Heart palpitations during menopause can be really concerning and are due to fluctuating levels of oestrogen. Yet there are simple techniques to help reduce the stress and anxiety they cause.
While palpitations are common side effects of a host of medical problems, they are also a benign symptom of fluctuating hormones. You can experience them any time your hormone levels are changing, whether you’re premenstrual, pregnant, peri-menopausal or menopausal.
During menopause, falling oestrogen levels can affect the electrical system of the heart which in turn con contribute to feelings that the heart is racing or missing a beat. If you are taking Hormone Replacement Therapy HRT you may also be aware of an increase in episodes of heart palpitations at the beginning of your treatment until hormones settle down more.
Like hot flushes, peri-menopausal palpitations are not a serious medical concern but may require treatment if they are causing anxiety. But when you experience heart palpitations for the first time it can be frightening! Many women report going to their doctor or A&E, run a battery of tests only to be told there is nothing wrong with the heart.
Generally, menopause heart palpitations will discontinue within a few months when your hormones have settled.
Should they continue, or if they’re extremely rapid, or you experience dizziness or tightness in your chest then you MUST seek medical advice as soon as possible.
Making some simple diet and lifestyle changes can help reduce the frequency:
Adequately HYDRATE. This is especially important if you are struggling with night sweats and losing even more body water overnight. Drink a MINIMUM of 2 litres of plain water/day with 1 pint water with slice of lemon on waking, then another large glass of water 30 minutes BEFORE food. And when you feel a heart flutter building up, often drinking a glass of water immediately can help reduce or banish the sensation.
Reduce ALL STIMULANTS: Caffeine, alcohol, nicotine. These will all contribute to raising the internal stress response hormones in the body, leading to the potential for more frequent and severe palpitations. This was certainly the case for me when I drank coffee resulting in me banning it from my daily routine. High sugar content foods can do this too. Keeping a diary of food/drinks/events can really help you identify any personal triggers.
You may also notice that these stimulants contribute towards hot flushes and night sweats, and reducing them can make a significant difference to these symptoms too.
Identify and manage STRESS: Learn to MEDITATE, just a few minutes a day can make a significant difference. REST if you become anxious, practice deep breathing. Inhale for 4, exhale for 7 about 10 times or until the moment has passed. These simple techniques can make such a positive difference.
Eat a little and often. This helps manage your blood sugar levels, and do include plenty of green leafy vegetables which contain plenty of magnesium and calcium, so important for the contraction and relaxation of heart muscle. A green smoothie is a great way to ‘eat’ your greens.
Supplements: Boosting magnesium levels can help with many symptoms attributed to menopause, look at Magnesium Citrate or BioFood Magnesium, plus Co Enzyme Q10 supplements
The herbs Black Cohosh and Sage may also relieve palpitations
The bottom line? Please don’t panic! This really wont serve you. Practice the self care techniques above, and if the frequency and severity doesn’t improve, or you have any tightness or pain in your chest, see your doctor.
And breathe ….
Helping busy ladies naturally create harmony and health through the menopause years and beyond. Regain control, confidence, and be free to live the life they choose.
A full hysterectomy in her 30’s led nutritional therapist and health coach Clare on an amazing adventure exploring the many opportunities available to manage her enforced menopause and create long-term health.
Clare prefers the natural approach, and qualifying in nutritional therapy gave her the confidence to come off HRT, take back control of her life and health, and look forward to living the best third of her life free of prescription drugs. Understanding the importance of creating harmony of health of both body and mind through menopause and beyond, she’s now on a mission to inspire, educate and empower other women, too. Help them create their ‘new life’.
Click HERE to find out more about how Clare shares her years of exploring, experience and knowledge through 1:1 consultations, speaking and online programmes, and where you can request a FREE 30 minute consultation with Clare to discuss any personal menopause/health concerns you may have.
Registered Nutritional Therapist
Member of the British Menopause Society
Award winning Menopause Coach & Educator