Menopause And Cardiac Symptoms
Menopause And Cardiac Symptoms
Heart palpitations are usually the least talked about symptom of menopause. It is imperative to mention that circulatory system undergoes changes as a result of fluctuations in the hormonal levels during pregnancy, periods and menopause. Palpitations are often acknowledged as arrhythmia or irregular heartbeats and are characterized by fluttering, pounding or racing of the heart. They last a few seconds or at most, few minutes.
Women approaching menopause often experiences irregular heartbeats. Perimenopause signifies the pre-menopausal period of 12 months when a woman stops having her period. After this duration, the postmenopausal phase begins.
Decline in the levels of estrogen hormone causes heart palpitations as a result of overstimulation. It can also cause non-threatening arrhythmias. Despite the fact that these heart palpitations are harmless, the symptoms should not go unnoticed. Consulting a doctor is always a wise choice as he may rule out the risks of other abnormalities.
What To Do To Address Palpitations In Menopausal Women?
Heart rates increase by 8-16 beats per minute due to palpitations in menopause. However, in some women the heart rates may escalate all the way to 200 beats per minute. The treatment approach to address heart palpitation in menopausal women is usually natural. Some lifestyle modifications that can assist in minimizing the heart palpitation during menopause include:
- Relaxation therapies like breathing exercises, mindfulness and yoga
- Avoiding smoking and the use of alcohol
- Minimizing the intake of caffeine
BHF (British Heart Foundation) suggests that women are less likely to be affected by CHD (coronary heart disease) before hitting the menopause. However postmenopausal women are more at risk. Symptoms can be alleviated by HRT (hormone replacement therapy). BHT suggests that certain HRT forms may elevate the risk of stroke and CAD ever so slightly. Similar therapies can also potentiate the risk of PE (pulmonary embolism) and DVT (deep vein thrombosis). Nevertheless, HRT is very effective in alleviating the menopausal symptoms particularly in women below 60 years of age. It is safe to say that risk of developing heart diseases escalates with increasing age. Therefore, it is advised to consume a healthy diet and eat plenty of nutritious foods to keep the heart working in a good condition.
According to North American Menopause Society a history of depression potentiates the risk of CAD. The research suggested that women below 65 who had history of depression are more at risk of developing CAD in contrast to women above 65 years of age. However, the connection between heart disease and depression is not clearly understood yet but it has already been established that depression elevates the level of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline within the body.
Following activities may lift the mood of women experiencing heart associated symptoms during perimenopause:
- Listening to relaxing music
- Burying head in a gripping book
- Playing games with the pet animal
- Watching a comedy sitcom or a movie
- Being spontaneous with the moment
Feeling depressed or experiencing heart related symptoms particularly heart palpitations during perimenopause serves as a signal to immediately consult the healthcare professional.
- Ruan, X., Cui, Y., Du, J., Jin, F., & Mueck, A. O. (2016). Prevalence of climacteric symptoms comparing perimenopausal and postmenopausal Chinese women. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology, 1-9.
- Ferdous, T., Jahan, N., Sultana, N., Akhter, H., Alam, M. R., & Kabir, F. (2017). Physical Activity Improves Menopausal Symptoms Among Postmenopausal Women. KYAMC Journal, 5(2), 514-518.