8 Signs Your Heart Is Changing During Menopause
Going through the menopause is something all women will have to do once they reach a certain age and with it comes a whole host of symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, and brain fog. These symptoms are caused by your body producing less of the female hormone oestrogen.
Another side effect of the menopause is an increased risk to your heart. This is because oestrogen drops, you’re more likely to develop heart disease than you were before. Oestrogen protects several parts of your body, including blood vessels and your heart. It reduces the amount of fatty plaque that builds up in your arteries, helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels, and improves blood flow throughout the body and heart.
Menopause and Heart Disease
Menopause isn’t dangerous and is a completely natural process. However, this doesn’t mean you should ignore certain menopausal symptoms like heart palpitations or high blood pressure. The earlier you treat any developing conditions, the more likely you are to be able to stop the condition from progressing.
- Heart palpitations or flutters
- Trouble breathing
- Chest pain or tightness
- Swollen feet
- Pain when lying down
- Jaw pain
- Hot flashes
- Mood swings
- Vaginal dryness
- Weight fluctuations
- Heart palpitations
Thankfully, heart disease in menopause is preventable. Healthy lifestyle choices like quitting smoking, eating a nutritious diet, and exercising regularly can greatly reduce the risks to your heart. Medications for conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes can help as well as can taking hormone replacement therapy.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Many women choose to take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to manage the uncomfortable side effects of the menopause. HRT uses synthetic versions of female hormones to help balance your levels, making any menopausal symptoms less intense. Another added benefit of HRT is that you’ll have more oestrogen in your body to protect your arteries and heart.
HRT is most often taken through a patch or tablets. The patches are applied directly to your skin and gradually release the hormones into your system. You’ll need to change your patches every few days. Tablets are usually taken daily.