Moobs and moods… How alcohol effects our endocrine system
In men, alcohol can cause reduced sperm count, enlargement of breast tissue and erectile disfunction.
In women, alcohol can cause abnormal periods and increased aggression and irritability.
Alcohol can worsen symptoms of menopause such as night sweats and weight gain.
How alcohol affects hormones
Alcohol affects biochemical pathways outside of the brain by changing the function of our endocrine system (glands excreting directly into the body, usually into the bloodstream). This system is linked to moods, metabolism and tissue function.
Alcohol is also thought to change the sex hormones in both men and women.
In men, alcohol tends to raise naturally occurring estrogen and progesterone. This can cause reduced sperm count, enlargement of breast tissue or ‘moobs’ (gynaecomastia), and erectile dysfunction.
In women alcohol can raise testosterone levels, which can cause abnormal periods and increased aggression and irritability.
How alcohol affects the menopause
Alcohol can also trigger and worsen symptoms of menopause such as hot flushes, night sweats and weight gain.
We know that alcohol can also worsen mental health, so making changes to your drinking can only help you better manage your wellbeing during this hormonal change.