Six years ago my OBGYN asked me if I had been drinking lots of caffeine recently due to a lump in my breast– the answer was yes! Then it came out that caffeine increases the chances of tissue to produce cysts.
Did you know that caffeine causes cyst formation in the Breasts and Ovaries, Adrenal fatigue, insomnia, and digestive problems?
I loved coffee and the ritual that came with drinking it. I’m not going to lie I was addicted it was my once bad vice and it was aiding in making me feel horrible. After this scare, I began researching into caffeine and its effects on hormones. Turns out for women with PCOS, Fibroids, Endometriosis, Ovarian Cysts, and Fibrocystic breasts- caffeine is a guaranteed way to make more cysts. For everyone else with hormonal sensitivity, it might not cause cysts, but it will disrupt your system. I also later found my adrenals were shot. I was estrogen dominant, and suffered from horrible hormone and gut problems.
It seems like coffee is our national drug of choice, with Starbucks on every street corner. I get it we are overworked, tired, poorly fed, and so coffee has become the quick pick me up to get through a busy day. Many people think coffee must be good for them. The truth is that we’re addicted and we don’t know the biochemical effects of this substance on our hormones. Coffee is absolutely terrible when it comes to the female hormonal system and beyond this cyst formation.
If you’re struggling with your period, fibroids, cysts of any kind in the breast or ovary, endometriosis, infertility, low sex drive, moodiness, low energy, leaky gut and weight issues. Bad news ladies coffee is just adding fuel to the fire. Here are three reasons that might get you to kick that nasty habit.
#1 – Women metabolize substances more slowly than men
The coffee-alcohol connection …Just like with alcohol, that other damaging yet socially sanctified drink, women cannot tolerate caffeine (or any stimulant in fact) in the same way that men can.
We are designed to conserve as much energy from what we are taking in so we can grow other babies in our uterus. Whether you are actively doing this or not, your body simply retains fluids for much longer and we metabolize the chemicals contained much more slowly.
For men liquids process through at a rapid rate – men drink and urinate out both alcohol and caffeine very quickly and avoid most of the physical impact as a result.
Yet women are more likely than men to go without breakfast and drink coffee on an empty stomach which burns out HCL in the gut and causes GI and digestive issues. This being the only meal also makes the negative physical impact even more profound and long lasting.
#2 – Caffeine messes with the hormonal system for 24 hours
Your body on coffee/caffeine
The cyclical journey your body goes through when you drink coffee in the morning:
- If you add cream and sugar or grab any of the fancy coffees at Starbucks or Coffee Bean, your blood sugar will rise. Studies show most women don’t actually enjoy the taste of coffee and will add as much sugar and cream as possible to make it taste good.
- The caffeine alone causes you to release extra cortisol, which makes sure that any sugar goes straight into your bloodstream, along with stressing out the adrenals.
- The insulin spike makes you crave carbohydrates and sugar when your blood sugar level crashes, causing you to want to overeat and make poor choices.
- You are then working at a hypoglycemic level, craving more carbohydrates and sugar to keep you going.
- Your whole endocrine function is focused entirely on dealing with the fall out of your morning coffee and everything else that desperately needs attention – your ovaries! -Gets ignored.
- You cannot reset your body until you go to sleep and wake up the next day, and your sleep is disturbed for hours no matter of how long it’s been since the first coffee.
- You wake up tired and your first instinct is to boost your energy with more coffee.
#3 – Caffeine sucks the body of micronutrients needed for hormone balance
We all know not to drink coffee when we’re pregnant or breastfeeding, but the fact is – we shouldn’t be drinking it at all. At every stage it is bad for your hormones.
Coffee at any time of the day increases insomnia. Even one cup will disrupt your sleep. Lack of good sleep suppresses your healthy hormone production. Whether it’s trouble getting to sleep or trouble staying asleep, coffee is one of the main causes.
Coffee will deplete magnesium and other nutrients and minerals that are vital for good hormone balance, such as B vitamins. Do you crave chocolate before your period? This is due to a drop in magnesium, which is found in chocolate.
The acidity of coffee causes an imbalance in your gut flora and will burn out hydrochloric acid that helps you digest your food. One way to avoid this is never drink your coffee black. You can throw in some coconut oil or cream.
So while caffeine may seem harmless it is depleting your key hormone balancing micronutrients, aiding to adrenal fatigue and cortisol disruption by spiking your cortisol and insulin, causing digestive issues, and disrupting your endocrine function.
So, for those of you who just love coffee and won’t give it up here is how to minimize those bad effects:
- Ditch the White Stuff – Lose the sugar and the cream and minimize the blood sugar impact.
- Size Matters – Take the European approach to coffee drinking. Drink a small cup of fresh espresso with some coconut oil.
- Look into the coffee alternatives or tea.
Only with Food – Do not use coffee as a meal replacement it is NOT.