Menopausal women are spending more on ALCOHOL than groceries to help them beat hot flushes
- The survey of 1,200 women found 1 in 3 drink more since starting menopause
- Campaigners warned the UK is at risk of ‘breeding a generation of addicts’
- READ MORE: MPs call for women to be given free menopause checks from 40
Menopausal women are spending more on alcohol per week than their food shop to help cope with symptoms, according to a survey.
The average woman spends around £31 a week on groceries for themselves, compared to £50 on alcohol, data suggests.
Figures indicate that one in three drink more alcohol since their menopausal symptoms started, while one in eight regularly consume more than the recommended intake of 14 units a week.
Meanwhile 15 per cent said they shell out in excess of £100 a year on pain relief, eye drops and herbal remedies.
And 5 per cent said they turned to gambling more during the perimenopause and menopause to cope with symptoms.
The average woman spends around £31 a week on groceries for themselves, compared to £50 on alcohol, data suggests. Figures indicate that one in three drink more alcohol since their menopausal symptoms started, while one in eight regularly consume more than the recommended intake of 14 units a week
Campaigners say the findings, from a survey of 1,200 women, show that menopause could be a hidden factor in spiralling household finances across the country.
They warned the UK is at risk of ‘breeding a generation of addicts’ due to a lack of awareness and access to menopause treatment.
Menopause specialist Dr Louise Newson, who carried out the survey, said: ‘It deeply upsets me to see that women are suffering unnecessarily, but sadly I’m not surprised by our survey findings.
‘I speak to many of my women who are struggling with issues around alcohol and other addictions.
‘The changes experienced in the perimenopause and menopause can cause women a lot of discomfort and stress.
‘As a result, they may turn to painkillers or alcohol to relieve these symptoms or, as our study shows, be more susceptible to substance abuse.’
Several women described alcohol as an ‘escape’ from anxiety, stress or depression during midlife and the menopause.
Dr Judith Mohring, consultant psychiatrist, added: ‘A lot of women find themselves depressed, anxious, and with variable symptoms that are often misdiagnosed as anything other than menopause.
‘Coupled with the demands of mid-life, numerous women I see end up turning to alcohol as a way of coping.
‘Many find that they might be less tolerant to drink than they used to be, and it worsens their symptoms – but it can also be a way of managing what otherwise feels unmanageable.’
WHAT IS THE MENOPAUSE?
Menopause is when a woman stops having periods, and is no longer able to get pregnant naturally.
It usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55.
It is a normal part of ageing and caused by levels of the sex hormone oestrogen dropping.
Some women go through this time with few, if any, symptoms.
Others suffer from hot flushes, sleeping difficulties, mood swings and brain fog, which can last for months or years and might change over time.
HRT replaces the hormones and is the main treatment used to treat symptoms — which can be severe and disrupt day-to-day life.
Menopause happens when your ovaries stop producing as much of the hormone oestrogen and no longer release an egg each month.
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