Are you suffering with the uncomfortable effects of menopause? Becoming fed up of the sudden hot flashes, the unpredictable mood swings, or the constant feeling of fatigue? If this is the case then you are probably desperate to relieve you and your body from these frustrating symptoms. However, when you seek advice, it tells you to cut caffeine from your diet and how could you possibly do that when it is that morning coffee or the energy drink at lunchtime that gets you through the day? Should you follow the advice and consider alternatives? We explain why your answer to this question should be ‘yes.’
What effects does caffeine have on the body which makes menopause even more unbearable?
Cutting caffeine from your diet is recommended for the treatment of all menopausal symptoms and with good reason. Caffeine consumption has a negative effect on your body and will only make the inevitable phase of menopause even more difficult to deal with. Avoiding coffee, tea, and energy drinks may require self-discipline, but your effort and persistence will be worthwhile.
It is associated with some of the main symptoms of menopause
It has been scientifically proven that the consumption of caffeine will increase the frequency and severity of hot flashes. Coffee will also have a negative impact on symptoms like fatigue and other sleeping problems, because it provides ‘quick fixes’ rather than long-term solutions. It causes a rise in energy levels momentarily and increases alertness, but then will cause the dips in energy levels to be made worse, affecting your health and mental state. Caffeine also impacts sleeping patterns hugely. Reactions with the nervous system will also heighten the intensity of mood swings, bringing them on more regularly.
It can cause stress
When you consume caffeine, the production of the stress hormone cortisol elevates. When stress hormones are released, the body prepares to run or fight against the danger it may encounter. This is known as the ‘panic response’ and gives temporary boosts of energy. However, the artificial increase of stress hormones has a negative effect on women’s health. Additionally, when there is too much cortisol in the body, they start to have a negative impact on the amount of estrogen and progesterone that is present. If this happens then the imbalance of hormones will worsen, meaning menopausal symptoms worsen, too.
It restricts the natural balance of hormones
Any woman who wishes to relieve the effects of menopause and its symptoms needs to take the relevant steps to re-balance her hormones which are sent into a raging chaos during “the change.” Caffeine will have nothing but negative effects on your hormones and this may cause general health problems in the future. For example, it increases the level of homocysteine in the body which in turn increases the risk of getting osteoporosis, a symptom sometimes associated with menopause.
It prevents the absorption of minerals
The consumption of caffeine will have a direct affect on the minerals that are essential for women’s health. It will reduce the amount of calcium and magnesium that are being re-absorbed in the kidney, which results in the minerals leaving the body instead of being used as they should. It also hinders the absorption or iron which, in the aging process, can cause permanent imbalance in the immunity system
It creates lower density in bones
A high intake of caffeine can cause bones to become less dense and for menopausal women in particular, this should be avoided because there is an increase in the amount of older women who experience bone loss.
So what can you drink instead?
Hopefully, these reasons have made you realize why your consumption of caffeine should be seriously reduced, if not avoided altogether. So, what can you replace your cup of coffee with? Herbal teas are thought to be extremely beneficial for a women’s health or drink more fresh fruit juice, which are full of goodness. Ensure your water intake is always high, and if you MUST drink caffeine then always purchase de-caffeinated coffee or drink tea because it contains less caffeine than coffee, or energy drinks.