Lifestyle and menopause: Quitting smoking may ease hot flashes
The symptoms many women experience during the process of menopause are often tiring and frustrating. What’s more, adverse symptoms can worsen each other. If hot flashes are keeping you awake at night, this will only add to any existing daytime irritability. There are multiple lifestyle changes that make menopause easier. Quitting smoking if you are a smoker may be one of them, according to a small study.
Not smoking for five years may greatly reduce hot flashes
The cancer risks of smoking are well-documented, but a small 2015 study has also find that quitting smoking might have additional benefits for wellbeing. According to the study, women who had not smoked for at least five years prior to the test period were 45% less likely to suffer from regular hot flashes than women who had been regular smokers.
What if you already have hot flashes and are a smoker?
The study, which used a test group of 761 women between the ages of 45 and 54, found that even women who quit smoking more recently than five years previously had less severe hot flashes. Current smokers were four times more likely to experience this symptom than women who had never smoked in their lives.
Does this prove that smoking causes hot flashes?
The study did not provide a conclusive answer as to whether smoking causes hot flashes or not. Even so, the results were consistent with past studies investigating menopause and the effects of smoking. Some researchers suggested that the results are due to smoking interfering with hormones, aggravating hormonal imbalance. Whether or not this is the case, giving up the habit has multiple health benefits. These include reduced risk of cancer and respiratory conditions such as emphysema. If you want to quit, try:
- Natural stress reduction techniques such as meditation and yoga
- Wean yourself off in stages – if you smoke every day, cut down to every other day and keep reducing until you’ve kicked the habit
- Find an alternative gesture or habit (such as tapping) use as a substitute every time you want to have a cigarette
Do you need to put in place a stress-busting lifestyle that minimises your desire to smoke? Speak to Doctor Allie today.