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Gabby Logan says its important to talk to men about menopause

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Heart disease is still sometimes thought of as a men’s health issue, but this is a false stereotype. Women are just as likely to develop heart and circulatory diseases, and your risk increases after going through the menopause. What is the link between menopause and high blood pressure?

Anyone who’s experienced menopause will agree that calling it ‘The Change’ is a huge understatement.

Menopause has far more impact than simply stopping your periods; it can affect your mental and physical health in many ways, including causing your blood pressure to rise.

When you go through the menopause, your oestrogen levels drop.

The drop in oestrogen can have dramatic side effects including hot flushes, heart palpitations, night sweats, headaches, brain fog and a loss of libido – to name a few.

Everyone who goes through menopause will experience different symptoms, and for some people their symptoms will be severe.

If you’re struggling with any of the symptoms of menopause, zidovudine dose for neonate speak to your doctor who may prescribe you Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to help alleviate your experience.

However, the drop in your oestrogen can have a more long-term impact on your health.

Speaking to Blood Pressure UK, menopause specialist Dr Louise Newson said: “The low hormone levels can have long-term effects too.

“The risk of heart attacks is five times higher after menopause than before.

“This is really important, especially as outcomes for women after a heart attack are worse than for men.

“The risk of stroke, dementia and osteoporosis (weak bones) and other conditions all rise as well.”

Generally, your blood pressure rises after going through the menopause.

Oestrogen plays a role in keeping your blood pressure down, because it helps vasodilation.

Vasodilation is when your blood vessels widen, allowing blood to flow around your body.

So, when your oestrogen levels drop as a result of menopause, it can narrow your blood vessels, in turn raising blood pressure.

In addition, many women find they gain weight when they go through menopause, which increases your risk of high blood pressure.

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High blood pressure – also known as hypertension – is often called the “silent killer” due to its lack of symptoms.

The only way to know if your blood pressure is rising is to have it checked by your GP or pharmacist.

High blood pressure puts you at greater risk of serious health complications including heart attacks and strokes, so you must keep an eye on your blood pressure and try to keep those numbers within the ‘healthy’ range.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) seems to help prevent menopause-related illnesses, including lowering your risk of heart disease.

Some research suggests starting HRT within 10 years of starting menopause can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, however more studies are needed to confirm this link.

Women and heart attacks

There is a lingering myth that women don’t develop heart disease or have heart attacks.

This is completely untrue: according to the British Heart Foundation, 3.9 million women in the UK have heart and circulatory diseases.

The main symptom of a heart attack – chest pain – presents in both men and women, however women might experience some other symptoms too.

Pain in the back or between your shoulders could be a symptom of a heart attack, as could sudden nausea and vomiting.

Research also suggests women wait longer to go to hospital after a suspected heart attack, often because they have responsibilities at home they need to ‘get done’ before they can take themselves to a doctor.

Women are far more likely than men to experience a certain type of heart condition known as Broken Heart Syndrome, or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy.

Broken Heart Syndrome causes severe chest pain and breathlessness, as if you are having a heart attack.

However Broken Heart Syndrome is caused by your left ventricle changing shape, not a blocked artery.

Some 90 percent of people who experience Broken Heart Syndrome are women, and almost all of them are post-menopausal.

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