It’s not uncommon for menopausal women to have an increase in blood pressure. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is known to increase the risk of stroke and heart attack, so do what you can to keep your blood pressure in the normal range. You should have your blood pressure checked regularly, and if you find it high three times, you need to see your doctor. Menopause itself is not directly responsible for increased blood pressure. There is nothing physical about the process of menopause that would raise blood pressure. There are, however, some changes associated with menopause that can, and do, raise blood pressure in some women. The mechanism of how this works may be hard to explain, so let’s walk through an example.
A hot flash or a night sweat will not raise your blood pressure itself. During a hot flash, for instance, the temperature of the skin on the finger might rise as much as 7.5 degrees, and the heart rate might increase as much as nine beats per minute, but the blood pressure remains constant. It may feel like blood pressure spikes because you are distressed and uncomfortable, but there is no change during a hot flash.
Another common concern during menopause is weight gain. If you gain as little as 5 to 10 pounds, you may see a blood pressure increase. If the weight increases slowly, you may not even notice it, but it can be the difference between average blood pressure and hypertension.
The situation that feels like it would increase blood pressure may not, while the scenario that doesn’t feel like anything is happening might be the one to create higher blood pressure.
The obvious solution, in this particular situation, is to work hard not to gain weight during menopause. That may include doing things like changing your diet and also increasing and varying your exercise routine. For most women, at least three 20-minute aerobic workouts per week can be incredibly beneficial. If you are considering a weight loss program, work hand in hand with your doctor to make sure that you are making these changes in a safe, sustainable and healthy way. These measures will help you to achieve and maintain your optimal body weight, thusly reducing your risk of high blood pressure. A healthy weight loss is about 2lbs per week. Fad diets claiming rapid weight loss are not safe.
Stress is another big factor in high blood pressure, and menopause does cause additional stress for a fair number of women. In this case, the solution is stress management. You can consciously reduce your exposure to stressful situations, as well as actively take measures that help to reduce stress. Realizing you are ‘stressed’ is part of the solution. Some herbs are known for their stress-reducing properties, and there are essential oils used in aromatherapy that are known stress reducers as well. Consciously choosing activities that make you happy contribute to stress reduction.
If you find yourself with high blood pressure as a result of the menopausal process, work with your physician to find the best methods of management for your individual case. Staying as healthy as possible during menopause will help you to continue a long and healthy life afterward.