Discovering that you are suffering from an irregular heartbeat, whether it is a strong pounding or a missed beat, can be frightening. However, it is a very common disorder especially during times of hormonal imbalance, such as menopause. Fortunately, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of an irregular heartbeat. Continue reading to discover five things to avoid if you have an irregular heartbeat.
Smoking can negatively impact your health in a number of ways. The nicotine found in cigarettes can be a direct trigger of an irregular heartbeat, because tobacco contains strong stimulant alkaloids that accelerate the heart rate, make breathing shallower, and increase anxiety. Smoking can also contribute to up to one-third of all cardiovascular disease. Overall, cigarettes cause more strokes, heart-related ailments, and heart and blood vessel disease than all illegal drugs combined.
Used in moderation, alcohol can provide some benefits for your heart. However, for some people, even a small amount of alcohol can trigger an irregular heartbeat. Drinking vast quantities of alcohol can be a major risk factor for developing high blood pressure, weak heart muscles, heart failure, or experiencing a stroke.
Stress and anxiety are two of the main causes of an irregular heartbeat. They can both be naturally heightened during menopause as you find yourself also having to cope with the other symptoms it brings with it. In addition to bringing about immediate bouts of irregular heartbeat, chronic stress can also increase the risk of cardiovascular stress, thanks to the effects of the hormone cortisol, which is known for increasing inflammation all over the body.
Caffeine is induces a fast, racing heartbeat, similar to the one you might experience after completing exercise. Tolerance to caffeine is a personal issue that varies greatly from woman to woman, but many women unwittingly consume more caffeine than they ought to because of the many hidden sources of it. In addition to well-known caffeinated drinks, including tea, soft drinks, and, especially, coffee, as well as foods such as chocolate, can make your heart flutter or pound.
It is believed by some researchers that appetite suppressants can make irregular heartbeats worse. Some over the counter appetite suppressants can also interfere with prescription heart medications. Because appetite suppressants can contain stimulants, they can be particularly problematic and are best avoided if you feel any irregularities with your heartbeat.
Most women experience heartbeat irregularities during at least one stage of their lives, and are rarely a cause for serious concern. However, if you are concerned then it is best to seek the advice of your doctor. Avoiding these five triggers should also help you to ward off heartbeat irregularities.
For further information on how to control irregular heartbeat during menopause, follow the link below.
- National Health Service UK. (2012). Heart palpitations. Retrieved October 11, 2013, from http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Heart-palpitations/Pages/Introduction.aspx