If you find your heart is skipping beats, it's likely that rather than just being a sign of love, you are experiencing menopause related irregular heartbeat. Unfortunately, this symptom is a common feature of the natural transition. An irregular heartbeat can usually be felt in the neck, throat, and chest. In addition to an increased heart rate, women may experience flushing, shortness of breath, and chest discomfort. The lack of estrogen produced during menopause can significantly affect a woman's cardiovascular system. Don't panic if this all sounds too familiar, an irregular heartbeat can be controlled fairly easily. Read on to learn more.
Lifestyle Changes to Control Your Racing Heart
Avoid Nicotine and Alcohol
Stimulants like alcohol and nicotine will naturally increase your heart rate, so removing or cutting back on these triggers will automatically reduce heart palpitations.
Limit Consumption of Caffeine
Caffeine is a drug-like compound that has a “quick fix” effect on tiredness and weariness. The substance interferes with the body's “flight or fight” response, the instinct which activates when the body becomes apprehensive about danger. In consequence, the heart rate can be felt to increase as part of the body's response mechanism.
Research suggests that women taking medicine for high body temperature, hypoglycaemia or breast cancer may experience hot flashes as a side effect. Some medication combinations can also trigger hot flashes. Tal to your doctor if you think that medication is triggering your hot flashes and increased heart rate.
Actively encouraging relaxation will help to ease the stress that is known to exacerbate menopause related symptoms. Try practicing yoga on a weekly basis. The poses that you form will help you to control your breathing, something which is vital for those who suffering from irregular heartbeats. Alternatively, you could try practices like Tai Chi or Pilates.
Reconsider Diet and Exercise
A poor diet and exercise regimen can worsen the experience of irregular heartbeats because excess weight can put pressure on the heart and force it to work harder than it needs to. Exercising on a regular basis and keeping a healthy diet on the other hand will help you to maintain a healthy weight and encourage oxygen flow throughout the body. Try eating foods that are high in phytoestrogens, like soy, tofu, beans, legumes, apples and carrots, because they will increase natural estrogen levels in the body and help alleviate an irregular heartbeat.
More Information about Irregular Heartbeat
While experiencing an irregular heartbeat during menopause can be worrisome, it usually is not a cause for concern. To find out more information about why women in menopause are more likely to suffer with this condition, follow this link.
- Hutchinson, Susan M.D. "The Stages of a Woman's Life: Menstruation, Pregnancy, Nursing, Perimenopause, Menopause". November 2007.
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007