Tobacco, Alcohol and Caffeine

Menopause is an excellent time to stop smoking. Studies show that success rates are higher when smokers quit while going through a life transition. On average, smokers experience menopause two years before non-smokers. Women who smoke through and after menopause (or who use nicotine patches or gum) limit their treatment options. For example, oral contraceptives, which are sometimes prescribed to address hot flashes and night sweats, can be risky for smokers. If you smoke and want to stop, your health-care provider can give you options.

Research suggests that alcohol consumption can make certain menopause symptoms worse—such as hot flashes, sleep disruption and depression. Heavy drinking can contribute to an increased risk of osteoporosis, as it may cause calcium loss and other nutritional deficiencies. It also presents a greater risk of falls and bone fractures associated with unsteady footing.

Too much caffeine can provoke hot flashes and disrupt sleep. By limiting your intake of coffee and tea, you may be able minimize these symptoms.

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