Does Menopause Increase Risk Of Heart Disease?
As you go through menopause, whether naturally due to age or a hysterectomy, you will probably wonder how this affects your overall health. One issue which may pique your interest is your cardiovascular health. Here is what you need to know about how menopause can alter your risk of heart disease.
Does Menopause Increase Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease?
Research has shown that menopause can cause your LDL or bad cholesterol to rise and your HDL or good cholesterol to lower, leading to cardiovascular disease. Studies have also shown that women who experience menopause at a younger age, such as those younger than 45, are more likely to have heart issues later in life.
The complex hormonal changes during menopause are primarily blamed for this increased risk. That said, the debate about whether or not menopause is the primary cause of heart disease and whether you should invest in over-the-counter (OTC) supplements, such as the S equol supplement, is still present. Other professionals say that changing cholesterol and other factors that cause heart disease are simply due to general aging.
Is Hormone Therapy Prescribed for This Risk?
During menopause, your ovaries stop producing estrogen. Therefore, many women are prescribed hormone therapy. These come in prescription pills, creams, patches, or OTC natural supplements for menopause. Women going through menopause naturally will be prescribed estrogen and progesterone to reduce the risk of endometrial cancer. If you’ve had a hysterectomy, you will not have this risk and will just be prescribed estrogen.
Although hormone therapy is prevalent, it is generally not prescribed to reduce the risk of heart disease. Instead, it is commonly prescribed to reduce common menopausal side effects you will experience, such as hot flashes. It is also critical in preventing osteoporosis in aging women.
Does Hormone Therapy Lower Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease?
What is known about hormone therapy is that it can help control common symptoms, such as menopause sweating. However, its usefulness in reducing cardiovascular disease risk is still being debated. One National Institute of Health-funded study attempted to explore this connection. It studied women going through menopause and those who underwent hysterectomies and were given either hormone therapy or placebo pills. This study showed that neither group experienced cardiovascular benefits from hormone therapy.
Based on this study, it is likely that you will not experience a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease due to hormone therapy. That said, there is still plenty of debate about this topic. Many studies are currently taking place to see if there is a connection between estrogen and heart disease. However, it is not advisable to use hormone therapies to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Instead, you will receive it to control your hot flashes and other symptoms.
If left untreated, menopause can increase your risk of heart disease. However, you can help reduce that risk by making lifestyle changes and using natural supplements or medications. Take time to research how changing estrogen levels leave you vulnerable to heart disease and what steps you should take.