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Hot flashes and cigarettes.

DEAR AFI: I am 53 years old and I have been suffering terribly from hot flashes, at least five times a day if not more. My best friend tells me that the reason I'm burning up is the fact that I smoke about a pack a day. Do cigarettes cause hot flashes?


AFI: Smokers do tend to report more hot flashes. Why this happens is not entirely clear. Perhaps it has something to do with the chemicals in cigarettes interfering with estrogen production and action in the body. As well some smokers are very thin and this may also add to their problems with hot flashes. Fat cells produce estrogens and thus women who are thinner often report more hot flashes. You are probably well aware of all the negative effects of smoking cigarettes. As you age, it becomes even more important that you try to kick your cigarette habit. You are at the age where heart disease becomes more of an issue for women, and smoking is certainly a major contributor to that problem. We encourage you to seriously try to quit smoking (or at least cut down), and you will likely find that your hot flashes improve as will many other things. You may have tried to quit in the past; take heart that it often takes many tries to succeed. The Winnipeg Women's Health Clinic has a journal, Catching Our Breath, especially written for women who are trying to reduce or stop smoking (email: It is designed to help you look at the specific issues that women have with respect to smoking. (Please see AFI, Jan/Feb 2004 Cigarettes: A woman's best friend? for a more extensive discussion of these issues and list of resources.)

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Title Annotation:Letters from AFI Readers
Publication:A Friend Indeed
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2005
Previous Article:Editorial.
Next Article:The birth control pill at my age?

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