Caffeine Intake May Worsen Menopausal Hot Flashes, Night Sweats: Study Shows

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Coffee is seen at the Viennese coffee house (Wiener Kaffeehaus) Central in Vienna November 10, 2011.
Coffee is seen at the Viennese coffee house (Wiener Kaffeehaus) Central in Vienna November 10, 2011. Reuters

According to a new Mayo Clinic study which got published online in the the journal Menopause, observed an association between caffeine intake and more irritating hot flashes and night sweats in postmenopausal women.

The study also found a significant link between caffeine intake and fewer problems with mood, memory and concentration in perimenopausal women, most likely because caffeine is known to enhance arousal, mood and attention.

In this study, scientists conducted a survey using the Menopause Health Questionnaire which was completed by 2,507 women who suffered from different menopausal concerns at the Women's Health Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Rochester between July 25, 2005, and July 25, 2011. After the data was collected and analysed, menopausal symptom ratings were compared between caffeine users and nonusers.

Reports suggest that approximately 85 percent of the U.S. population consumes some form of caffeine-containing beverage every day. It was observed from the survey that Vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes and night sweats) are most commonly reported menopausal symptoms, occurring in 79 percent of perimenopausal women and 65 percent of postmenopausal women.

"According to Science Daily, while these findings are preliminary, our study suggests that limiting caffeine intake may be useful for those postmenopausal women who have bothersome hot flashes and night sweats. Menopause symptoms can be challenging but there are many management strategies to try, says Stephanie Faubion, M.D., director of the Women's Health Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. "

Some other strategies recommended by Dr. Faubion include

It is better to cut down on spicy foods and hot beverages.

You can reduce daily intake of alcohol and tobacco.

Dress in layers, so a layer can be removed if you're warm.

It is advisable to stay cool at night such as wicking sheets and sleepwear, fans, and cooling pillows.

You can practice stress management strategies such as meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, acupuncture and massage.

The best method is to maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly and stay active.

Consult your physician about hormone therapy and non-hormonal prescription medications to alleviate symptoms.

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