Caffeine and Menopause

Caffeine And MenopauseCaffeine and menopause – why not? Unfortunately, for coffee lovers, caffeine can have a negative effect on menopause symptoms.

Research shows that caffeine consumption has a negative effect on your body and will make the unavoidable phase of perimenopause even more difficult to deal with.

Eliminating/moderating your caffeine intake is recommended for the treatment of all menopausal symptoms.

Hot flushes, night sweats, irritability, anxiety, disrupted sleep patterns? Are you experiencing these menopause symptoms.

Do you find yourself trying to fight fatigue with a dose or two (or more) of caffeine each day?

Caffeine is a natural, bitter substance consumed on a daily basis by 80% of the worlds population. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, sports/energy drinks, cocoa beans, chocolate and some over the counter pain relievers.

Because caffeine can stay in your system for up to 6 hours you should limit your daily intake before midday as it can have a huge effect on your sleep patterns.

According to the MayoClinic.com if you are consuming more than 500-700mg of caffeine each day you may experience nervousness, tremors, an irregular heart beat and other symptoms that are similar to a panic attack.

Negative Effects of Caffeine and Menopause Symptoms

  • Research has found that high consumption of caffeine can bring on menopause at an earlier age than normal
  • It has been scientifically proven that caffeine consumption increases the occurrence and severity of hot flushes and night sweats. Women who suffer these symptoms are advised to reduce their consumption of coffee
  • Caffeine has a hugely negative effect on fatigue and sleep disturbances/insomnia symptom
  • Caffeine causes a rise in energy levels and fleetingly increases alertness, however, it will then cause the dips in energy levels to become worse affecting both your general health and your mental state
  • Caffeine reacts with the central nervous system which elevates the intensity and frequency of mood swings
  • Caffeine is known to increase the level of homocysteine (a chemical in the blood) in the body which increases the risk of osteoporosis
  • When you consume caffeine the production of the stress hormones adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine are heightened. When stress hormones are released the body prepares to run or fight against the danger it may run into. This is known as the panic response and gives momentary boosts of energy. It is this false increase of stress hormones that has a negative effect on your health. When there is too much cortisol in the body there will be a negative effect on the amount of estrogen and progesterone that is present, causing the imbalance of hormones to become worse and therefore causing menopausal symptoms to worsen too
  • Caffeine consumption directly affects the minerals that are vital for women’s health. It will reduce the amount of magnesium and calcium that are being reabsorbed in your kidney, resulting in the minerals exiting the body instead of being utilised as they should. It also delays the absorption of iron. During the aging process loss of iron can cause permanent imbalance in the immune system and is a contributing factor to anemia. Calcium is required for preventing osteoporosis and for preserving healthy function of the heart and the nervous system. Magnesium is essential for the normal functioning of the body – effective metabolism of energy, healthy functioning of the heart, proper balance of hormones and glucose utilisation
  • If you are experiencing menopause incontinence problems you need to limit your intake of caffeine as it is a natural diuretic (forces the kidneys to release more water than they should)
  • Increases the levels of serum cholesterol
  • Affects the metabolism of Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) – necessary for the management of stress and mood, together with the correct functioning of the heart
  • Women undergoing hormone replacement therapy (HRT) who consume caffeine have increased chances of getting Parkinsons Disease a condition linked to advancing age

What Can You Replace Your Cups of Coffee With?

Herbal teas are known to be very beneficial for a woman’s health.
Fresh fruit juice
Water (remember the recommended 8-10 glasses of water each day, preferably filtered)

If you can’t do without your cup of coffee, try decaffeinated coffee (tea contains less caffeine than coffee or energy drinks).

Caffeine Withdrawal

Should you decide to eliminate caffeine totally you may initially notice increased edginess, nervousness, insomnia or headaches.

To prevent the side effects associated with caffeine withdrawal, try to cut back your caffeine intake by drinking one less serving each day until you have eliminated it totally.

Using the above caffeine and menopause guidance, apply common sense relevant to your particular menopausal symptoms and your personal coffee consumption.

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Sources:

  • Effects of Caffeine on Menopausal Women. Retrieved on 16 September 2015. Retrieved from http://www.womens-health.co.uk/negative-effects-of-caffeine-on-menopausal-women.h
  • Mozes, A. (2014) Is Coffee Aggravating Your Hot Flashes? Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/menopause/news/20140724/is-coffee-aggravating-your-hot-flashes
  • Thielen, J. M., M.D. (2014) Is there a link between caffeine consumption and menopause symptoms? Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/expert-answers/menopause-symptoms-caffeine/faq-20119077
  • Faubion, Stephanie S. MD; Sood, Richa MD; Thielen, Jacqueline M. MD; Shuster, Lynne T. (Feb 2015) Caffeine and menopausal symptoms: what is the association? Retrieved from http://journals.lww.com/menopausejournal/Citation/2015/02000/Caffeine_and_menopausal_symptoms___what_is_the.7.aspx
  • Zeigler, T (2003) New Findings About Parkinson’s Disease: Coffee and Hormones Don’t Mix. Retrieved from http://www.ninds.nih.gov/news_and_events/news_articles/news_article_parkinson_caffeine_hrt.htm
Page Last Updated on April 28, 2017