Menopause and Heart Disease – Know the Connection

If you’ve reached menopause, your risk factors for heart disease are rising. For one, you’re getting older. But there’s more to it than how many birthdays are behind you.

Even if you’ve been healthy all of your life, menopause throws a kink in the works – whether it’s natural or surgical menopause. Why? Many of the symptoms of menopause can be harmful to your heart.

Menopause Symptoms and the Heart

During menopause, estrogen levels drop, causing a number of symptoms. Your cholesterol and blood pressure may go up. Your appetite can change while your metabolism slows down, increasing your risk for obesity. You may also find yourself losing sleep and dealing with more stress and anxiety. Individually or combined, these are all risk factors for heart disease.

All the annoying symptoms of menopause don’t help either. If you are agitated and uncomfortable, you’ll be less motivated to exercise and eat healthy. The more unhappy and miserable you are, the greater the chance you’ll making poor lifestyle choices which can then increase your risks for heart disease.

Take Action

Once you’ve reached menopause, it’s more vital than ever that you pay attention to your heart. If you don’t, you may end up with heart disease that can lead to irreversible heart damage. You could have a heart attack or a stroke, both of which can be fatal or debilitating. It’s serious.

Know your risk factors, pay attention to your menopause symptoms, and work to control them both. Many of them can be kept in check with some lifestyle changes – so put forth some effort to make better choices for better health. Ask your doctor if some hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or other medications are necessary based on your personal risks factors and the health of your heart.

Don’t wait until you have a life changing heart attack or stroke to give your heart some thought. Make an appointment with your doctor today so you can assess your heart disease risks and take steps to be heart smart.

This content was written by staff of by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.  Reprinted with permission: Menopause and Heart Disease – Know the Connection

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