If you sighed a breath of relief because you no longer have to purchase feminine hygiene products and finally had your last hot flash, think again. You’re now far more susceptible to a heart attack than ever before, according to an article on Science Daily.
Higher estrogen levels in premenopausal women protect them from heart attacks. Women’s susceptibility to coronary disease increases dramatically once the levels of estrogen begin to drop because of menopause. It may be more than just the presence of estrogen that promotes the potential for a coronary event.
Weight gain during menopause is common and often a factor in not only increased cholesterol levels but also diabetes and high blood pressure. These also play an important role in a woman’s risk for a heart attack. The increased weight gain often comes in the 50’s and many women consider it a normal part of aging. At one time, doctors considered it normal for a 10-pound weight gain for every decade past the age of 50. Today, doctors and scientists agree that the increase in body mass only puts extra strain on the heart and increases the risk for a coronary event.
While women may experience coronaries as frequently as men do after menopause, their road is far rockier since the typical symptoms for a woman’s heart attack is not like a man’s symptoms. Women might have the gripping pain in their chest as men do, but more frequently, they have other symptoms such as fatigue, jaw pain, shortness of breath or even discomfort in the abdominal area. Often this leaves them to avoid seeking treatment for a potential life-threatening incident.
Therefore, even if menopause takes away more than just your period and gives you more potential for a coronary, there are things you can do to prevent a heart attack. If you smoke, quit. Change your diet to more fresh fruits and vegetables and avoid fatty foods. Exercise a minimum of three times per week. Not only will you be heart healthy, you’ll find that you have more energy and enthusiasm for life.
If you need a good place to start in regards to changing your lifestyle as a whole, make sure you take a look at the Rebound Workout for a total body and life makeover.