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Jane cuts back

We all know alcohol can cause hangovers. However did you know it can also worsen symptoms of the menopause such as hot flushes and night sweats?

Jane Sunter, a member of staff from Durham County Council, signed up to do Dry January to lose weight but has also noticed how cutting back has helped improve Menopause symptoms.

Jane said: “I have taken part in Dry January previously – with the caveat that I would take a few days off for special occasions. This year I challenged myself to go the whole month without alcohol. My main motivation was to lose weight and cutting out alcohol has helped with my weight loss programme. As I’m sure many women of a certain age can also relate to, I’m currently going through the menopause, with all the challenges that brings with it. I don’t drink during the week, but I have a couple of glasses of wine on a Friday night and drink more when I socialise with friends at the weekend. I find that drinking exacerbates some of the symptoms of the menopause such as hot flushes, night sweats and insomnia. Not drinking through January has eased some of these symptoms.

“As a single parent of two teenage children, I also think it’s important to set a good example around alcohol for them. My 16-year-old is starting to go to parties and I wanted him to recognise that you don’t need to have a drink to have a good time. I’m aware of the link between alcohol and cancer, and it’s important to me to do what I can to reduce the risk. Dry January has helped to kick start a better relationship with alcohol and giving me a fresh start to 2020.

“Quite a few of my friends and colleagues have also taken part in Dry January. What I’ve always emphasised is that anything people can do to cut back, is better than not taking part at all. Even if you have setbacks or a few days off from the challenge, don’t beat yourself up. Of course, I’ve expected there to be challenges along the way – like social occasions and Friday night drinks – but focusing on where I want to get to, has kept me motivated. I’m already doing more exercise, going to the gym and taking part in lunchtime walks at work. All round I’m feeling much healthier.”

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