How To Care Of Your Heart In Menopause?

Healthy food in heart diet concept with stethoscope closeup

When you think of cardiovascular disease, you might think about a person who isn’t leading a healthy lifestyle or maybe you think of your genetics. The primary cause of death in American women is heart disease, which accounts for more than half of all deaths in women in america exceeding 50 years old.

Cholesterol

There are two different types of cholesterol found inside the body: high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL). HDL cholesterol is great and has a cleansing effect in the blood while LDL cholesterol is bad and causes plaque (fat) to build up on the walls of arteries, eventually clogging them.

Estrogen helps maintain LDL cholesterol in check, which in turn reduces a women’s cardiovascular risk. When a woman enters menopause, her estrogen level starts to fall, which tends to increase the probability of cardiovascular issues. In a recent study led by University of Pittsburgh professor of psychiatry and epidemiology, Karen Matthews, PhD, it was found that on average, a postmenopausal woman’s LDL cholesterol increases by about 9 percent.

With this growth of cholesterol comes a greater risk of heart problems, such as hypertension (high blood pressure), stroke, angina, and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). In one large study of postmenopausal women in the Netherlands, researchers found that earlier age of menopause onset caused higher cardiovascular risk, but as girls elderly, the risk decreased. It had been suggested that more exposure to normal estrogen with later onset of menopause is cardioprotective.

Good to know

While it is true your LDL cholesterol will probably grow during menopause, it does not automatically indicate it is cause for serious alarm. Whether you are concerned about your cholesterol, one of the primary steps of prevention is to be sure that you’re living a wholesome lifestyle. This means not smoking, exercising for at least 30 minutes most days of the week, and lowering your consumption of red meat, trans fats, sodium, and refined sugar.

Additionally, there are prescription medications available, such as Lipitor, which are designed to decrease your cholesterol. A consult with your physician will let you know if these medications are acceptable for you. Among the medical complications that could occur at menopause are metabolic changes, particularly the ones that include significant weight gain. Most women will see some up shift in their waistlines and buttocks with menopause, but putting on plenty of weight carries a very real threat.

Obesity leaves you vulnerable to elevated cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension, some of which, if uncontrolled, can cause considerable damage to your wellbeing. There are lots of at-home cholesterol test kits available, but it is best to go to your physician to have a precise evaluation of your cholesterol levels and get their professional advice regarding your own risks. There might be a fantastic chance you are not in danger, but if you’re, your physician can tell you about a few strategies to prevent high cholesterol levels and to help you manage them.

Final note

Lastly, many physicians think that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a workable solution for menopausal women that are at high cardiovascular risk. Take note that HRT carries its own set of dangers and must be considered carefully prior to proceeding. To find out more on HRT, see our section on Clinical Treatments and Therapies. Whether you’re contemplating addressing your cholesterol levels through the use of clinical treatments or natural processes, a chat with your doctor is in order. Only they can evaluate your entire body and its needs and prescribe the best plan of action for your particular situation.