Caffeine may worsen menopause

A new study, undertaken by the Mayo Clinic in the USA, has found that caffeine intake may be directly linked to worsened hot flushes and night sweats in postmenopausal women.

Data from surveys completed by 1806 women who presented with menopausal concerns were analysed, and menopausal symptoms, including hot flushes and night sweats, were compared between caffeine users and non-users. The analysis found that those who consumed caffeinated beverages on a daily basis were more likely to experience more extreme vasomotor symptoms (i.e. hot flushes and night sweats).

Although caffeine has long been believed to exacerbate menopausal symptoms, this research, although preliminary, points to a possible evidence-based solution to treating some postmenopausal complaints. Limiting caffeine intake may be one way for postmenopausal women to control hot flashes and night sweats. Or, as one woman put it, “I don’t have hot flushes, I have short, private vacations in the tropics.”

Director of the Women’s Health Clinic at Mayo Clinic, Stephanie Faubion, also suggests the following strategies to reduce hot flushes and night sweats:

  • Be aware of triggers such as spicy foods and hot beverages
  • In addition to caffeine, limit alcohol and tobacco
  • Dress in layers, so you can remove a layer when you’re warm
  • Try stress management strategies such as meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, acupuncture and massage
  • Maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly and stay active.

What do you think? Would you give up your morning coffee to reduce your postmenopausal symptoms? Or is this asking too much?