Q: Is There Anything Else I Can Do To Cope With Emotional Concerns During This Phase Of My Life
A: A healthylifestyle can help ease the menopause transition, including the followingsteps:
- Exercise and eat healthy.
- Engage in a creative outlet or hobby that givesyou a sense of achievement.
- Turn to friends, family members or aprofessional counselor for support. Stay connected with your family andcommunity. Nurture your friendships.
- Take medicines, vitamins and minerals asprescribed by your doctor.
Sugar Adds To Your Stress
Did you know that having a high blood glucose level is actually a stress on your body? High blood glucose increases your stress hormone cortisol. High cortisol reduces how much progesterone you can make which is likely to leave you with a hormone imbalance exacerbating many perimenopause symptoms:
- Youll likely experience heavier bleeds
- More irregularity with your cycle
- Worsening mood swings, anxiety, hot flushes and depression
Signs Your Heart Is Changing During Menopause
Every year, more than one million women in the United States enter menopause when a woman stops menstruating and hasnt had her period for 12 months in a row. When you think of menopause, hot flashes, insomnia, mood changes, and night sweats may come to mind. But heart disease the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths a year, according to the American Heart Association should also be high on your list of menopause related health concerns.
Heart disease risk increases with age for both men and women. But there are heart disease risk factors especially associated with ovarian aging, says Chrisandra Shufelt MD, associate director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Womens Health in Jacksonville, Florida, which is the complex process marked by changes in hormone levels that occurs, ending with menopause. Aging ovaries produce less estrogen and follicle-stimulating hormone a drop in these hormones is linked to heart disease risk.
Heres a rundown of the risks associated with heart disease in women in menopause and what you can do to lower the risk.
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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.
Can You Prevent Perimenopausal Anxiety
It can be difficult to prevent perimenopausal anxiety, because it is driven by so many possible factors.
You can prepare yourself for the onset of anxiety by practicing good coping skills. This could include getting acquainted with mind-body techniques that work for you, speaking with your healthcare provider, and taking care of your overall health as best you can prior to perimenopause.
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Hot Flashes And Symptom Stress
Perimenopause symptoms, which of course can look a bit different for each woman, are, overall, quite stressful. One of the most commonly discussed are hot flashes. Hot flashes are sudden periods of intense heat that may occur at any time, but often occur at night. Hot flashes can make it difficult to sleep and cause considerable stress while awake.
Many women have to drastically alter their life to adjust for hot flashes, and often find that the adjustments they make are insufficient to reduce the stress that those hot flashes cause. In this sense, the hot flashes themselves start to cause ongoing distress, which can develop into anxiety. Additionally, when many women experience hot flashes, they fear more hot flashes occurring, which further contributes to anxiety.
Is It Really All About Stress
So, do these studies mean hot flashes cause higher systolic blood pressure?
Lots of things can lead to higher systolic blood pressure, but one good theory holds that like hot flashes, raised systolic blood pressure starts when theres an increase in central sympathetic nerve activity. This could make sense because thats the part of your nervous system that activates your fight-or-flight response when youre under stress. So, what could be going on is that perimenopausal and menopausal women who are under chronic stress are seeing natural side effects of this stress in the form of hot flashes and high blood pressure both issues share this common root.
Heres something else to consider: hot flashes can cause unpleasant facial flushing, and guess what? So can high blood pressure. But facial flushing can be caused by a lot of other things that DO for sure raise blood pressure, including high temperatures, hot water, alcohol, exercise, and again, stress. The theory here is that women may think their hot flashes are linked to high blood pressure, but in fact the rise in blood pressure is caused by something else that is happening at the same time as the hot flash.
In the end, the hot flash mechanism is still a bit of a mystery. Your best bet for finding hot flash relief is to take steps to balance your hormones and avoid your personal hot flash triggers. You can take steps to lower your blood pressure too!
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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.
Will Anxiety Get Worse
It may for a while, says Dr. Vaidya: Studies of mood and anxiety during menopause have generally revealed an increased risk of depression during perimenopause with a decrease in risk during postmenopausal years. The Penn Ovarian Aging Study, a cohort study, showed depressive symptoms increased during the menopausal transition and decreased after menopause.
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Living With High Blood Pressure
Living with high blood pressure over time puts added strain on your blood vessels and on your heart. The added force of blood surging through your arteries damages the artery walls and encourages the formation of cholesterol-filled plaques. These plaques can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
High blood pressure also forces your heart to work harder to pump blood throughout your body. As it works harder and harder, the heart muscle can become stiff and enlarged or weakened. Over time, the heart cannot do an adequate job of circulating blood. This is called heart failure. âThe risk of heart failure is markedly increased if the blood pressure is left unchecked over many years,â Dr. Bhatt says. âThe heart doesnât pump as effectively from years of trying to pump against very high pressure.â
Beyond stroke and heart failure, having long-term high blood pressure can also contribute to dementia, kidney failure, vision problems , and sexual dysfunction.
Because high blood pressure is a condition that can sneak up on you without symptoms, having your pressure checked regularly is essential. Dr. Bhatt recommends getting your blood pressure tested at your doctorâs office once a yeareven if youâre feeling fine. Some people purchase a home blood pressure monitor to keep an eye on their blood pressure. If you decide to do this, have the monitor calibrated at your doctorâs office before using it.
Can Menopause Cause Depression
Jennifer Payne, M.D.
The time leading up to menopause is a physical and emotional roller coaster for some women. The so-called change of life comes with a host of symptoms triggered by hormonal shifts hot flashes, insomnia, mood fluctuations and even depression.
When women go through sudden hormonal changes like those that come with perimenopause, puberty, postpartum and even their monthly cycle, theyre at a higher risk for depression, says Jennifer Payne, M.D., psychiatrist and director of the Women’s Mood Disorders Center at Johns Hopkins. In general, women are twice as likely as men to develop the condition.
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Preventing High Blood Pressure Caused Due To Menopause
While it is clear that menopause can cause high blood pressure, there are ways to prevent it and manage the condition effectively. Women suffering from high blood pressure during menopause, need to take the necessary precautions. As menopause is a great risk factor for high blood pressure, it is important to take measures to control the hormone changes during menopause. Managing menopause with proper diet, exercise and lifestyle measures can help to prevent high blood pressure and related problems to a great extent.
Final Thought on High Blood Pressure Caused by Menopause
What Are The Symptoms Of Perimenopause
Many symptoms can arise during perimenopause. While not all symptoms will occur in everyone, every person that goes through perimenopause will experience some symptoms, such as:
- Slowed or irregular periods
- Irregular bleeding
Perimenopause can last for roughly three to four years prior to the onset of menopause. Menopause is preceded by irregular periods that continue to get less and less frequent, along with the other symptoms of perimenopause.
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Are Hot Flashes Related To Blood Pressure
If you have been experiencing hot flashes and youve also been told by your doctor that your blood pressure is running high, you may wonder if there is a connection between the two. Research into this topic tells an interesting story.
One study that looked into the possible connection between hot flashes and hypertension found that women who experienced frequent hot flashes also had a systolic blood pressure that was significantly higher than average. The association was so strong that researchers could use the womens hot flashes to predict increases in their systolic numbers. Systolic refers to the top number of your blood pressure reading. It measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart contracts.
Another study used hormone-inhibiting blood pressure drugs to reduce hot flashes in women with breast cancer. The frequency of the participants hot flashes dropped dramatically by about 40-80 percent. Researchers noted that participants worried about potential side effects of taking a blood pressure drug for hot flashes.
How Much Sugar Is Ok
According to the latest government guidelines, adults should consume no more than 30g of sugar per day which is the equivalent of 7 teaspoons worth. To put this into perspective a single chocolate bar typically contains 6 teaspoons, a jam-filled doughnut is around 5 and a can of fizzy drink is as much as 8 teaspoons.
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Are There Herbal Remedies To Help Me
Obviously, high blood pressure is a condition which is best managed by your doctor. If however, you have been told that, although higher than it should be, your blood pressure is not at a dangerous level and for the moment only requires monitoring to make sure it does not become worse, there are a number of steps you can take.
Take garlic – one of our oldest remedies. It is, of course, also found in the foods we eat so dont hold back on this delicious ingredient. Garlic supplements are widely available and some are also combined with another medicinal herb called Hawthorn or Crataegus which has a traditional use to support the health of the heart.
Keep Your Heart Healthy For The Long Haul
You could spend roughly 30 years of your life or more living with menopause, so its important to take hold of your heart health, notes Shufelt. Heres what you can do:
See your doctor regularly. After 50, every woman should have an annual checkup, Shufelt says. Yearly appointments can help you keep track of your numbers like your cholesterol, weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar, and keep those numbers within a healthy range to reduce your heart disease risk.
If youre at high risk for heart disease because of high cholesterol or weight gain, or if heart disease runs in your family, your doctor may recommend more screening tests. People with a family history of heart disease are at higher than average risk of heart disease. For those people, we might use tools to assess their risk, such as a coronary calcium scan, Shufelt says.
In women at higher than average risk for heart disease due to family history, the coronary artery calcium test offers a more precise assessment to help guide treatment and medication decisions. The CAC test is an X-ray that takes images of your heart and helps detect and measure calcium-containing plaque in your arteries, which can increase your risk for a heart attack. The scan is a good tool to virtually look at your heart, Shufelt says.
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High Blood Pressure The So
Yes, we can see increases in blood pressure due to stress, nutrient deficits and hormone imbalances noted during this transition, says Mylaine Riobe, MD, founder of Riobe Institute of Integrative Medicine.
Dr. Riobe, whos board certified in ob/gyn and integrative medicine, is the author of The Tao of Integrative Medicine. The Riobe Method focuses on the prevention of diseases, not the prevention of death from diseases.
Dr. Riobe continues, According to traditional Chinese medicine, the stress a woman experiences in the decade preceding menopause is directly related to the symptoms experienced.
The more stress a woman has, the more likely she is to have high blood pressure, hot flashes, insomnia, anxiety, depression and weight gain during perimenopause.
High salivary cortisol, estrogen dominance and DHEA deficiency can contribute to high blood pressure. CoQ10 deficiency, vitamin D deficiency and magnesium deficiency are associated with hypertension.
When women are under stress, they use up a lot of energy in needless chemical reactions, resulting in use of hormones and nutrients leading to deficiency and imbalance.
Q: Is There A Link Between Menopause And Depression
A: Changes inhormone levels may influence neurotransmitters in the brain. The drop inestrogen levels can also lead to hot flashes that disturb sleep, which can thenlead to anxiety and mood swings.
If you experience symptoms of depression nearly every day for two or more weeks, you might be depressed. Talk with your doctor about finding a treatment that will work for you. Your doctor will also want to rule out any medical causes for your depression, such as thyroid problems.
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High Blood Pressure And Menopause
The cause of high blood pressure during menopause isnt as important as detecting and treating it. High blood pressure can lead to serious complications such as heart attacks and strokes, so visiting your physician is key to staying healthy.
Healthy lifestyle changes can reduce the chances of developing high blood pressure during menopause visit motherhoodcommunity.com to know more about this. A few simple steps can boost health, energy, and peace while reducing stress and anxiety. Its important to manage your health so contact your physician today
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Treatment Of Anxiety And High Blood Pressure
If you want to address your anxiety and blood pressure, some practitioners offer a treatment that involves biofeedback, in which physiological monitoring of your bodily arousal is made observable to you so that you can notice that your body is becoming tense and anxious, Dr. Wheaton explains. The idea is that with practice, you could learn to control your bodily response, easing tension and slowing your heart rate down to enter a more relaxed state.
Unless youre visiting your healthcare provider’s office frequently or using your own at-home blood pressure monitor, its hard to know if your blood pressure is elevated. We do know, however, how to recognize the signs and feelings of stress and anxietyand you can take action to protect your health by implementing healthy habits and simple stress management techniques.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
While not all anxiety warrants a trip to your healthcare provider’s office, you should make an appointment if you experience anxiety that interferes with your day-to-day life or if you begin having panic attacks.
Your healthcare provider will help you determine the best course of treatment and possibly refer you to other therapies or specialists that can aid in the management of perimenopausal anxiety.
What Foods Count As Sugar
It goes without saying that white sugar counts towards your daily sugar allowance but did you know that maple syrup, coconut sugar, honey, date syrup, dextrose, barley malt and agave are all sugars too. There are approximately 75 different names for sugar and they do all count!
Also, all dried fruits and juices count too. This is because dehydrating or breaking down fibres to liquid concentrates the sugar content and is a form of processing.
Luckily, whole fruits and vegetables and milk sugars do not count.
With some foods sweets, fizzy pop, biscuits and cakes its obvious that they contain sugar. The danger is the hidden sugars. Foods to watch out for include hidden sugars in cooking sauces, condiments, cereal bars, cereals and flavoured yoghurts.
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