Menopause, otherwise known as the “change of life”, involves many physical, mental, and emotional changes. Over the years, medical experts have been able to link a variety of ailments that were not initially thought of as important. One of these discoveries has to do with high blood pressure and menopause. However, since the connection was first made there has been some confusion, hopefully we can help clear things up.

Menopause At A Glance

Before going over details of high blood pressure and menopause, here’s a brief introduction to the change that affects millions of women every year. In simple terms, this is the time in a woman’s life when the monthly menstrual cycle stops, usually between the ages of 48 and 51. Although a normal part of aging, most women experience a variety of unpleasant symptoms.

If you fall within this age range, prior to full-blown menopause you will go through what is known as “perimenopause”. During arthritis and heart disease adthis phase of life, monthly periods become sporadic, sometimes producing heavy flow and sometimes light flow. Perimenopause generally lasts between three and five years but once the monthly cycle has ceased completely, you will officially enter the menopausal phase of life.

Serious Health Risks

In addition to symptoms that go hand-in-hand with menopause such as night sweats, headaches, hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain, thinning hair, lower libido, and vaginal dryness, it has been discovered that menopause increases risk for developing certain health issues. For example, it is relatively common to experience depression, heart palpitations, and high blood pressure.

Although hypertension comes along with aging, during menopause it develops because blood vessel walls lose flexibility due to a decrease of the hormone estrogen. If left untreated, this creates serious risk for heart disease and even stroke. The good news – healthy lifestyle choices and medication can help.

High blood pressure and menopause is considered normal but because an increase in pressure can also be an early warning sign of cardiovascular disease, which happens to be the leading cause of death in women, it should be taken seriously. Therefore, we recommend having your blood pressure checked every six months while going through the transitional years.

Of course, if you were to experience severe headaches, visual problems, overwhelming fatigue, difficulty breathing, dizziness, bouts of confusion, bloody urine, or chest pain/pressure, medical attention should be sought immediately.

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