The Link Between Menopause and Cholesterol
Did you know that the good cholesterol (HDL) levels in your body can decline when your oestrogen levels also begin to drop around the time of the onset of menopause?
This change naturally occurs in many women’s bodies, but how does this affect their wider health and their ability to manage symptoms of menopause? Let’s take a look.
Menopause and Cholesterol
Menopause symptoms, such as hot flushes, mood swings, night sweats, difficulty sleeping and vaginal dryness, are triggered by the natural decline in oestrogen levels that typically occurs in a woman’s 40s or 50s.
Meanwhile, a risk of heart disease can be increased by raised levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) - LDL levels can naturally rise around the time of perimenopause or during menopause itself, which can be partly attributed to the greater heart disease risk that affects women at this stage of their lives. Some medics also believe that the decline in oestrogen itself could be to blame.
Bad cholesterol levels tend to increase naturally as a person gets older, but especially so in pre-menopausal and menopausal women. However, a report commissioned for Flora ProActiv found that more than three-quarters (76 per cent) of women were unaware of this increased risk, so may be unknowingly carrying on with lifestyle habits that could be impacting their health further.
The link between menopause and raised cholesterol levels means that menopause could have an adverse effect on heart health unless women are actively taking steps to lead a healthier lifestyle, lower their cholesterol and get a better hold on other symptoms of menopause they’re experiencing.
Managing Menopause and High Cholesterol
If you smoke or are diabetic, you’ll be more likely to have higher levels of LDL, so stopping smoking during menopause, and following a healthy diet to help get type 2 diabetes under control could help to bring your cholesterol levels down.
Eating a balanced diet is extremely important during menopause to help you to maintain a healthy weight, which could assist with managing everything from the severity of your hot flushes to your increased osteoporosis risk in menopause, as well as your heart health. Regular exercise could also help with this.
Keeping your stress levels in check can play a key role in managing cardiovascular health too - some are even of the view that stress can be worse for the heart than high cholesterol. With this in mind, try to make a little time for yourself each day where you can focus on looking after yourself, and avoid stress triggers as much as possible.
Easing stress won’t just have benefits for your overall mood and heart health, but could potentially lessen the severity of your hot flushes and night sweats too.
Overall, it’s most important to follow a healthy lifestyle, which you may wish to make natural menopause supplements a part of. Femarelle® supplements contain DT56a, which could help to regulate your menopausal mood swings, allowing you to manage your stress levels better.
You should always speak to your GP if you have any concerns about your cholesterol and the impact it could be having on your wider health.