We all know smoking is bad for you; we’ve heard that since we were kids. But did you know that smoking wrecks havoc on your hormonal system, especially your estrogen production?
The female hormonal system is comprised of a delicate balance of estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. Each hormone works in balance with the others to produce a monthly cycle and fertility, but also to create body-wide homeostasis. The proper amount of estrogen is required for a woman to feel well, think clearly, and function properly. When there is a lack of estrogen, ladies develop a multitude of symptoms from the well-known hot flashes and night sweats to headaches, backaches, panic attacks, even heart palpitations.
Smoking tobacco cigarettes decreases the amount of estrogen that women produce and/or absorb into their bodies. Ladies in menopause or peri-menopause who start Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and continue to smoke cigarettes may find their symptoms persist. Ladies who quit smoking may find that their menopausal symptoms are improved without the use of HRT. In either case, smoking while taking HRT is never recommended, and ladies who do not smoke may find that their hormones are easier to keep balanced. Because hormones are such an integral part of a woman’s body, it’s important to support them by avoiding toxins that will disrupt production and possible absorption.