohol consumption: a systematic review of evidence - onlinelibrary.wiley.com

Alcohol consumption and hormonal alterations related to muscle hypertrophy: a review - nutritionandmetabolism.biomedcentral.com


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