The onset of the Menopause and High Blood pressure

One of the most often claims about high blood pressure is that it has no distinctions when it comes to whether it is going to affect men or women. Both sexes are just as likely to suffer.

One of the more worrying aspects of the way high blood pressure affects women is that a large number of women may be aware of the fact that suffer but don’t necessarily follow that concern up with action to do something about it.

I guess as far as Women and High Blood Pressure are concerned the debate falls pretty much into two topics: Menopause and High Blood Pressure – is there a connection and High Blood Pressure and Pregnancy.

These are two key occurrences in a Woman’s life? How do I know? Firstly I am a father and I well remember (fondly) the entire period of my wife’s pregnancy and all that entailed. The second subject? Well let’s just say I know (at the risk of incurring the ire of “she who must be obeyed”) and leave it at that.

It has to be said that it is perhaps one of life’s injustices that at this particularly sensitive and vulnerable stage in a woman’s life that she has to try and come to terms with not just one major health issue but perhaps two.

So what does it all entail? Does the onset of the menopause affect high blood pressure?

Prior to the onset of the menopause female systolic and diastolic levels tended to be lower.In post menopausal women these levels tend to rise slightly.

These increases can be attributed to a number of factors partly related to potential increased salt sensitivity and potential weight gain that in turn are associated with Hormone changes that occur during menopause. Sadly, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) that many women either undertake voluntarily or have prescribed for them may also contribute to increases in blood pressure. An additional factor to take into consideration here also is that women who are over 50 who also take HRT may also have a small increase on average systolic pressure (1-2 mm Hg). These women are 25 percent more likely to suffer from high blood pressure than are women who don’t take HRT.

As in all of these cases, once again it is well to remember that actually a lot can be done to mitigate the onset of Menopause related high blood pressure.

When it comes down to lifestyle changes it is the usual villains that are the cause of most of the damage i.e. cut down on the salt, try and cut down on the drinking and stop smoking. Match these with an attempt at a healthier diet and you are by and large almost there.

It is important to realise however that not all cases of high blood pressure are going to be dealt with successfully just through lifestyle changes. Sometimes that just isn’t possible and medication has an important bearing on these matters also. Of the wide range of medication available for the treatment of high blood pressure, in these cases diuretics have shown to be extremely effective as many women have reported that incidences of general fluid retention tend to rise with the onset of the menopause.