High blood pressure, the so-called silent killer that can lead to a stroke, can be caused by periomenopause – many years before the actual onset of menopause.
“Yes, we can see increases in blood pressure due to stress, nutrient deficits and hormone imbalances noted during this transition,” says Mylaine Riobe, MD, founder of Riobe Institute of Integrative Medicine.
Dr. Riobe, who’s board certified in ob/gyn and integrative medicine, is the author of “The Tao of Integrative Medicine.” The Riobe Method focuses on the prevention of diseases, not the prevention of death from diseases.
Dr. Riobe continues, “According to traditional Chinese medicine, the stress a woman experiences in the decade preceding menopause is directly related to the symptoms experienced.
“The more stress a woman has, the more likely she is to have high blood pressure, hot flashes, insomnia, anxiety, depression and weight gain during perimenopause.
“High salivary cortisol, estrogen dominance and DHEA deficiency can contribute to high blood pressure. CoQ10 deficiency, vitamin D deficiency and magnesium deficiency are associated with hypertension.
“When women are under stress, they use up a lot of energy in needless chemical reactions, resulting in use of hormones and nutrients leading to deficiency and imbalance.”
Additional Causes of High BP
Though periomenopause can cause high blood pressure, many other factors can also cause this condition in a woman who just happens to be going through periomenopause.
If any of the following factors apply to you, and you have high blood pressure, don’t be quick to put all the blame on periomenopause:
• Sedentary lifestyle
• High sodium/salt diet
• More than eight ounces of alcohol a day
• Sleep apnea
High blood pressure can be lowered naturally by cutting way back on processed foods and eating six to eight servings a day of any combination of fruits and raw vegetables, plus keeping sodium intake under 2,000 mg/day.
Periomenopause doesn’t have to be a gloomy transition in life. Another way to bring down high blood pressure or prevent it from getting high, and to manage anxiety, is to take up intense strength training and interval-training cardio.