I don’t know about you guys but I had NO IDEA that menopause could cause women to have high cholesterol! It normally doesn’t appear the list of fatty foods, stress, and weight so I don’t think anyone would make the connection. Luckily we have the medical world to do tests and research for us so that we are educated on these kinds of topics. I found this great article by Dr. Stephen Center on BodyLogicMD’s website about the connection and steps you can take to reduce your increase of LDL when you start menopause.
Dr. Stephen Center Discusses the Connection Between Menopause and High Cholesterol
The Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SAWN) has followed more than 3,000 American women since 1996. The study indicated that the onset of menopause significantly increases LDL (“bad” cholesterol) cholesterol levels in women. LDL cholesterol attaches to the inner walls of arteries, forming plaque buildup and eventually constricting blood flow from heart. It’s important that women nearing menopause are proactive about their health, to avoid the potential risk of heart disease and other health complications.
Here are some steps that I recommend women take to improve their overall health and wellness and eliminate the risk of health challenges associated with aging.
Bioidentical hormones – High LDL cholesterol during menopause is often the result of an estrogen deficiency. As women enter perimenopause, estrogen levels begin to gradually decline and continue throughout menopause. Bioidentical hormones replace the estrogen hormones that the body no longer produces. In addition to alleviating menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, weight gain, hair loss and mood swings, bioidentical estrogen, when combined with customized fitness and nutrition, can significantly reduce a woman’s risk of developing heart disease.
Exercise – Physical fitness increases blood flow and eliminates plaque buildup along the arterial walls. Cardiovascular fitness is classified as any activity that gets the heart rate up and increases breathing. Experts say that daily exercise can reduce a woman’s risk of heart disease by 50%.
Stress reduction – Stress reduction techniques control the release of the stress hormone, known as cortisol. Cortisol is released by the adrenal glands as a “fight or flight” response to stress. Unfortunately, the overproduction of cortisol often leads to a variety of conditions often typified by metabolic syndrome, such as adrenal fatigue, obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Stress reduction techniques, such as breathing exercises and mediation help to slow the heart rate and in turn prevent cortisol imbalance.
Nutrition – Nutrition is paramount in disease prevention. A variety of foods have been proven to lower the risk of heart disease such as salmon, lettuce, apples, almonds, olive oil, red wine and soy products. Many of these foods fight inflammation and rid the body of free radicals, which often result in oxidative stress.