What is the link between hot flashes from menopause and heart disease?
Bad news for menopausal women suffering from a lot of hot flashes but not necessarily severe sweating: greater heart disease like stiffened arteries is associated with this classic symptom of menopause.
The term “heart disease” refers to any number of problem with the heart; not just clogged arteries.
A study has found a definite association between the menopausal symptom of hot flashes and two forms of heart disease: arterial stiffening and reduced endothelial function.
The endothelium is the inner lining of blood vessels.
The link pertains to frequency of hot flashes, not severity of them.
“Perimenopausal and early menopausal women are more vulnerable to increased risk of cardiovascular disease,” explains Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, in a report that appears on the journal Menopause (April 13, 2018).
“With fluctuating and then declining estrogen during the menopause transition,” she continues in the paper, “it is important to monitor mood, blood pressure, lipids, blood sugars, and body composition because of the increased risk of abdominal fat.”
Dr. Pinkerton recommends healthy food choices and exercise. This seems like a no-brainer approach, but it’s also ambiguous and open to subjective interpretation.
For example, there are foods that are marketed as being “healthy” or “good for you” when in fact, they are full of added sugar and other bad ingredients.
And if the only exercise you’re getting is housecleaning, you’re fooling only yourself.
Exercise should consist of structured aerobics and strength training sessions.
Diet should be plant based, and processed foods eaten only minimally.
Though a healthy diet and plenty of exercise will not stop menopausal hot flashes, they WILL go a long way at reducing abdominal fat and overall body fat, plus controlling blood pressure, ensuring desirable blood sugar levels and maintaining a desirable cholesterol profile.