Menopausal Symptoms: Here's How They Can Raise Risk Of Heart Disease. Tips To Manage Them
A new study states that frequent symptoms of menopause can increase risks of heart disease in women.
Frequent symptoms of menopause can increase risk of heart disease
- Menopausal women are at increased risk of developing heart disease
- Frequent and severe menopausal symptoms can worsen quality of life
- Menopausal women should have a healthy lifestyle
Menopause is a process in which there is a decline in reproductive hormones among women between the ages of 40 to 50. A menopausal woman doesn't menstruate and is no longer capable of giving birth. Menopausal symptoms can be quite sever and frequent. A recent study has said that some menopausal symptoms can increase risk of cardiovascular disease in women. Symptoms of menopause such as depression, disturbance in sleep, hot flashes and vascular ageing can be because of stiffening of arteries and endothelial dysfunction.
Menopausal Symptoms: Vascular ageing can be because of stiffening of arteries and endothelial dysfunction. The study, published in journal Menopause, says that risks of a menopausal women being prone to risks of heart disease will depend more on the frequency of menopausal symptoms than their severity. Transition during menopause is identified by a number of adverse health effects. Experts say that premenopausal and early menopausal women are more prone to risks of cardiovascular disease.
As part of the study, 138 menopausal women were examined for the different kinds of symptoms that they regularly experience. These symptoms included mood swings and hot flashes. Special attention was paid to vascular ageing, which is considered as major risk factor for development of cardiovascular disease.
It was found that women who experienced arterial stiffening and vascular dysfunction were the ones who had more frequent and severe symptoms of menopause, and a lower quality of life. The study, however, found no association with depressive symptoms during menopause.
During menopausal transition, oestrogen production declines and fluctuates. In such a condition, it becomes important for menopausal women to constantly keep a check on their mood, their blood pressure levels, blood sugar levels and even body composition. During menopause, women experience an increase in abdominal fat.
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Thus, along with being aware about the benefits and risks of hormone therapy, menopausal women should make sure that eat healthy and exercise regularly.
"After menopause, women become more prone to heart ailments. This is because production of cardio-protective hormones, namely estrogen reduces significantly. Menopause is marked by increase in lipids and cholesterol levels. These are the reason why risks of heart ailments increase after menopause," says gynaecologist Dr Bandana Sodhi.
On being asked what measures women can take to prevent cardiovascular disease, she adds, "Menopausal women should have good lifestyle. This can happen by engaging in physical activity regularly. They should go for a walk daily. Menopausal women should also have a healthy diet with fewer amounts of fatty foods and fried foods. They should have more antioxidants and phytonutrients in their diet. Antioxidants play a very major role in terms of maintaining health of menopausal women. Also, intake of calcium is important for menopausal women in order to maintain the health of their bones."
Also read: Did You Know Men Too Go Through Menopause? Know All About The Male Menopause
Following are a few tips to manage symptoms of menopause:
1. They should drink lots of water and eat foods that can help in managing the symptoms. These include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fats and probiotics amongst others.
2. Menopausal women should avoid packaged and processed foods, foods with high amounts of sugar, carbonated drinks and alcohol. They can worsen symptoms of menopause and also lead to weight gain.
3. Menopausal symptoms are very likely to feel sad, depressed and anxious. Hence it is important that they find ways to manage their stress by exercising, meditating and practising yoga. They can get engaged in activities they are fond of and spend time with their loved in ones in order to keep stress at bay.
4. Getting a good sleep is important for menopausal women. Too much stress and lack of sleep can increase cortisol (stress hormone) levels, reduce immunity and hamper work performance. Lack of sufficient sleep can also cause weight gain and depression.
5. Menopausal women should control consumption of caffeine and limit it to mornings only.
6. In order to boost their overall mood, menopausal women should have more fresh fruits and vegetables.
(With inputs from IANS)
(Dr Bandana Sodhi is a Senior Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Moolchand Hospital.)
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