Caffeine may worsen the hot flashes and night sweats that
affect more than 80 percent of women as they go through menopause, says a new
Researchers suggest that limiting caffeine intake may be helpful for those postmenopausal women who have worrisome hot flashes and night sweats.
However, caffeine — a stimulant found in coffee, medications and chocolate — appears to have a different effect on women beginning the transition into menopause.
The study, published in the journal Menopause, stem from a Mayo Clinic poll of as many as 1,800 menopausal women conducted between 2005 and 2011.
Symptoms were compared between caffeine users and nonusers.
Dr. Stephanie Faubion, director of the Women's Health Clinic at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn, noted that there were many management strategies to handle the challenging menopause symptoms effectively.
"One way to gain some control over worrisome symptoms is to be careful about what one eats. This means generally forgoing spicy food and hot beverages, as well as caffeine, alcohol and tobacco," Dr. Stephanie Faubion said.
Given that about 85 percent of Americans consume caffeine in some form on a daily basis, Faubion and her researching team tried to ascertain to what degree the stimulant might affect the gravity of hot flashes and night sweats.
According to the researchers, previous research on the question has offered mixed results. But responses to the current survey showed that caffeine intake does appear to aggravate and worsen such symptoms, they found.
Researchers suggested dressing in removable layers, and sleeping with moisture-control bedding as extra means to manage the discomforts of hot flashes and night sweats
A woman generally reaches menopause —the time when her periods stop— between age 45 and 55.