10 Reasons to Quit Smoking During Menopause
You know that smoking isn’t good for you, but it can be a habit that’s hard to break. You may have tried in the past to quit, or you may be at a time in your life when stress is high so it just seems too hard to quit smoking now.
Here’s something to consider — menopause and smoking don’t mix. So if you’re on the fence and trying to make up your mind to quit, check out these 10 reasons why you should. Then make a commitment to quit and follow through by scheduling an appointment with your doctor so she can help you through the process.
1. Smoking Brings Menopause Sooner
Menopause happens to every woman, but if you’re a smoker it can arrive sooner rather than later. Whenever it arrives, menopause symptoms can be more extreme for those who smoke. In addition, the earlier you enter menopause, the greater the risks for some of the symptoms and health issues that go along with menopause.
2. Better Estrogen
Both smoking and menopause decrease estrogen levels, increasing your risks for menopause symptoms and related health risks. If you smoke, it can also affect your ability to use hormone replacement therapy (HRT)and achieve hormone balance, and you may need to use higher doses of hormones which could increase your risks for side effects.
3. Better Testosterone
During menopause, testosterone levels may not drop as quickly as estrogen. That hormonal imbalance may lead to some of the side effects of menopause, such as acne and facial hair. If you are a smoker, you may increase that imbalance by further decreasing your estrogen levels while increasing testosterone levels.
4. Better Skin
Both menopause and smoking can cause skin changes and take a toll on the health of your skin. Without adequate estrogen, your skin can become dry, less elastic, and more prone to damage. Smoking accelerates the aging of your skin, further increasing your risks for sagging, wrinkles, and lines around your mouth. Combining smoking with menopause can result in extra wrinkles, marring, and blemishes which can affect your skin’s health and appearance.
5. Better Bones
Menopause and smoking can both have a negative impact on your bones, putting you at greater risk for osteoporosis. If you’re a smoker, you may find it difficult to do the exercises necessary to try to prevent osteoporosis and keep your bones as healthy as possible.
6. Less Belly Fat
During menopause, your body can start storing more fat around your middle. If you are a smoker, you can have less muscle tone and be more prone to developing that spare tire around your middle.
7. Fewer Hot Flashes
With menopause can come dreaded hot flashes. If you’re a smoker, you’re likely to have more frequent and severe hot flashes. Hot flashes are miserable enough without triggering more of them by smoking.
8. Less Depression
Menopause and smoking can negatively affect your emotional health. They can trigger mood swings, anxiety, and depression. As life around menopause can already come with it’s ups and downs, the added emotional turmoil can make it harder to cope on a day-to-day basis.
9. Better Overall Health
With menopause comes a greater risk for developing several health issues, including heart disease, pelvic organ prolapse, dry eyes, gum disease, sleep apnea, and more. If you smoke, you further increase your risks for developing those health problems and a whole lot more, including several cancers. It will be easier to minimize your risk for menopause related health problems if you aren’t already increasing your risks by smoking.
10. You’ll Live Longer
When it comes down to it, menopause – especially premature menopause – and smoking can lead to premature death. Taking steps to keep menopause at bay and quitting smoking can add years to your life span. Your family and friends will thank you, and you’ll have more time to enjoy being with them.
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support. Reprinted with permission: 10 Reasons to Quit Smoking During Menopause