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Menopause and High Blood Pressure
- A woman’s body produces estrogen to help protect against high blood pressure
- After menopause there are reduced amounts of estrogen and high blood pressure levels increase
- When high blood pressure is left alone it can cause: strokes, heart failure, dementia and other serious health risks
- There’s natural ways to reduce high blood pressure including a healthy diet and exercise
Women naturally have an advantage over men when it comes to keeping their blood pressure down. A woman’s body produces the hormone estrogen and during her reproductive years estrogen helps protect a woman’s body from developing high blood pressure. Estrogen helps keep the blood vessels in a woman’s body flexible and it modulates other hormone activities in the body that cause high blood pressure. Unfortunately that advantage does not last and as a woman enters menopause – when the female body leaves the reproductive years – estrogen production decreases and women are prone to high blood pressure levels.
High blood pressure levels in a woman over the age of fifty increases about 5 millimeters of mercury on the systolic pressure reading, showing that there is a direct correlation between menopause and high blood pressure. High blood pressure levels, when left untreated, can cause strokes, heart attacks, dementia, heart failure and kidney failure. High blood pressure levels cause the walls of the arteries to harden and when this happens the flow of blood decreases.
Menopause and high blood pressure also go hand in hand thanks to the reduction of the amount of estrogen a woman’s body produces. Without adequate amounts of estrogen in a woman’s body, the arteries start to lose their flexibility and there is nothing to regulate other hormone activity. A study done between 2001 and 2003 of men and women over the age of 60 – an age where most women are well over their reproductive years – showed that women in menopause have higher blood pressure levels than their male counterparts.
High blood pressure prevention should be included in every person’s lifestyle regime even if you are not at risk. There are many natural ways to lower high blood pressure and they do include making lifestyle changes. Additionally high blood pressure prevention can never be started too late. It is one of those conditions where taking action can help the body bounce back. Natural ways to lower high blood pressure include: exercising regularly so that the heart grows stronger; eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat or fat free dairy products while limiting red meats, sweets, and processed foods; reduce the amount of salt in your diet; limit alcohol intake to a single drink a day if at all; maintain a healthy weight for your body; and stop smoking if you are a smoker.
In addition to these natural ways to lower high blood pressure women who are dealing with menopause and high blood pressure may be required to take medication to help lower high blood pressure. This high blood pressure prevention method is more common than most people think and regular check-ups and visits to your physician will help you determine whether or not medication in addition to lifestyle changes will help reduce your blood pressure overall. Always check with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise routine in order to make sure you are fit enough to do it and that you are on the right diet for your high blood pressure condition.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
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