Friday, May 3, 2013

About Lady & Heart Heart palpitations Throughout Menopause

Your heart would probably beat crazily if you were to be awarded the Nobel Prize, win a million dollars or get the scare of your life. But to experience a pounding heartbeat just as you've crossed into the menopausal stage of life can be a little worrisome to many women, especially those with a family history of heart problems. But while heart palpitations can be concerning and might indicate serious health problems, they may also be harmless.This can be especially true during menopause, when heart palpitations can be due to a number of common factors.

Heart Palpitations Defined

A heart palpitation is an unusual deviance from your normal heartbeat. It can range in severity from mild fluttering to a strong and pounding beat. In addition, the fluttering or pounding may (or may not) last a short period of time or a lengthier one. This depends on the cause of the palpitation.

Some palpitations are due to serious medical conditions and warrant immediate medical attention; others are not as dangerous a health threat and are brought on by something as simple as caffeine intake, nicotine use or hormonal changes experienced during menopause.

Factors Responsible for Palpitations

A number of factors can cause heart palpitations. Some of these factors include: anxiety or stress, hormone changes (like menopause, menstruation or pregnancy) and even strong emotional responses. In addition, exercise that is strenuous in nature, medications that contain pseudoephedrine (or other stimulants), and fever can be the cause of heart palpitations.

More serious causes of palpitations include: hyperthyroidism (a thyroid gland that is overactive) and an arrhythmia (an abnormal heart rhythm that can be too fast, too slow or irregular).

Menopause and Palpitations

During menopause, a woman's estrogen levels decrease, causing her to be more at risk for heart disease. And since heart disease is the number-one cause of death in women over 65, according to the Mayo Clinic (and the second leading cause for those aged 45 to 64, the age of menopause), and it has the potential to lead to stroke or heart attack, any deviation of a woman's heartbeat is a cause for concern, at least initially. Therefore, unusual heart palpitations should be checked out with a medical professional at least once.

Menopause, Hormones, Hormone Therapy and Palpitations

As a woman begins to experience the side effects of menopause (decreased estrogen levels and increased abdominal fat, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, etc.), some doctors recommend hormone therapy to help counteract these effects.

But hormone therapy isn't without its own heart disease concerns, as some studies, such as the 2002 Women's Health Initiative, have indicated that such therapy can increase a woman's risk for heart disease. Therefore, heart palpitations experienced during menopause (due to hormone level changes) may--or may not--be the result of hormone therapy, if used, or the lack of its use.

Heart History Importance of Menopausal Women and Palpitations

A woman's personal and family medical histories (especially if they reflect a history of heart disease), as well as her own lifestyle choices, will ultimately impact the decision for or against hormone therapy during menopause. In addition, these histories and lifestyle choices will guide a doctor in attempting to evaluate any experiences of heartbeat palpitations during menopause.


Women experiencing heart palpitations who have had a medical doctor determine they are not related to a serious medical condition should not expect any additional complications. Unfortunately, the palpitations experienced during menopause may continue until that stage of life has passed, but avoiding the triggers that can cause them should help. Such triggers are caffeine, nicotine, stress, anxiety and exercising too strenuously.

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