5 Things that Matter (for Your Heart during Menopause)
Did you know that the effects of menopause could increase your risks for heart disease? That’s the bad news about menopause and your heart. But the good news is: you can change or control the things that matter.
Estrogen has a positive impact on your heart. It keeps blood vessels flexible, helps with cholesterol levels, plays a role in circulation, has an affect on blood pressure, and more. Unfortunately, menopause robs you of estrogen, and the earlier you enter menopause and lose the benefits of estrogen, the higher your risks for heart disease. This is especially true for women younger than their mid-40’s. Using hormone replacement therapy (HRT), especially if you are in surgical menopause, can be beneficial for a healthy heart and reducing your heart disease risks.
Did you know that during menopause you can lose muscle mass which makes your body less efficient at burning calories? The end result? You could gain some weight, a risk factor for heart disease. So besides your heart needing healthy foods to make it fit, you also need to make good food choices to combat the changes to your metabolism. Make it a point to make better choices for better health by choosing foods that are low in salt, sugar, and fat. You’ll also want to work to lower your calories, especially if you’ve seen some weight gain.
You know you should exercise regularly, but did you know that isn’t enough? If you are mostly inactive, your heart isn’t going to be healthy. Unfortunately, around the time of menopause it’s easy to slow down and become more sedentary. Besides a regular exercise routine that involves aerobic exercises, make sure to get up and move throughout your day. Find creative ways to add steps to your day so you are on your feet more than your seat–your heart will thank you!
No one likes to go to the doctor, and after a hysterectomy you may think you can skip yearly well-woman exams. But don’t! Regular screenings matter when it comes to your overall health and your heart. For your heart, you need regular check ups to monitor your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and weight. The sooner you catch changes, the better chances you have of reversing them and decreasing possible damage to your heart.
Your mood and outlook impacts the health of your heart. Unfortunately, anxiety and depression are not uncommon during menopause, increasing your risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. You can also experience heart failure known as broken heart syndrome, or stress-induced cardiomypathy, from extreme emotional stress. So it’s important to find ways to put a smile on your fact and a joy in your step. Get outside, manage stress, engage in a hobby, socialize, turn to your faith, exercise, and eat well. All of those can lift your mood so you have a happy, healthy heart.
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support. Reprinted by permission: 5 Things that Matter For Your Heart During Menopause.