What was that!? Wait a second. Is it going to happen again? Is this the beginning of the end? Am I having a heart attack? Am I dying? Just about any woman who has suffered from heart palpitations during menopause has had those very thoughts.
You’re minding your own business, and then there’s another hot flash. You brace yourself, you’re prepared for this, plenty of fans, ice and tissues. Then, in a split second, the pour out of the hot flash is put on the back burner because your heart has stopped beating. You compose yourself and take a breath. The fluttering in your chest makes your heart feel unsettled and you can feel it in your throat. Still, you feel grateful for the spasmodic beating and take a big, choppy breath. Just breathe. After a few minutes, things settle a little and you go back to your day. After this kind of experience you might feeling sideswiped and even scared. Your heart didn’t really stop, did it? It actually did! but just briefly and here’s why.
What is a Heart Palpitation?
Heart palpitations. It’s difficult to ignore them once you’ve felt them. You could be walking up a hill or laughing at a joke and suddenly you need to stop and catch your breath. Your chest feels fluttery, your heart rate feels speedy, and your heart is pounding. Fear often sets in and adds the speed of adrenaline to the mix.
We’re used to our heart rate increasing during exercise or excitement, but heart arrhythmia feels different. Palpitations feel like your heart is beating much faster and harder than it should for the circumstances. During palpitations, your heart can also skip a beat or feel like it is fluttering in your chest, like you’re on a roller coaster.
Some women feel the sensations radiate across the neck, chest, back, throat and down the arms. Others may feel nauseated. It’s a fact that changing hormone levels can make your heart behave abnormally. To make matters worse, most women with hormonal heart arrhythmia experience these palpitations during a hot flash, making them even more miserable. What is going on with your heart?
Causes of Heart Palpitations
As many as 25% of women have heart palpitations during menopause. For women who are symptomatic during menopause and have other hormone related issues like insomnia, depression and stress, 34% experience palpitations. Palpitations are very common in menopause. Yet, studies show us that it is a very understudied menopause symptom.
During menopause, levels of the hormone estrogen fluctuate, until, by the end of menopause, your body will stop producing estrogen. Menopausal heart arrhythmias, or palpitations, are a direct result of lower levels of the female hormone estrogen. Falling levels of estrogen can have a stimulating effect on the heart. The reduction of hormone production has been proved to increase in both heart rate and frequency, like during a palpitation.
Women can also experience palpitations during other times when hormone levels shift, like during their period or in pregnancy. Some other common causes of abnormal heart beats include caffeine, stress, some medications, thyroid imbalance, low blood sugar and dehydration. Because heart palpitations can also be a warning sign of other medical issues, it is best to seek medical help immediately, if your palpitations become worse or are bothersome. If you experience dizziness, shortness of breath or chest pain, head to your local emergency room and have it checked out.
MedStudio® can help.
Palpitations caused by menopause are usually temporary. Some women find that their heart rhythm goes back to normal once they’ve finished the menopause transition, but the effects of the lower estrogen blood levels on a woman’s heart continues.
Researchers believe higher estrogen levels before menopause protect women’s blood vessels from damage. Once estrogen production stops, the protection that estrogen gives your heart is gone, and your risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke skyrockets. A healthy diet, exercise, and quitting smoking all help reduce your risk, but the cardiovascular risk continues to rise. The good news is that natural hormone replacement therapy effectively reduces or eliminates most menopausal related abnormal heart beats. Balancing your hormones during menopause is essential to your well-being.
For heart-protective hormone balancing expertise, there is MedStudio® private medical clinic. MedStudio cares about your heart. Their skilled hormone balancing experts know that palpitations are uncomfortable during menopause and can be unsettling and worry some for many women and they can help! Make your appointment today to visit a natural hormone therapy replacement consultant at MedStudio, and get back into rhythm during menopause.