Beer and Menopause: Help from the Hops!


When I was a student at Duke in the seventies, the beer flowed.

But I barely touched it.  Just didn’t like the flavor.

After I married Cliff, I took sips of his beers over the years.  But only sips.  I was a wine and mixed drink kind of girl.

Then bam!  Swoosh!  Gulp!

About five years ago, I began ordering my own  beer.

Why the switch to beer in midlife?

I had no clue until Chris Bradshaw of Boombox Network, posted this article on Facebook:

Beer: The Natural Menopause Treatment 


Seems that hops have estrogen-like qualities. The article reports:

“Hops have long been suspected of having an impact on the hormonal system.

Before your advent of machine pickers, girls and girls picked the plant life at harvest, and would often spend 3 weeks accomplishing this. It was observed amongst the young girls picking hops that their menstrual periods would occur early.

Two young women picking hops

But it wasn’t until hops was studied scientifically that result was explained and endorsed.

It turns out that hops contains very good levels of phytoestrogens – among 30, 000 IU to 3 hundred, 000 IU per 100 grams.” 


The article explains some of the science:

“Phytoestrogens are estrogen-like plant compounds that are also in alternative menopause therapies like soy. They work simply by binding to estrogen receptors, therefore provide a mild estrogenic impact on the body.

Phytoestrogens are quite a bit less strong as regular estrogen, however as estrogen levels decline throughout menopausal women, this boost of estrogen incorporates a balancing effect on the body.”

So the hops are hoppin’ good for our menopausal woes?

Who knows  for sure.  Let’s hope science continues to study beer and menopause.

Let’s hope science continues to study EVERYTHING about menopause.

Even if beer (in moderation, of course) is only a temporary balm for the woes of menopause, I say, “Bottoms up!”


Another Article:  Here’s more info,with the results of several studies and some thinking on the positive connection between hops and bone loss.

Non-alcoholic beers:  They contain hops too!

Beer Above:  A 37th anniversary beer with Cliff in August. Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Beer Below:   A beer-rita with Laura in early September. Dallas, Texas.  Here’s how to make a beer-rita without a miniature beer bottle.  (I do wonder if the restaurant washes the bottle before dunking it into the drink.)


Communication: The Story of Two Anns

Ann Langrall

The woman in the yellow feathered boa is my great-aunt, Ann. She’s ready to toss rice at my wedding.

When I turn to this photo in my album, I hear her voice, all the words over all the years.

Stories:  About her girlhood, her adventures with her twin sister, my grandma.

The Twins

Explanations: Of the bells in her bell collection…

Ann's Bell  Collection

Her Danish Christmas plates…

Christmas Plate

The dolls she brought me from her travels.

Ann's Dolls

And advice, lots of it:  “You can lose your looks and you can lose your money, but you can’t lose your education.”

VCFA MFA Diploma

Two years after my wedding, my Aunt Ann, frozen from Parkinson’s Disease, went silent.

The grand lady, who once entertained and guided us with her words, never spoke.

A sad ending to a vigorous life.

Here comes the story of another Ann, Annie Glenn, the wife of astronaut John Glenn.

This story has a happier ending.

Annie Glenn

Annie, like her father, stuttered as a child. She and John, hometown sweethearts, married in 1943.

John and Annie Glenn

Frequent moves as a military wife proved challenging for someone with a communication disorder.

Then John Glenn soared into outer space.  As the wife of a national hero, Annie was called on for interviews and public speaking opportunities.  More challenges.

In 1973, she enrolled in a  program at the Communications Research Institute at Hollins College in Roanoke, Virginia.

Wonderful success!

When John heard Annie speak  for the first time without stuttering, he dropped to his knees in prayer. Read more about her speech therapy in this article titled “John Glenn’s True Hero.”

Listen to Annie speak in this video:

In 1983, the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) awarded Annie Glenn their first national award for  “providing an inspiring model for people with communicative disorders.” The Annie Glenn Award, established in 1987, is now given each year to an individual who achieves distinction despite a communication disorder.

Two Anns.

Both vibrant women with insighful and witty words to share.

If my aunt were alive today, help would be available for her.  Here’s one article addressing communication and Parkinson’s Disease.

ASHA’s website will lead you to excellent information on communication disorders. Click here.  To find an audiologist or a speech-language therapist in your area, use this search tool.

Don’t let a communication disorder silence those you love, young or old (or yourself). Help awaits!

ASHA Logo Horiz_Apollo

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