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Menopause and Caffeine - any link?

By June 13, 2010 - 6:54am
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I have been going through menopause for around 3 years now. It started with occasional hot flashes which progressed to becoming more frequent as my period "faded" away. I've been period free for nearly two full years now and up until a month ago the hot flashes and night sweats were unbearable. They'd last at least two minutes and I'd be [literally] dripping with sweat.

I started taking the black cohosh supplements and they worked minimally.
A month ago I decided to cut out ALL coffee and replaced that with sipping hot water with lemon. The only reason there was 'replacement' is because I find sipping something hot comforting. I always have. I used to drink quite a bit of coffee daily. Easily I could consume a 12 cup pot on my own. That's a lot of coffee.

Anyway, since sipping the water instead, I haven't had hot flashes (or night sweats) in two weeks or so. Well, the few I had you can count on one hand and they were so mild and over with fast, it was not really a problem. I treated myself to a couple of cups of coffee over last weekend and yesterday and I'm sweating like a pig as I'm typing this. Needless to say, I'm NOT sipping coffee right now!

Could the caffeine in the coffee be triggering the hot flashes (and night sweats)? And could the caffeine in the coffee make them intensify? I've never had any issues with jitters or staying awake from too much caffeine, so could it be something in coffee itself other than caffeine?

Add a Comment6 Comments

Well, doctor search is practically useless. BUT I found a product that is now working. i-Cool for menopause. I just started it this month and it's already working. It says it should take anywhere from 3 to 12 weeks to give the full effect so I'll keep you updated!

November 3, 2010 - 10:40am

Thank you Alison, I've read all the articles on this site and I'm switching doctors like mad. I fear I'm going to run out of doctors before I get any relief! My long time gyn passed away suddenly several years ago and I miss him more than ever now!

The only solution that seems to work for me right now is fanning myself and I just cannot go out in public constantly fanning my sweaty face and body. I cannot believe this is going on for 10+ years for some women! I don't know that I can take it for that long, it's killing me now.

October 12, 2010 - 3:01pm
(reply to D❀isy)

I'm so sorry! I will pass your message to other women on this site, and see if anyone can offer more words of wisdom.

Hang in there, and let us know how your doctor search goes. If you would like help, let us know what city, state you live in (assuming you are in the United States), and we may be able to help find some resources for you!

October 12, 2010 - 8:32pm

Hi everyone,
Since I posted this in June, I have had minimal relief and those damn hot flashes have actually increased.

I have taken the Black Cohosh suppliment for nearly 9 months and stopped them in Oct because they were literally useless now. They worked for about two months and stopped.

I eat a healthy diet and don't over eat and I keep gaining weight. I'm so uncomfortable in my skin and I feel sluggish with the extra weight as well. The hot flashes are just awful. I have them timed to every 9 minutes! This is just too much. I keep getting nonsense from my doctor that it's normal and will eventually fade but this is going on for way too long now.

I have taken up bike riding to try to lose weight and I ride daily for about 6 or more miles. I'm still gaining weight! I used to be fit, thin and never gained an ounce until this year. The night sweats are unbearable too. If I so much as move I'm sweating. It's at the point I dont' want to go out of the house because if I hold a conversation with anyone, I'm sweating like a pig and it's quite embarassing.

Any suggestions? My doctor is useless. And, yes, I've even switched and got the same answers. How long am I to expect this to go on?

October 12, 2010 - 8:38am
(reply to D❀isy)

Hi Daisy,
We have heard from so many women, including the EmpowHER founder, who suffer from hot flashes. Michelle was able to help treat her hot flashes when getting her hormones within a healthy balance, and she struggled through difficult doctor conversations to receive proper testing and diagnosis. You can read her story, as well as other women's stories (as well as their successes and treatments!) at the links below. Let us know what information you find useful!

- Website offers information for menopause, hot flashes and more

- Yoga for hot flashes

- EmpowHER Conditions: Hot Flashes

October 12, 2010 - 2:08pm
EmpowHER Guest

Thank you for a great question Daisy. YES, you are correct that coffee is known to induce hot flashes and night sweats.

Most research suggests the following in a nutshell:
keep yourself cool. Dress in layers so that you can remove clothing when you feel too warm. Open a window or use a fan or air conditioner to keep air flowing

Watch what you eat and drink. Hot and spicy foods, caffeinated beverages and alcohol can trigger hot flushes. Learn to recognize your personal triggers and avoid them.

Stop smoking. Smoking is linked to increased hot flushes.

How does this actually happen? It is really unknown. It is known that caffeine is a stimulant that raises your heart rate and blood pressure but the real reason for a hot flash is pretty unclear although it starts in the brain.

I hope this helps....staying away from the caffeinated beverages will certainly help! Good luck!

June 13, 2010 - 10:01am
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