Currently, about one in five women in American smoke. Yet we all know that smoking is a dangerous addiction which can lead to cancer, heart disease, and death.
On top of that, a recent study found that it could even complicate menopause. As if you needed yet another reason to kick the butt, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine found that menopausal women who smoke are more likely to suffer from hot flashes.
This study follows on the heels of other research which found a link between smoking and an earlier onset of menopause. Researchers at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital found that smokers routinely went into menopause 2-3 years earlier than their non-smoking counterparts, and they were also likely to struggle with fertility issues. Clearly, the toxins in cigarettes are incredibly damaging to a woman’s reproductive health as well as her general health.
If you are going through menopause and suffering from hot flashes, quitting smoking can be a huge step in improving your health as well as in helping you to cool things down a little. There are other factors you should consider as well. For example, there has also been research which has linked hot flashes with obesity as well as excessive alcohol consumption.
While the symptoms of menopause can be emotionally and physically trying, studies such as this show that women can decrease uncomfortable side effects by practicing better self-care. As women, we tend to do so much for other people that we never make time for our own health, including taking the time to eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep. Then, to cope with stress, we turn to substances like alcohol or nicotine for relaxation. Of course, this only further harms our health and puts us at grave risk for problems down the road (and in the present!).
The best thing you can do for your family is take care of yourself so that you can live a long, happy life with them. Make time to eat right and exercise, and ask your doctor for resources that can help you quit smoking. Not only will quitting help to combat hot flashes, but it will also lengthen your life and increase your health. Find tips to help you quit at http://www.smokefree.gov/