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Can Hot Flashes Cause Heart Palpitations ?

Are you dismissing regular Hot Flashes as a minor annoyance? If yes, this is what you need to hear about them, those annoying Hot Flashes may be a warning sign indicating an elevated likelihood of serious cardiovascular events such as heart attacks or even strokes.  

How are Hot Flashes and Heart Palpitations co related ?

The fluctuations in the estrogen levels can lead to heart palpitations, it feels as if your heart is on a chase, as if you’ve been in a marathon, your heart just begins to race sometimes even skipping a beat, these feelings can start in your chest and go up until the very neck and throat.

Menopause ushers in a multitude of transformations, encompassing both physical and emotional shifts. Physically, you may contend with hot flashes, sweating, and night sweats, alongside discomfort from vaginal dryness and irregular periods. Mood swings, sleep disturbances, dry skin, and hair loss may also feature prominently, accompanied by memory challenges. On an emotional level, diminished sexual desire might become a notable aspect of this transitional phase.

But what are the causes of heart palpitations ?

During menopause, estrogen levels change, eventually stopping production, which can cause a feeling of a racing heart  also known as palpitations. These palpitations can also happen during hormonal changes like periods or pregnancy. In menopause, palpitations often go along with hot flashes, making the heart beat 8-16 times per minute faster. Other things besides hormonal changes can also cause palpitations, such as: 

  • Being stressed 
  • Doing intense exercise 
  • Drinking caffeine, alcohol, or smoking 
  • Taking certain medicines, like cough and cold remedies or inhalers for asthma 
  • Having a fever 
  • Having an irregular heartbeat 
  • Having a thyroid problem 
  • Being dehydrated 
  • Having changes in blood sugar or blood pressure

If you’re occasionally experiencing palpitations lasting just a few seconds, there’s likely no need for immediate action. However, it’s essential to monitor any changes in frequency or duration, as well as any worsening symptoms over time, which could indicate a more serious heart condition requiring medical attention. Seek emergency help if palpitations are accompanied by symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, or fainting. Taking heed of these signs ensures proactive management of your heart health and overall well-being.

Are there any tips I can follow to prevent these palpitations  ?

To avoid palpitations, the immediate and the most basic tip you can follow is to calm yourself down, and let the racing of the heart be numbed down and steer clear of triggers like caffeine found in coffee, chocolate, and energy drinks, spicy foods, alcohol, nicotine, and recreational drugs. 

Be extra cautious with cold medications that contain pseudoephedrine. Avoid stress-induced palpitations with relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, meditation, or massage. If palpitations still stick, signalling a potential heart problem, some women find relief from palpitations through hormone replacement therapy, although it carries risks of heart disease, stroke, blood clots, and breast cancer. 

Prioritise heart health during and after menopause by actively involving in an aerobic exercises, maintaining a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and low-fat dairy, managing blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels, maintaining a healthy weight, and seeking guidance to quit smoking.

If you are experiencing hot flashes or heart palpitations during menopause, how are you currently addressing these symptoms? Take a moment to consider the impact of these symptoms on your overall well-being and explore proactive steps you can take to prioritise your heart health, for you deserve a healthy heart.

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