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.
How Does Menopause Cause High Blood Pressure
Menopause isn’t a direct cause of high blood pressure, but it is a contributing factor in the process. Menopause decreases hormones, like estrogen and progesterone, within the body that can affect metabolism and weight gain. As women go through and exit menopause, they may find that rather than maintaining a healthy weight, they gain weight much faster even if they have the same diet. Due to this hormonal decrease, the body rapidly gains weight and causes high blood pressure.
We Find That As Women Go Through Menopause They Tend To Have An Elevation In Their Blood Pressure
And thats because of their falling estrogen levels. Estrogen stimulates collagen and elastin, which keeps blood vessels soft and flexible.
If your vessels become hard and rigid, they create more resistance for your heart to be able to pump blood, which then increases your blood pressure. Youll notice this mostly in the systolic part of the blood pressure, which is the number at the top, versus the diastolic, the number at the bottom. The diastolic number at the bottom is really reflective of how hard your heart is working. The systolic number at the top is reflective of how much resistance is in your blood vessels.
Your heart has to pump with much greater force in order to move blood against your tight, menopausal vessels, and as a result, your blood pressure rises. If your vessels are very tight because youve developed arteriosclerosis, meaning clogging of your arteries, then your heart is going to have to work a lot harder.
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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.
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 .
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How Does The Body Regulate Blood Pressure
The system is complicated, many components interlock. The most important are:
- Sympathetic nervous system
- The kidneys and adrenal glands
- The salt and water balance
- The blood vessels, especially the large, elastic arteries
Central blood pressure regulators are the sympathetic nervous system with the well-known stress hormone epinephrine and norepinephrine and the generally less well-known renin-angiotensin system .
If the sympathetic nervous system is overactive, for example during stress, the body is in attack or defense mode. The heart beats faster, the blood pressure rises.
The kidneys are also involved in this process. Among other things, they produce more of the enzyme renin, which is why angiotensin, or more precisely angiotensin II, also increases. It is a powerful hormone that promotes blood pressure. The adrenal glands, for example, cause it to release circulating hormones such as aldosterone increasingly.
Another blood pressure control variable is the elasticity, i.e., the adaptability of the arteries, to pressure changes. It mainly affects the large arteries. But even the small arteries can become tenser on certain circulatory stimuli.
Each element individually and collectively affects blood pressure. If the described temporary increases blood pressure was increasing and the body continues to grow the blood pressure level, the pressure remains set too high.
There are several types of endocrine hypertension, including:
What Is A Normal Blood Pressure Reading
Typically, a perfect blood pressure reading is around 120/80 mm Hg. The top number is the systolic reading and the bottom number is the diastolic reading.
The systolic reading can be between 110 and 130 for a healthy adult and not cause concern. However, if the systolic blood pressure reading is above 120 over a sustained amount of time, with a diastolic reading of below 80, this would be considered as a high reading.
Some people have lower or higher blood pressure readings as their normal. It is a good idea to always have an understanding of what is normal for you.
If you have a close relative with a history of high blood pressure, invest in an at-home blood pressure monitor to ensure that you can check yours regularly.
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Study Finds High Blood Pressure Linked To Loss Of Estrogen In Peri
Estrogen receptor beta neurons in the brain are important for blood pressure regulation in a mouse model of human perimenopause. Credit: Image courtesy of Dr. Milner.
Women become more susceptible to hypertension as they approach menopause, and now a preclinical study led by researchers at Weill Cornell Medicines Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute suggests that this perimenopausal hypertension may be driven by declines in estrogen signaling in a brain region called the hypothalamusand may be preventable with estrogen-like treatments.
In the study, published May 3 in the Journal of Neuroscience, the researchers, led by Drs. Teresa Milner and Michael Glass, respectively a professor and associate professor of neuroscience in Weill Cornell Medicines Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute, used mice to model the perimenopausal decline in the production of estrogen by the ovaries.
The scientists found that female mice with a low-estrogen condition resembling human perimenopause become more susceptible to experimentally induced hypertensionbut lose that susceptibility when estrogen signaling is boosted again with an estrogen receptor -stimulating agonist drug.
The results, say the researchers, suggest that ER agonists might be beneficial in preventing or treating hypertension in perimenopausal women.
Pregnancy Can Elevate The Risk Of Hbp In Women
Some women who have never had high blood pressure develop it while they are pregnant.
Preeclampsia is usually characterized by the onset of high blood pressure that is lasting and can lead to various complications.
Learn how it affects 1 in 25 pregnancies in the U.S and what you can do.
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Low Blood Pressure In Menopause Hot Flashes And No Energywhen Is This Going To Get Better
It has been a little while since Iâve posted because Iâve actually been doing pretty good. My gastritis has improved but it seems like when one symptom improves another one kicks in!
I really thought I was getting through menopause without suffering from hot flashes but I was wrong. I pretty much have them through the night, some nights I wake up 6 or 7 times. This goes on for about a week and then they taper off to a few times a night. I donât have many throughout the day but do often have a few in the eveningâ¦.and always after I eat chocolate. ?? I also have been suffering from low blood pressureâ¦Iâve had high blood pressure since mid twenties so this is surprising to me, By low I mean a systolic from 92-106 and my diastolic runs 78-89. Itâs the top number that is running low and even though this is technically considered hypotension, for me it feels like it. I get lightheaded, spacey feeling, really tired and when I exert myself my heart rate speeds up. Heart tests all normalâ¦.ECG, echo cardiogram, stress test and even had heart CT scan with dye injection which showed no blockages and calcium score of zero.
I am 56 years old and 1 1/2 years ago had partial hysterectomy so still have ovaries and have no idea if I am in complete menopause or not.
I am just tired of feeling so tired and dragged out and am wondering if any ladies here have had issues with low blood pressure and fatigue?
Quincy AdamHigh Cholesterol Lifestyle
How Do I Stay Healthy After Menopause
It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, especially as you age and your risk for certain medical conditions increases. Some ways for people in postmenopause to stay healthy include:
- Exercising regularly. Walking, doing yoga or strength training can help lower your risk for many medical conditions.
- Weight-bearing exercises can strengthen your bones and muscles.
- Eating a healthy diet. Foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains should make up the bulk of your diet. Avoid lots of salt or sugar and limit your consumption of alcohol.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Going through menopause can be uncomfortable and present new challenges and health concerns. Speak with your healthcare provider about any symptoms you feel or questions you have. They can help make sure you are supported through this time and get the care you need.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/05/2021.
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High Blood Pressure And Women
A common misconception is that high blood pressure rarely affects women. However, nearly half of all adults with high blood pressure are women. In fact, women that are just 20 pounds or more overweight, have a family history of HBP or have reached menopause are known to increase a womans risk.
While high blood pressure isn’t directly related to gender, throughout a womans life, health issues like pregnancy, pregnancy prevention and menopause can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure.
Women represent almost 52% of deaths from high blood pressure.
Women And Heart Attacks
There is a lingering myth that women dont develop heart disease or have heart attacks.
This is completely untrue: according to the British Heart Foundation, 3.9 million women in the UK have heart and circulatory diseases.
The main symptom of a heart attack – chest pain – presents in both men and women, however women might experience some other symptoms too.
Pain in the back or between your shoulders could be a symptom of a heart attack, as could sudden nausea and vomiting.
Research also suggests women wait longer to go to hospital after a suspected heart attack, often because they have responsibilities at home they need to get done before they can take themselves to a doctor.
Women are far more likely than men to experience a certain type of heart condition known as Broken Heart Syndrome, or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy.
Broken Heart Syndrome causes severe chest pain and breathlessness, as if you are having a heart attack.
However Broken Heart Syndrome is caused by your left ventricle changing shape, not a blocked artery.
Some 90 percent of people who experience Broken Heart Syndrome are women, and almost all of them are post-menopausal.
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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.
Blood Pressure Issues Are Not Uncommon In Menopause But They Dont Happen To All Women
And thats because lots of women have real healthy vessels to start with, especially women who are very active through their reproductive years. For women who maintain their ideal body weight, eat a healthy diet, and dont stress too much, they will enter menopause with healthy vessels. They will also maintain normal blood pressure throughout their lives.
Women who come into menopause with chronic diseases like diabetes, struggle with obesity, and have a tendency towards high-stress response, are more likely to have blood pressure issues. Their HPA axis is constantly in fight or flight mode, so they tend to be hyper-reactive to stress. When they go through perimenopause and their progesterone starts dropping, their adrenal glands are less supported. Their stress response is higher, and all that extra cortisol causes inflammation. Over time, that inflammation increases the likelihood that the blood vessels develop arteriosclerosis.
When Your Hypothalamus Is Out Of Balance Vasopressin Production Can Be Erratic Causing Fluctuations In Your Blood Pressure
One of the best ways to deal with hypertension throughout menopause is to get your hypothalamus in balance. Supporting your hypothalamus can help keep your blood pressure stable by normalizing your stress response and vasopressin production. Getting enough sleep helps support your hypothalamus function, which I know can be difficult because of insomnia some women experience during menopause. Also, making sure that you keep your weight in check really helps lower your risk for hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
Regular exercise and a diet thats low in starchy, sugary carbs, with adequate protein and healthy fats, and lots of colorful fruits and vegetables will make a big difference in keeping your blood pressure in control.
Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure In Women
There are cases wherein high blood pressure happens unexpectedly. Meaning, your body has shown no symptoms at all, but you just woke up one day, knowing that your blood pressure is on surge! Unhealthy food choices usually cause these instances. This happened in my case as I have been the biggest fan of licorice. I didn´t know that licorice can skyrocket blood pressure if taken in excessive amounts because of a compound called the Glycyrrhizin. So always be mindful of what you eat.
In a general sense though, high blood pressure in women develops over some period of time. And this has a series of corresponding factors. This type of HBP is called Primary Hypertensionor Essential Hypertension. This is the most common type of hypertension, which usually takes many years to develop. It is claimed to result from an unhealthy lifestyle, environment and how your body changes, as midlife welcomes you.
Remember its nickname, The Silent Killer? It was coined because as it develops in your body slowly, the symptoms manifest slowly too. This includes:
Wondering how to recognize if your blood pressure is high?
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Risk Factors For High Blood Pressure
As they say, there are things out of our control, and they may increase our risks for certain diseases. Here are some known risks for obtaining high blood pressure:
- Poor nutrition
- Weak kidneys
- Drugs such as appetite suppressants, birth control pills, corticosteroids, HRT, and NSAIDs
Despite these risks, there are many ways to prevent high blood pressure by taking control of our health as early as now.
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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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 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
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How Does High Blood Pressure Affect Insomnia
Women with insomnia have a greater chance of dealing with high blood pressure. In fact, women who get 6 hours of sleep or less are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular health issues during menopause/postmenopause. Restlessness and anxiety increase adrenaline in the brain, which then increases heart rate and blood pressure. As a result, both of these conditions can worsen the other, making sleeping an obstacle for many women going through menopause.