If you smoke cigarettes you’ve probably heard the warnings: you could develop heart disease, lung disease, cancer, or any number of other issues. But did you know that smoking cigarettes disrupts one of the female body’s most important systems? You probably weren’t aware of it, but smoking cigarettes can have a big effect on a woman’s hormones, especially estrogen absorption. And without enough estrogen, a lot of things start to happen.
Women need proper levels of estrogen in order to balance mood and feel like they’re functioning properly. When deficient, ladies could develop symptoms ranging from classic hot flashes and night sweats to panic attacks, anxiety, irritability, vaginal dryness, sleep issues, headaches, etc. On a deeper level, estrogen helps a woman’s body absorb and utilize calcium and vitamin D, both of which are needed in order to protect bones and prevent bone loss, osteoporosis, and fractures. Smoking cigarettes prevents estrogen from being absorbed by the body, which in turn, sets all these issues in motion. When a woman smokes before age 30, her bone mass peaks earlier than normal. Even if she quits, she might be exposing herself to future bone density issues. When a woman smokes after age 30, bone mass is lost faster than normal. This leads to an increased risk of osteoporosis, bone breakages, and fractures (1).
It seems reasonable that if you are a smoker and want to continue getting enough estrogen just to start taking hormones or increase your dose to counteract the loss. Unfortunately, smoking prevents estrogen, even the best bio-identical kind, from being utilized by your body. To protect your body now and in the future we cannot recommend enough that you stop smoking cigarettes immediately.
Source (1): “Smoking and Your Bones.” University of Pittsburgh Schools of Health and Sciences. 2018. http://www.upmc.com/patients-visitors/education/smoking/Pages/smoking-and-your-bones.aspx