When To Contact A Doctor
If you have any of the symptoms described, you should go see a doctor. In general, if you have any of the major risk factors, you should be tested for high blood pressure regularly.
Additionally, you should call 911 immediately if you have any of the following symptoms as they can be a sign of untreated high blood pressure resulting in a hypertensive emergency:
- Blurred vision or severe headache
- Severe anxiety
- Shortness of breath, severe chest pain, or confusion
- Nausea, vomiting
Causes Of High Blood Pressure In Women
There is a misconception that women are rarely affected by hypertension, but women are just as likely as men to develop hypertension and are actually more likely than men after the age of 65. In particular, three periods of life can affect a womanâs blood pressure:
- Oral contraceptives: Taking birth control pills increases blood pressure for some women, especially for those who are already at risk of high blood pressure. Before starting birth control, talk to your doctor about your medical history and risk of developing high blood pressure.
- Pregnancy: High blood pressure during pregnancy, or gestational hypertension may occur after the first 20 weeks and disappears after delivery. If it is not caught and treated, hypertension can be damaging to the baby and mother.
- Menopause: While it is not entirely clear why, the chances of women having high blood pressure after menopause increase considerably, even if they have had normal blood pressure their whole life.
This Symptom Is Common In Menopause But Frequent Or Persistent Episodes Could Be A Sign Of Higher Risk For Heart Attack Or Stroke
Researchers have begun to pay more attention to cardiovascular risk factors that are unique to women, such as early menopause and certain pregnancy complications. Recently they turned their attention to a common menopausal symptom that affects up to 85% of women: hot flashes.
Study results presented in September 2019 to the North American Menopause Society from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation found that women who experience frequent or persistent hot flashes may be more likely than women who don’t to experience a heart attack or stroke or other serious cardiovascular problems.
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Heart Disease In Menopause Is Preventable
On the good side, a lot of this is reversible or preventable, Foody says. Menopause is an important time to take good care of yourself and your heart.
Women who exercise, don’t smoke , monitor themselves for weight gain, and eat a healthy, nutritious diet rich in fruits and vegetables can lower their risk of heart disease as they age.
We know that women who exercise tend not to get high blood pressure as much. And exercise can also prevent your heart from stiffening as you age, Foody says.
Menopause Hormone Therapy And Heart Risks
Hormone replacement therapy can be an effective way to ease menopause symptoms, particularly when symptoms are severe and interfere with daily life. While safety and effectiveness varies based on the type of hormone as well as how its delivered such as a pill versus a skin cream the heart benefits generally outweigh the risks for healthy women under age 60 who have gone through menopause within the past 10 years, says Faubion.
Among women under 60 who recently went through menopause, hormones can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, according to the new paper. The heart benefits are greatest when hormone therapy starts sooner after menopause, the paper notes.
Oral hormones, but not hormones delivered through the skin, can increase the risk of venous thromboembolism, blood clots that form in veins of the legs, thigh, and pelvis and can break loose and travel to the lungs.
For women at higher risk of heart disease, such as those with diabetes, a transdermal route of administration of estrogen may be preferred over oral, Faubion says.
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High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy May Mean Worse Hot Flashes During Menopause
- Mayo Clinic
- Women with a history of high blood pressure disorders during pregnancy are more likely to experience bothersome menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats, according to a new study.
Women with a history of high blood pressure disorders during pregnancy are more likely to experience bothersome menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats, according to a study published Wednesday, Aug. 19, in Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society.
“We already know that women with high blood pressure during pregnancy or those who experience menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats have a higher risk of developing heart disease. Our research discovered that women who experienced high blood pressure during pregnancy were much more likely to experience bothersome menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes and night sweats during menopause,” says Stephanie Faubion, M.D., the study’s lead author. Dr. Faubion is the Penny and Bill George Director for Mayo Clinic’s Center for Women’s Health.
Researchers discovered a significant association between women with a history of high blood pressure disorders during pregnancy who reported more bothersome menopausal symptoms. Women with this high blood pressure history using hormone therapy also reported more menopausal symptoms, compared to women with no history of high blood pressure disorders during pregnancy.
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Hot Flashes In Women Tied To Higher Blood Pressure
WEDNESDAY, April 11 — Hot flashes in women are linked with high blood pressure, says a new study that may be the first to identify this association.
The study of 154 women — ages 18 to 65 with a mean age of 46 — found that the 51 women who reported having hot flashes had an age-adjusted mean systolic awake blood pressure of 141 and a mean systolic sleep blood pressure of 129, compared to 132 and 119, respectively, among women without hot flashes.
“One third of the women we studied reported having hot flashes within the past two weeks. Among these women, systolic blood pressure was significantly higher — even after adjusting for whether they were premenopausal, menopausal or postmenopausal,” senior author Dr. Linda Gerber, professor of public health and medicine, and director of the biostatistics and research methodology core at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, said in a prepared statement.
“Future research will help us better understand the mechanisms underlying this relationship and may help to identify potential interventions that would reduce the impact of hot flashes on blood pressure,” Gerber said.
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, which accounts for half of all deaths among American women age 50 and older. Previous research has linked menopause to high blood pressure.
The study was published in the March/April issue of the journal Menopause.
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Blood Pressure The Menopause And Hrt
We caught up with GP and menopause specialist Dr Louise Newson on the changes to your hormones that happen during the menopause and how HRT could help even if you have high blood pressure
Female sex hormones such as estrogen play vital roles in our bodies, so its surprising how little most of us know about them. Blood Pressure UK caught up with GP and menopause specialist Dr Louise Newson on what you need to know about your hormones, the changes that happen at menopause, and how hormone replacement therapy could help even if you have high blood pressure.
Go straight to ‘Can you take HRT if you have high blood pressure?‘
Why do women need to know about their female sex hormones?
We have estrogen receptors throughout our bodies, which means estrogen has various roles in our health. It has protective effects on our bones, cardiovascular system brain, vagina, joints and skin, for example.
We have other sex hormones including progesterone and testosterone which play their roles too, and can affect your mood and energy levels.
During the menopause, our ovaries stop making these hormones. This causes symptoms like hot flushes, palpitations , headaches, low mood, memory problems, fatigue, urinary symptoms and lower libido.
How does the menopause affect your blood pressure and heart health?
How do you know when you are going through the menopause?
What is HRT and how can it help?
Can you take HRT if you have high blood pressure?
Are there any risks with HRT?
High Blood Pressure And Night Sweats
Menopause is often accompanied by symptoms such as high blood pressure and night sweats. While these conditions might initially appear to have little in common, when experienced during menopause, they are often caused by the same thing – hormonal fluctuations. Take a look at the information below for advice on treating these menopause symptoms.
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Why Does Hypertension In Middle
Dr. Angela H.E.M. Maas, who was the lead author of the document, said that high blood pressure is taken more seriously in men and less well treated in women.
She said this is because we consider elevated blood pressure in women often as stress, and in men as hypertension.
This is partly because of bias by doctors, but also by women themselves, Maas said. Women often explain an elevated blood pressure as stress-related and are not always open to the hypertension diagnosis and treatment.
Maas said it can often take more time to convince women and to start and continue medical treatment.
The timing of onset of hypertension is often at the start of menopause and this leads to overlapping symptoms that are not always properly adjudicated, she said.
In the past, women were considered less likely than men to have heart disease, according to Dr. Maan Malahfji, a cardiologist with Houston Methodist DeBakey Cardiology Associates, who was not associated with the consensus report.
This may have resulted in doctors being less aggressive in investigating its symptoms and controlling them.
Now theres growing recognition that women are at just as much risk as men after going through menopause, and there may even be more complications.
Elevated blood pressure can be manifested in different ways between men and women, but is very often without any symptoms, so screening is vital, Malahfji said.
These are all symptoms that overlap with hypertension symptoms.
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.
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Q: What Causes Hot Flashes
A: The exact causes of hot flashes are still unknown, but they are thought to be related to changes in the brains thermoregulatory center, which controls heat production and loss, and is influenced by your hormones. During perimenopause, hormones start acting like a rollercoaster, with progesterone and estrogen levels changing in wide variations. These ups and downs dont settle down until almost 10 years after menopause.
Does Menopause Cause High Blood Pressure
It is being observed that middle-aged women are suffering from high blood pressure, but it is unclear whether it is directly caused by menopause. The following are possible explanations behind menopause high blood pressure.
First, a drop in estrogen may negatively affect the health of arteries as one of the hormone’s principal roles is in maintaining their flexibility and promoting normal blood flow.
Next, drastic hormonal fluctuations make blood pressure more sensitive to salt in the diet, which means consuming even normal amounts of the nutrient in one’s diet can provoke unhealthy spikes in blood pressure.
Aside from these, there are other reasons why middle-aged women may suffer from high blood pressure during perimenopause or after menopause, including weight gain, aging, diabetes, insulin resistance, and more.
No matter the cause, high blood pressure, called hypertension, can also cause a variety of symptoms that are often credited to menopause, such as hot flashes, anxiety, fatigue, headaches, irregular heartbeat, and sleep disorders, among others.
Either way, in order to avoid the long-term complications of hypertension, which include heart and kidney failure, vision problems, dementia, and more, it is crucial that women manage and treat their condition.
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Fatigue Feeling Faint High Blood Pressure And Hot Flashes
- Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Reviewed on 12/1/2020
High blood pressure may be related to specific illnesses or may occur without a known cause. Blood pressure can be elevated due to temporary conditions like stress reactions, anxiety, or panic attack. Hot flashes are often related to hormonal changes or the menopausal transition. Pay attention to your symptoms and what brings them on. Speak with your doctor if you are concerned.
While the list below can be considered as a guide to educate yourself about these conditions, this is not a substitute for a diagnosis from a health care provider. There are many other medical conditions that also can be associated with your symptoms and signs. Here are a number of those from MedicineNet:
The Protective Effects Of Estrogen
During a womans reproductive life she is indeed at a lower overall risk of developing high blood pressure because of the protective effects of estrogen. Estrogen acts through many different mechanisms to help keep the blood vessels flexible and to modulate other hormone activities that can contribute to developing high blood pressure. Since women of reproductive age have generally high levels of estrogen, they enjoy a fairly broad level of protection from high blood pressure.
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More Than Just A Hot Flash
A University of Hawaii study investigated the possible connection between hot flashes and hypertension.
A sample of 202 women, ages 40 to 55 years, was monitored around the clock for both hot flashes and changes in ambulatory blood pressure .
The women also each kept a diary of their hot flashes and any accompanying changes in mood.
The results were interesting, and quite possibly useful to you if you are a woman in this age group.
Over a two-week period, there was no significant difference in mean blood pressure between women who reported having a hot flash any time during those two weeks, and those who did not.
However, women who experienced frequent hot flashes also had a systolic blood pressure that was significantly higher than average. Systolic refers to the top number of your blood pressure reading and measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart contracts.
In fact, this association was so strong that researchers could use the womens hot flashes to predictincreases in their systolic numbers.
Management Of High Blood Pressure During Menopause
Some of the most important management techniques for menopause high blood pressure are those that will also promote overall health and well-being. They include:
Maintaining a healthy weight, especially since high body mass index is a risk factor of hypertension
Eating heart-healthy foods consisting of whole grains as well as fresh fruits and vegetables
Exercising regularly, even if it is just a 30-minute walk, five days a week
Quitting smoking since it is a cardiovascular risk factor and doing so will prevent other associated diseases
Managing stress with relaxation techniques of meditation, deep breathing, yoga, or tai chi
Limiting or avoiding alcohol as heavy drinking can damage the cardiovascular system and cause high blood pressure
Reducing salt, fat, and cholesterol intake by consuming fresh, wholesome foods instead of processed
Women who need help in quitting smoking or drinking should seek professional assistance immediately.
Moreover, although these aforementioned measures will help control high blood pressure after menopause and even during the transition, the best way to handle the condition is to treat the underlying cause.
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What Happens If Your Magnesium Is Too High
Magnesium levels between 7 and 12 mg/dL can impact the heart and lungs, and levels in the upper end of this range may cause extreme fatigue and low blood pressure. Levels above 12 mg/dL can lead to muscle paralysis and hyperventilation. When levels are above 15.6 mg/dL, the condition may result in a coma.
Natural Ways To Ease Hot Flashes And Lower Blood Pressure
The takeaway here is that you can control hot flashes naturally, and that, of course, there is much you can do to keep those blood pressure numbers regular.
Herbal remedies have long been used to ease hot flashes and other troubling menopausal symptoms. Here are seven herbal remedies you can try after consulting with your doctor to avoid possible interactions with medications youre already taking.
And heres a primer on foods and supplements that can help control your blood pressure naturally, along with other resources for you to check out.
Editors note: weve published a Special Easy Health Options® Alert Natural Ways to Reverse and Prevent Hypertension. This exclusive report blows the lid off the myths surrounding hypertension and gives you easy, effective strategies for controlling your blood pressure safely and naturally.
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Heart Risks Of Menopause
According to the North American Menopause Society, women reach menopause, on average, at age 51 for most it occurs between ages 45 and 55 and marks the permanent end of fertility. The run-up or transition stage lasts several years and involves the gradual reduction of the bodys production of reproductive hormones such as estrogen and progesterone.
Declining estrogen levels after menopause can contribute to increased weight gain around the midsection, a reduced ability to use the hormone insulin to convert sugars in the blood into energy, increased lipid levels, and elevated blood pressure, according to the new paper.
Women with severe menopause symptoms particularly hot flashes and night sweats are roughly 50 percent more likely to develop whats known as subclinical atherosclerosis, slight narrowing and hardening of the arteries that might not produce any symptoms but can still increase the risk of heart attacks and other serious cardiovascular events, according to the paper.
Chest pain, however, is not a symptom of menopause, warns Stephanie Faubion, MD, director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Womens Health in Rochester, Minnesota, and medical director for the North American Menopause Society.
Any symptoms such as palpitations, shortness of breath, chest pain, or symptoms with exercise even decreased exercise tolerance should be evaluated before assuming they relate to menopause, advises Dr. Faubion, who wasnt involved in the new paper.