EP 212: Reader Question – Why do I crave alcohol more when I have PMS?

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Why would us girls crave a drink more at “that time of the month” than at other times? Is there any kind of link or is it all in our heads? Annie Grace tells us what she’s learned in her research about this topic. Find out what studies done by the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence, as well as Behavioral Pharmacology, have to say about this theory.

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Drink To Numb

We drink to numb and we drink to numb pain. When you are doing that and you know it’s going to be kind of an emotional or a painful time of the month, you would be more apt to drink. So there’s a good chance that you have in the past, just drank more around this time of month anyway, so the cravings could have increased.

Crave Alcohol With PMS

There are two things that are very interesting. There was a 2012 study done by the Journal of Drug And Alcohol Dependence and what this study found is that we’re actually much more likely to drink in heavier amounts during the PMS week than in other weeks. I think this is again because we turned to alcohol to lessen pain. They didn’t conclude why this is, but it is definitely more of a time for heavy drinking for women than other weeks of the year.

My theory is we crave alcohol with PMS because of our underlying beliefs. I remember thinking, and it was one of my many excuses, that if I was having cramps, “Oh great, alcohol is a muscle relaxant.” Which I don’t even know if that’s true, I actually haven’t found that in my research but during my drinking days, this was true in my mind.

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So I believed it was a muscle relaxant. I’d drink for my cramps and I don’t know that it ever helped. I mean, I really believed that was an excuse but I do know at that time of the month I feel like, “Okay, I need indulgence.” Now it’s more like a hot water bottle or jacuzzi or some hot tea, but in those times it was, “Okay, a glass of wine because I deserve it.”

There certainly is a link that has been proven that we crave alcohol with PMS.

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