Menopause And Heart Disease
Heart disease risk rises for everyone as they age, but for women symptoms can become more evident after the onset of menopause.
Menopause does not cause cardiovascular diseases. However, certain risk factors increase around the time of menopause and a high-fat diet, smoking or other unhealthy habits begun earlier in life can also take a toll, said Dr. Nieca Goldberg, a cardiologist and an American Heart Association volunteer.
Menopause isnt a disease. Its a natural phase of a womans life cycle, Dr. Goldberg said. Its important for women, as they approach menopause, to really take stock of their health.
On average, the onset of menopause, when menstrual periods permanently stop, occurs around age 54, said Dr. Goldberg, medical director of the Joan H. Tisch Center for Womens Health at New York University Langone Medical Center.
More than one in three female adults has some form of cardiovascular disease. An overall increase in heart attacks among women is seen about 10 years after menopause. Heart disease is the leading killer of women.
What Can I Do About High Blood Pressure And Night Sweats During Menopause
While women during menopause are at greater risk of developing high blood pressure, practical options exist for reducing this threat. The most efficient means of limiting both night sweats and high blood pressure is to stabilize hormone levels by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Try to follow some of the advice below:
- Regulate the consumption of cholesterol and salt
- Engage in regular exercise
New Directions In Treatment
There was a time when doctors recommended their patients try reducing blood pressure with lifestyle approaches for six months, before starting medication. “By the time all that was done it would be a year, potentially, before the blood pressure was under control. That was definitely the wrong approach,” Dr. Bhatt says. “Blood pressure therapy has changed in the last decade or so, in terms of our being more aggressive about bringing it down.”
Here are a few general guidelines for taming high blood pressure:
Your doctor will consider prescribing medicines if your blood pressure is 140/90 or higherthe threshold for high blood pressure.
Which drug your doctor recommends will depend on several factors, including what other health conditions you have .
You’ll begin by taking the lowest effective dose of medicine. The doctor will increase the dose if your blood pressure isn’t responding.
Finding the right blood pressure treatment is often a matter of trial and error. If one drug isn’t working or is causing side effects, don’t just stop taking it. See your doctor for a re-evaluation. “There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. There’s a lot of science, some of it new, and a fair amount of art to treating high blood pressure,” says Dr. Bhatt.
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What Are The Side Effects Of Hrt
About 5 to 10 percent of women treated with HRT have side effects which may include breast tenderness, fluid retention and mood swings. In most cases, these side effects are mild and do not require the woman to stop HRT therapy.
If you have bothersome side effects from HRT, talk to your doctor. He or she can often reduce these side effects by changing the type and dosage of estrogen and/or progestin.
If you have a uterus and take progestin, monthly vaginal bleeding is likely to occur. If it will bother you to have your monthly menstrual cycle, discuss this with your health care provider.
Stress Less Recover More
Being stressed once in a while can be okay. But being stressed for days on end is a different story. Chronic stress is the mother root of many diseases. Stress is actually one of the main causes of high blood pressure in women. As we go through menopause, our bodies face different kinds of stress. We undergo mental stress when we feel overwhelmed by the various events in our life. Most often, this kind of stress causes physical and psychological changes. Some physical symptoms of stress include headaches, upset stomach and increased heart rate and BP. Psychological or emotional symptoms are anxiety, low self-esteem and depression. Have you noticed these changes?
Constant and prolonged stress doesnt give your body enough time to recover. Imagine being in a boxing match with lifes many stressors. Thats about 12 rounds of non-stop fight-or-flight mode, always deciding whether to fight or to defend. The body does not give up easily! It will work with each blow and fight stress by releasing cortisol and adrenaline rapidly. While your body wants the best for you, these hormones can cause more harm than good. They will pump up all your body processes, including your blood pressure. Eventually, your body will get exhausted from working too much and a series of ills could result from this, such as heart attacks, kidney problems and other grave conditions.
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How Does The Menopause Impact Your Heart Health
The role of oestrogen isnt just limited to female reproductive health it has countless other responsibilities throughout the body, supporting bone, brain, skin, blood vessels and heart health . So, when oestrogen drops as it begins to do in the perimenopause naturally, there will be an impact on your heart and cardiovascular system.
What Are The Risks Of Hrt
The health risks of HRT include:
- Increased risk of endometrial cancer For women who have had a hysterectomy , this is not a problem
- Increased risk of breast cancer with long-term use
- Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
- Increase in inflammatory markers
- Increased risk of blood clots and stroke, especially during the first year of use in susceptible women
All women taking hormone replacement therapy should have regular gynecological exams . The American Cancer Society also recommends that women over age 50 should:
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A Change In Recommendations
These studies were the first large-scale trials that looked for cause and effect with heart disease and HRT. HRT does offer some benefits, such as preventing osteoporosis and reducing the risk of colon cancer. But the data on heart-related risks from these studies were very compelling. As a result, the American Heart Association and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration developed new guidelines for the use of HRT:
The bottom line, say physicians at the Miller Family Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute at Cleveland Clinic: weigh the benefits of HRT against the risks and discuss the whole subject of HRT with your physician to be able to make an informed decision.
Oestrogen And Heart Health
Oestrogen and heart health are closely linked. Not only does oestrogen help to prevent the build-up of fatty plaque in the arteries and control cholesterol levels, but it also supports the function of the arteries and blood flow .As such, when oestrogen levels begin to decrease, the risk of the coronary arteries narrowing increases. According to the British Heart Foundation, this can make coronary heart disease, or a circulatory condition, such as stroke, more likely .Some experts also suggest that the drop in oestrogen may increase the risk of heart-related issues, including high blood pressure, heart palpitations, and heart disease particularly in post-menopausal women .
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Thinning Skin And General Circulation
One of the things Ive certainly noticed going through menopause is that the skin on the back of my hand has gotten a lot thinner and the veins much more prominent. You can use products like horse chestnut gel on your hands to help tighten up the veins a little. And while Im on the subject of hands: take care of your hands!
The skin on your hands is thin, so when you do dishes or anything else that involves touching detergents or other chemicals, you need to wear rubber gloves, which will save your hands over the long run. If your general circulation is sluggish, if you get cold hands and feet in the winter, if you develop frostbite more easily than you should, try ginkgo biloba. Not only does this herb help improve arterial circulation, it can also help improve memory. Its not every day that you find one supplement to treat two different symptoms at the same time!
What Do We Need To Do To Avoid Insulin Resistance
Stay away from processed foods. A general rule of thumb: The more we eat food without additives and preservatives, the healthier our body will be. Stick to real food and choose more fiber-rich foods instead. This includes veggies, nuts, seeds and low-sugar fruits like berries.
Another great tip: Combine a Keto Green lifestyle and intermittent fasting ! Keto-green works against insulin as your stored fats are used as the main source of energy, instead of sugar. Also, IF proves to be a great solution to burn fat and lower BP.
When it comes to salt, our body needs a bit of sodium for proper muscle and nerve function. However, its best to use natural salt, such as Himalayan salt or sea salt.
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Can Menopause Cause Low Blood Pressure
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Watch Out For Processed Food And Sugar
We should all know by now that eating an excessive amount of carbs and sugar is bad for us. Technically speaking, doing so prompts our body to release high amounts of insulin and leptin, two hormones directly connected to body fat and obesity. When our insulin and leptin go beyond the normal range, our blood pressure is affected. But thats not all: too much sugar in the body makes us resistant to insulin and leads to a variety of diseases, including diabetes.
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Treatment Of High Blood Pressure During Menopause
For many midlife women, treating the underlying cause of high blood pressure during menopause means addressing the hormonal imbalance at fault.
Pre- and postmenopausal women should pursue menopause symptoms treatments that highlight many of the lifestyle adjustments mentioned in the management section, all of which will foster endocrine system health. They should also enrich their diets with phytoestrogens, plant-based estrogens that fill in the hormonal gap.
For improved results, women suffering from the symptoms of menopause and high blood pressure are urged to use alternative medicine. The two acclaimed to promote hormonal balance the most include phytoestrogenic herbal supplements and hormone-regulating supplements.
Additional Causes Of High Bp
Though periomenopause can cause high blood pressure, many other factors can also cause this condition in a woman who just happens to be going through periomenopause.
If any of the following factors apply to you, and you have high blood pressure, dont be quick to put all the blame on periomenopause:
Overweight Sleep apnea
High blood pressure can be lowered naturally by cutting way back on processed foods and eating six to eight servings a day of any combination of fruits and raw vegetables, plus keeping sodium intake under 2,000 mg/day.
Periomenopause doesnt have to be a gloomy transition in life. Another way to bring down high blood pressure or prevent it from getting high, and to manage anxiety, is to take up intense strength training and interval-training cardio.
Dr. Riobe has helped thousands of patients overcome difficult illnesses by addressing root causes, not just masking symptoms. She has over 15 years experience using integrative techniques to treat diverse patients.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. Shes also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.
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Menopause And Cardiovascular Disease
In many women, the risk of heart disease significantly increases after the menopause . The diminishing levels of oestrogen may increase the narrowing of the coronary arteries, thereby, allowing for a build-up for plaque. Although women are likely to first present with heart disease ten years after men, research shows that heart disease is still the leading cause of mortality in postmenopausal women .
Causes Of High Blood Pressure
When you go through menopause, your estrogen levels drop, which can affect your blood pressure. So once you know for sure that youre menopausal, its very important to get your blood pressure checked regularly. But before you get all stressed out about it, just know that its enough to do it once every six months or so, just to keep an eye on things.
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Can The Menopause Cause High Blood Pressure
When oestrogen starts to dip in perimenopause, your blood vessels and heart can become stiffer and less pliable. Consequently, your blood pressure may spike and lead to hypertension . 3 Research indicates that high blood pressure in postmenopausal woman is more than twice that in pre-menopausal women.4 It should be noted that hypertension is a significant risk factor in the development of heart disease in women.
What About Conventional Remedies
It is always worth speaking to your doctor if you are concerned about your condition, and before making any drastic changes to your lifestyle. However, if you have not found a combination of lifestyle changes and herbal remedies to be of help, then you may have to resort to conventional medicines.
You will need to consult with your doctor to determine which type of medication is going to be most effective for you. Types of medication include diuretics, beta blockers and calcium-channel blockers. Each work in a different way and have different side-effects, so you may need to try a few types before finding the one you are most comfortable with.
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The Link Between Menopause And High Blood Pressure
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 80 percent of women past menopause have high blood pressure, leading researchers and doctors in efforts to find the connection between blood pressure and the menopausal transition.
Continue reading to learn about the link between menopause and high blood pressure as well as effective management and treatment techniques for optimal cardiovascular health.
Heart Palpitations And High Blood Pressure During Menopause
Hormonal changes associated with the menopause can affect all areas of your biology. You may experience a host of challenging physical and psychological symptoms, including hot flushes, anxiety, insomnia and fatigue. Whats less known, however, is that menopause can also impact your cardiovascular health.Although menopausal symptoms vary from woman to woman, many experience changes to their heart health. Some, for instance, may suffer from heart palpitations and high blood pressure as a result of fluctuating oestrogen levels that occur during this period.We understand that these symptoms can be worrying, so below well take a deeper look into how the menopause affects the heart, and how you can support your cardiovascular health at this stage.
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Post Menopausal Hormon Replacement Therapy
How prevalent is heart disease among women?
Female Reproductive Organs
Cardiovascular disease is NOT just a mans disease. Cardiovascular disease is the Number 1 killer of women over age 25 in the United States, regardless of race or ethnicity. Once a woman reaches the age of 50 , the risk for heart disease increases. In young women who have undergone early or surgical menopause, the risk for heart disease is also higher, especially when combined with other risk factors such as:
- Elevated LDL cholesterol
- Low HDL cholesterol, sometimes called “good” cholesterol
- Family history of heart disease
What is menopause?
Menopause is a normal stage in a womans life. The term menopause is commonly used to describe any of the changes a woman experiences either before or after she stops menstruating. As menopause nears, the ovaries gradually produce less estrogen , causing changes in the menstrual cycle and other physical changes. The most common symptoms of menopause are hot flashes, night sweats, emotional changes and changes in the vagina .
Technically, menopause is the end of a womans reproductive cycle, when the ovaries no longer produce eggs and she has her last menstrual cycle. The diagnosis of menopause is not confirmed until a woman has not had her period for six to twelve consecutive months.
How is heart disease associated with menopause?
What can be done to reduce the risk of heart disease for menopausal women?
Symptoms Of Heart Disease
With menopause, factors conspire to change a womans risk for heart disease, Foody says. Its important for women to understand that while menopause transition is natural, some of the symptoms associated with it, such as heart palpitations or increases in blood pressure, can have significant consequences.
Women should check with their doctor to be sure what theyre experiencing is still within a range of normal, Foody notes.
Symptoms you should never ignore include:
1. Palpitations Dont assume heart palpitations are natural flutters, says Rosen. Its important to identify atrial fibrillation, because this heart condition increases the risk of stroke, adds Foody.
2. Shortness of breath If you were able to go up the stairs fine, and now you find you are short of breath, talk to your healthcare provider, says Foody. It could be a sign of congestive heart failure or coronary artery disease. Shortness of breath is also one of the most common symptoms of atrial fibrillation.
3. Pressure in the chest It could be an indication of heart disease. Some women think that unless they have crushing chest pain, its not a heart attack, Foody reports. A feeling of fullness, squeezing or dull pressure in the chest that doesnt go away or that goes away and comes back could be a sign of a heart attack in women.
4. Headaches They might be a sign of high blood pressure, so get any symptoms checked out.
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