Twenty-three percent of adults reported drinking more during the pandemic than previously. How does alcohol consumption impact the health of those who drink? We are all aware of how alcohol damages the liver, but did you know that light alcohol use can interfere with reproductive health, and chronic drinking invites dysfunction of the circadian rhythm as well as the digestive system? Evidence-based screening tools can help identify problem drinking and guide treatment selection. Assessment of sex hormones and cortisol levels may help individualize supportive therapies to help patients regain balance.
- Notice the change in patterns of alcohol use during the pandemic and the resultant increase in alcohol-related problems.
- Differentiate the risks of alcohol consumption for males and females.
- Discuss how alcohol interferes with reproductive health, gut function, bone strength and the circadian rhythm.
- Gain tools for assessing alcohol use and its influence on hormones.
- Learn evidence-based strategies to help patients with problematic drinking including counseling and pharmacotherapy.
Dr. Heather Hydzik’s primary care experience includes women’s health, nutritional consultation, and hormone replacement. Some of her favorite challenges to help patients overcome include digestive health, thyroid disorders, menopausal symptoms, hormone imbalances, fatigue, anxiety and depression, sleep issues, and difficulty losing weight.
After earning a bachelor's degree in Psychology from University of Southern California, Dr. Hydzik completed her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine and certificate of midwifery at National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM) in Portland, OR. She then completed a residency in primary care near Seattle.
Dr. Hydzik's past work experience includes working at a non-profit in Chicago that served people struggling with mental illness and homelessness, and delivering babies at a birth center in Bali. She is currently a staff physician at Labrix of Doctor’s Data.
*Certified by the WANP for 1 Category 1 continuing education credit (including 1 Pharmacology credit) for Washington NDs*
(Originally presented October 15, 2021)