Heart Palpitations: Are They Normal?
When we think of menopause symptoms, we most likely think of hot flashes/flushes, weight gain, and vaginal dryness. But there are far more severe menopause-related bodily symptoms that should concern us.
Heart palpitations—also known as heart arrhythmia—are one of them. This causes your heart to race, flutter, or have irregular heartbeats.
Although it doesn’t usually come to mind when you first miss your period, it’s a pretty common symptom.
According to one study, as many as 46.8% of women experiencing menopause get this as a symptom.
If you’ve been having heart palpitations, keep reading. Your cardiovascular health may be at stake.
Why Do Menopausal Women Experience Palpitations?
Your heart and blood vessels’ health is largely affected by your cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol has different types, but let’s focus on the two most important ones for your menopausal health: high-density lipoproteins (HDL-C) and low-density lipoproteins (LDL-C).
HDL-C peaks around ovulation when estrogen levels are at their highest. It’s responsible for removing cholesterol molecules from your bloodstream and maintaining a smooth blood flow.
On the other hand, LDL-C hangs around the bloodstream and is not diverted to the liver, where it should be processed.
With cholesterol molecules building up in your blood, these can turn into fat deposits clogging your artery walls and narrowing your bloodstream. It can result in high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
Cholesterol and sex hormone levels play a big part in maintaining heart health because the delicate balance between the two is disturbed as you go through menopause. Without estrogen levels to promote more HDL-C, you become more susceptible to heart disease.
While experts still aren’t sure why menopausal women experience heart palpitations, it’s linked with other cardiovascular issues and other symptoms of menopause.
One study revealed that about 35% of heart attacks in women are unreported. For a relatively less serious issue like heart palpitations, the numbers could be much higher.
Are Menopausal Heart Palpitations A Sign Of Serious Heart Disease?
The short answer is no.
Menopause poses a greater risk of heart failure, but menopausal symptoms can’t drive you into a heart attack.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take precautions. Even though menopause heart palpitations are generally harmless on their own, they can also be a symptom of a serious heart condition.
This is why it’s essential to look at it from a particular context. If your family has a history of cardiovascular disease, you should take better care of yourself and be more vigilant at any sign of heart trouble.
The risk of heart disease becomes much higher once you go into menopause. Although, you can do something about it. You can exercise, change your diet, or quit smoking to manage your cholesterol levels and prevent serious damage to your heart.
Just remember to always listen to your body. If you ever experience shortness of breath, dizziness, chest discomfort, and fainting along with menopausal palpitations, seek emergency medical help immediately.
As you go through this chapter in your life, your health should always be your number one priority.
Anxiety & Panic Attacks
One of the most common forms of heart palpitations is a panic attack, so do all you can to recognise your stress levels, and practice CBT, relaxation techniques, and breathing perhaps through yoga, etc to help reduce episodes from happening.