Everyone is very familiar with what Blood pressure is. High blood pressure or hypertension is the increased force with which the blood hits the blood vessels, causing problems related to the heart shortly. It is recorded in studies that one in three individuals in India has high blood pressure. Also to be noted are the statistics that, almost 23.10% men and 22.60% women above 25 years of age have high bp.
Some of the common risk factors mentioned in the literature include age, gender, ethnicity, family history, obesity or being overweight, high sodium diet, high tobacco, and alcohol consumption, stress and chronic diseases, among others.
When we talk about women, hypertension often goes undiagnosed, especially in the older age. Premenopausal women have endogenous estrogen, which helps in regulating blood pressure. Once the women reach their menopausal stage, this endogenous estrogen declines, leading to an increase in blood pressure, contributing to hypertension.
Manifestations of Hypertension in Menopausal Women
With menopause setting in, there are often signs and symptoms of hypertension, which get confused with those of menopause itself. Some manifestations to look out for are
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Pain in the jaw
- Swollen feet
Also, read about: What You Should Know About Portal Hypertension
It is extremely necessary to take control of high blood pressure. Failure to take charge may lead to adverse effects, which may include
- Heart attack/stroke: Thickening of arteries leading to a heart attack or stroke.
- Aneurysms: Distention of the artery due to its weakening is an aneurysm. A ruptured aneurysm could be life-threatening.
- Heart failure: Also often known as Congestive heart failure is the inability of the heart muscles to pump the blood properly.
- Malfunctioning of internal organs
- Trouble in understanding, remembering and thinking abilities
You Can Prevent It!
Menopause is a time in a woman’s life which requires attention and care. Women may go through night sweats, sleepless nights, hot flashes, apart from the other signs and symptoms mentioned above.
All these can be prevented by following some simple lifestyle changes and taking good care, with regular medical follow up. Some tips include
- Reducing alcohol consumption
- Exercising at least four times a week
- Eating healthy
- Reducing salt consumption
- Reducing high cholesterol foods
Related read: Maintaining Good Health After Menopause
To know more about the relation between hypertension and menopause, read the article by Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairman and Managing Director, Medanta, Heart Institute, below
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