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A.Vogel’s Menopause Flash: Blood pressure and circulation problems

by Sonia Chartier, on 17 April 2017, Circulation, Menopause, Women's Health

Hello and welcome to another edition of A.Vogel’s Menopause Flash. Today, I’m going to talk about blood pressure, a topic that is particularly relevant here, given that more than 50% of women over 50 will have blood pressure problems at some point.

High blood pressure is known as the silent killer, and for a good reason: some people who have it have absolutely no symptoms whatsoever, at least not until the day they have a heart attack or stroke.

When you go through menopause, your estrogen levels drop, which can affect your blood pressure. So once you know for sure that you’re menopausal, it’s very important to get your blood pressure checked regularly. But before you get all stressed out about it, just know that it’s enough to do it once every six months or so, just to keep an eye on things.

High blood pressure symptoms

High blood pressure has a number of symptoms, so I’ll run through them for you, because they’re actually related to menopause. They include headaches, chest pains, sleep disorders, heart palpitations, hot flashes, anxiety, depression and fatigue. But wait… Doesn’t that pretty much describe menopause? Hold on tight, because it’s even more confusing than that, which is why I recommend getting your blood pressure checked regularly.

What can I do to help myself?

First of all, keep your blood pressure under control. During menopause, stress is a huge issue as it contributes to high blood pressure. Consequently, it’s important to be mindful of what causes you stress and anxiety, and find ways to keep them under control.

They can include taking Passion flower and magnesium: they’re great for anxiety and can really make a big difference. Take a look at your diet too, because certain foods may actually affect your blood pressure: too much caffeine or salt are big culprits. Dehydration can affect your blood pressure too, which is especially important information if you’re someone who experiences frequent hot flashes and night sweats. Why is that, you ask?

Well, while too much salt is a problem, you do actually need a certain amount in your diet; not getting enough can cause a number of problems. Researchers have recently discovered that women lose salt when they have hot flashes and night sweats, so if you have them often, you need to make sure to get enough salt in your diet, without going over the safe limit—that’s around 2,300 mg a day. And instead of using standard table salt, opt for sea salt, which contains many beneficial minerals and nutrients.

You might also consider hawthorn, a plant that has long been used in traditional medicine to help control blood pressure and maintain and support cardiovascular health in adults.

Low blood pressure

Another problem that can arise, though it’s not all that common during menopause, is low blood pressure. Unbeknownst to many, low blood pressure can be just as damaging to your cardiovascular system as high blood pressure. The symptoms of low blood pressure include dizziness or lightheadedness, loss of balance, blurred vision, heart palpitations, confusion or brain fog, and nausea.

Again, these symptoms pretty much describe the effects of menopause, right? That’s why it’s very important to get your blood pressure checked if you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms. You can also turn to crataegus preparations to treat low blood pressure, not just high blood pressure. That’s because of the plant’s balancing effect, which makes it effective in treating both high and low blood pressure. If you experience dizziness or lightheadedness, remember to keep hydrated because hot flashes and night sweats can cause dehydration, which can also trigger the symptoms I described above.

Circulatory problems

During menopause, both high and low blood pressure can be accompanied by general circulatory problems. We know that falling estrogen levels can make your overall circulation a bit sluggish, while weakening blood vessels, which in turn can cause varicose, spider and thread veins. It’s particularly unpleasant to get spider veins in your cheeks; when this happens, it’s because a number of symptoms are occurring together.

Low estrogen

Low estrogen can have a number of undesirable effects: it affects circulation, weakens blood vessels, thins the skin, makes existing veins more prominent and worse-looking than they actually are, and can weaken venous valves in the legs, leading to varicose veins. If you spend a big part of your day on your feet, all of these effects combined can only aggravate the situation. But there are solutions! Horse chestnut is fabulous for varicose veins and comes in gel form for topical use.

Thinning skin and general circulation

One of the things I’ve certainly noticed going through menopause is that the skin on the back of my hand has gotten a lot thinner and the veins much more prominent. You can use products like horse chestnut gel on your hands to help tighten up the veins a little. And while I’m on the subject of hands: take care of your hands! The skin on your hands is thin, so when you do dishes or anything else that involves touching detergents or other chemicals, you need to wear rubber gloves, which will save your hands over the long run. If your general circulation is sluggish, if you get cold hands and feet in the winter, if you develop frostbite more easily than you should, try ginkgo biloba. Not only does this herb help improve arterial circulation, it can also help improve memory. It’s not every day that you find one supplement to treat two different symptoms at the same time!

Go to the doctor!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about what can happen to your blood pressure and circulation during menopause. If I could say just one more thing, it would be this: go see your doctor! This isn’t one of those problems you can afford to ignore!

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