Women who love coffee be warned!
Studies have shown that caffeine poses genuine dangers for women. Caffeine apparently elevates estrogen levels in women, which in turn increases the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer, as well as for fibroid tumors, endometriosis, heavy menstrual bleeding, benign breast cancer, and PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) among others.
Based on research, the more coffee a woman consumed, the higher the level of estrogen produced. Women who consumed four to five cups of coffee per day (500 milligrams of caffeine) produced nearly 70 percent more estrogen than women who consumed less than one cup of coffee a day (100 milligrams of caffeine).
Caffeine, which is found in black tea, cola drinks, cocoa, chocolate, and some over-the-counter drugs act as a diuretic that decreases discomfort and bloating. On the other hand, caffeine also causes a fall in blood sugar which increases symptoms of PMS. In fact, there can be a three-fold increase in PMS by drinking more than three to four cups of coffee a day.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, up to 40 percent of menstruating women complain of some form of PMS. Most of these women have symptoms that are fairly mild and do not need treatment.
PMS symptoms vary among women. But it commonly includes painful menstrual cramping, or dysmenorrhea, breast swelling or tenderness, food craving, appetite changes, binge eating, bloating, upset stomach, constipation or diarrhea, joint or muscle pains, mood swings, irritability, anxiety, depression, fatigue, trouble sleeping, trouble concentrating or remembering, headaches and migraines.
Thus, women who are experiencing PMS are cautioned to avoid or decrease their caffeine intake, rather gradually. Immediate caffeine withdrawal, alternatively, can cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, depression, and fatigue. Substitutes for coffee such as water-processed decaffeinated coffee, green tea, and herbal teas like peppermint, chamomile, and ginger should likewise be tried.