Management Of Irregular Heart Rhythms In Women
Treatment options include:
Medications antiarrhythmic drugs are medications used to convert the arrhythmia to normal sinus rhythm or to prevent arrhythmia. Other medications may include heart-rate control drugs; anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs such as warfarin or aspirin, which reduce the risk of blood clots or stroke.
Concerns for women: Because women have a longer QT interval than men. some medications that are used in men to treat irregular heart rhythms prolong the QT interval even more. These medications include Quinidine, Sotalol, Dofetilide, and Amiodarone. These medications may increase a woman’s risk of developing a life-threatening arrhythmia more than in men who take these medications. Women who take these medications should follow their doctors and dietitians dietary guidelines for potassium and avoid becoming low in potassium, which enhances the arrhythmia affect¹.
The biggest concern for all patients with atrial fibrillation is preventing blood clots or stroke. Warfarin is most often used to prevent strokes in patients. According to The Canadian Registry of Atrial Fibrillation , women were half as likely to be prescribed warfarin as compared to men, although they would benefit from it as much².
Lifestyle changes arrhythmias may be related to certain lifestyle factors. Here are some ways to change these factors:
Heart Palpitations During Menopause: Should You Worry
erratic heartbeat should be taken seriously and diagnosis should factor in everything that is going on in your life.
Heart palpitations during menopause are definitely a less well known symptom of perimenopause and postmenopause. Many women who experience heart palpitations during this transition phase of life may initially think the two are unrelated.
But any experience with irregular or erratic heartbeat should be taken seriously and diagnosis should factor in everything that is going on in your life, including the sometimes severe hormone fluctuations that characterize perimenopause.
In this article, learn about menopause heart palpitations and find out the right next steps to take, including options for natural remedies and when to see your doctor.
Hormone Balance And Tummy Trouble
Cells lining the gastrointestinal tract have receptors for both estrogen and progesterone. Levels of these hormones change throughout the course of a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle. When they do, they impact the function of the gastrointestinal system. Women often experience abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, and nausea before or during their periods. These symptoms can also occur with many other conditions. If a woman experiences them along with mood changes and fatigue before or during her period, it may be more likely that the GI disturbances are occurring due to monthly hormonal fluctuations.
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A Bad Pillow Or Mattress
Sometimes, morning headaches are caused by strained neck muscles. If your pillow or mattress isnt supporting your neck in the right way, your unhealthy sleep posture can make your head throb. The best mattress and pillow should support your head and neck in a neutral position similar to when youre standing. If your pillow is too soft or too firm, it can fail to support your head and neck properly.
A good rule of thumb is that your pillow should fit the contours of your head, neck, shoulders, and back so that it relieves the tension and pressure that can lead to headaches. Sometimes, the top part of your head stays on the pillow as you sleep, but your neck isnt really touching it at all which leads to a completely unnatural position that strains muscles and leads to headaches.
You might need some trial and error to find a pillow with the right firmness, but its worth the effort. As a first step, why not try the Purple Pillow it features an elastic polymer molded into a smart-comfort grid that supports your necks natural curvature. In fact, its specifically designed for ideal head and neck support and may be your best pillow for neck pain and headaches. The PurpleÂ® Pillow is also highly breathable. It allows for plenty of airflow and doesnt absorb heat, so it remains a neutral temperature throughout the night youll be super comfortable and get overall better sleep.
Progesterone Medication And Palpitations
Hormone replacement therapy can help calm symptoms for some women, while others are unable to tolerate any medication. Hormone replacement therapy can cause a wide variety of symptoms including headache, upset stomach, changes in mood, fatigue and constipation. More serious side effects include changes in vision, trouble breathing, chest pain and a racing or irregular heart beat, says MedlinePlus 2. If you develop side effects, your doctor can alter the dosage and timing of your progesterone medication, which may help 2.
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What Influences Appetite And Weight
When Estrogen Drops, Hunger Increases
A decrease in estrogen levels during a woman’s monthly cycle may trigger mood changes in some women. Some females may reach for comfort foods that are high in fat, calories, sugar, and salt in an effort to feel better. Sadly, eating these foods backfires and makes women feel worse. Sodium increases water retention and bloating. Sugar, excess fat and calories will lead you to pack on the pounds. Falling estrogen levels also affect leptin, a hormone that inhibits hunger. Combat hormonal weight gain by adopting a healthy diet and exercise plan. Stick to lean meats, healthy fats, complex carbs, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables to help prevent PMS and encourage healthy blood sugar levels and weight loss.
Common Side Effects And Risks Of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Bioidentical hormones are hormones made in a laboratory and derived from hormones naturally produced by the body. These hormones are typically used as a treatment for individuals who have low or out of balance hormones in their body. Hormones are chemicals that tell organs and parts of the body when and how to work. When there is a shortage of certain hormones such as progesterone, testosterone, or estrogen in the body, the individual can experience unpleasant adverse symptoms. Common symptoms include energy loss, weight gain, mood changes, foggy thinking, night sweats, hot flashes, problems sleeping, and loss of muscle mass. The goal of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is to raise hormone levels back to normal and alleviate any symptoms an individual may be experiencing.
While bioidentical hormone therapy may be effective for many patients, it does pose certain risks and may cause adverse side effects. Learn more about these now.
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What Causes Estrogen Dominance
When a womans menstrual cycle is normal, estrogen is the dominant hormone for the first two weeks leading up to ovulation. Estrogen is balanced by progesterone during the last two weeks.
As a woman enters perimenopause and begins to experience anovulatory cycles , estrogen can often go unopposed, causing symptoms. Skipping ovulation is, however, only one potential factor in estrogen dominance. In industrialized countries such as the United States, there can be many other causes, including:
- Excess body fat
- Too much stress, resulting in excess amounts of cortisol, insulin, and norepinephrine, which can lead to adrenal exhaustion and can also adversely affect overall hormonal balance
- A low-fiber diet with excess refined carbohydrates and deficient in nutrients and high quality fats
- Impaired immune function
Treatment And Prevention Of Perimenopause Heart Palpitations
If you begin experiencing any type of heart palpitations during perimenopause, be sure to seek medical attention right away. Your doctor will conduct an examination to rule out anything life-threatening.;
Occasionally, perimenopause heart palpitations could indicate a major medical issue like hyperthyroidism or arrhythmia.
Its critical to see a doctor should you observe any of the following symptoms:
- Perimenopause heart palpitations start happening more frequently
- They last longer than a couple of minutes each time
- They seem to gradually worsen;
Also, seek emergency medical treatment if you develop any of the following symptoms in association with perimenopause heart palpitations:
- Chest pain
As far as prevention goes, certain lifestyle changes may help reduce your chances of getting heart palpitations during perimenopause:
- Eat at regular intervals to prevent blood sugar levels from dropping and producing heart palpitations.
Apart from perimenopause heart palpitations, you may observe many other physical and emotional symptoms during the perimenopausal phase, including:
- Irregular periods;
At this time, the process of ovulation becomes unpredictable. Your menstrual cycles could get shorter or longer, blood flow during menses seems heavier or lighter, or simply disappears altogether.
- Sleep problems and hot flashes
- Mood changes
- Bladder and vaginal problems
- Reduced fertility
- Changes in sexual function
- High cholesterol
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Hormonal Imbalance In Women
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance
Bloating, fatigue, irritability, hair loss, palpitations, mood swings, problems with blood sugar, trouble concentrating, infertility — these are just a few symptoms of hormone imbalance. These compounds affect every cell and system in the body. Hormone imbalance can debilitate you. Some hormonal shifts are normal, like monthly fluctuations of sex hormones responsible for menstruation and ovulation or the changes that occur during pregnancy. Menopause is another time for a normal hormonal shift in a woman’s life. Many women may experience weight gain, mood swings, night sweats, and diminished sex drive during this time. Other times these fluctuations may be due to a medication or a medical condition.
Balance Your Cortisol
Cortisol is an important hormone that may become imbalanced with stress or illness. Cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands that lie on top of the kidneys. Low intensity exercise can help lower elevated cortisol levels. Stress impacts adrenal function and hormone levels. Get acquainted with hormone imbalance symptoms and signs so you can notice when things in your body and mind don’t seem right.
Why Do People Use Progesterone
Over-the-counter progesterone cream has been marketed as a treatment for menopausal symptoms, including:
- Weight gain
The progesterone in these creams can effectively travel through the skin and into the bloodstream, according to research. In one study, menopausal women used 40 milligrams of cream twice daily, placing it on their arm, thigh, breast, or abdomen. Their blood levels of progesterone were as high as when they took progesterone capsules by mouth.
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Can Too Much Progesterone Cause Anxiety
Most people experience isolated incidents of anxiety at some point in their lives. These episodes are usually nothing to worry about, but if they happen frequently, there might be something else going on. Many underlying causes could cause concerning levels of anxiety, but can elevated levels of progesterone be one of the reasons?
Progesterone is the female sex hormone that regulates certain functions in the body. Abnormal levels of this hormone may cause your body to react strangely. These symptoms vary from infertility to mood changes.
Both low and elevated levels of progesterone have the potential to cause anxiety and other conditions. If you have concerns regarding hormonal levels and anxiety, it can help to talk to your doctor. They will know how the next step to take for you to feel better.
Exacerbation Of Mental Health Problems
Estrogen is believed to have a protective effect on the brain. It appears to positively impact brain chemicals , cognition, and the ability to withstand stress. Dropping estrogen levels appear to be associated with an increased risk of psychosis. The age of menopause is associated with a second peak of schizophrenia onset in women. Results of preliminary research suggests selective estrogen receptor modulators may improve cognition and other symptoms in women who have psychiatric disorders. They may even reduce the frequency of manic episodes in women who have bipolar disorder. However, these drugs are not without potential risks. See your doctor if you believe decreasing estrogen levels are contributing to serious mental health symptoms.
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Learn Stress Management Tips
Stress is a major trigger for heart palpitations at any age and phase of life. During menopause, stress is increased not only by the many discomforts that can arise but also by hormonal fluctuations.
This makes stress management vitally important to support heart health. Breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi, massage, guided visualizations and other tools can all help naturally lower stress levels.
Cardiovascular And Respiratory Side Effects
Seven percent of patients will experience chest pain. Other cardiovascular risks include hypertension and heart palpitations. Progesterone also thickens the blood, making you more prone to blood clotting issues, including thrombosis and embolisms 2. Eight percent of patients experience a cough. Other respiratory effects include nasal congestions, bronchitis and sinusitis.
- Seven percent of patients will experience chest pain.
- Other cardiovascular risks include hypertension and heart palpitations.
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Can Hormonal Imbalance After 40 Cause Palpitations
If you are over 40 and have symptoms of tachycardia, it may be hormonal.
The transition to menopause begins in the fourth decade of a womans life when estrogen and progesterone fluctuate unevenly giving rise to a myriad of manifestations.
One of the symptoms of hormonal imbalance after the age of 40 are palpitations. They are experienced as skipped beats, sustained palpitations, flatters or flip-flops. Palpitations occur due to the hormonal lack of control at this stage either because the production of estrogen level starts to drop or estrogen from external sources increases.;
The most important change during perimenopause is the decrease in estrogen which causes the lining of the blood vessel to be more rigid and implicitly increases the blood pressure. The heart works harder and the palpitations appear.
During perimenopause, estrogen levels usually drop until they almost completely disappear but you can still pile up extra estrogen from your toxic environment. When your load of estrogen is too high due to exposure to external sources of foreign estrogen like BPA from plastics, it may lead to arrhythmia.
Development Of Blood Clots
Blood clots are the clumps of blood the body forms in response to a blood vessel tear. The function of a blood clot is to plug the injured blood vessel so it stops bleeding. There are some diseases, types of therapy, and medications that can increase an individual’s risk of the inappropriate development of blood clots. These blood clots form when blood stops moving, or when it slows down in the blood vessels. Anything that stops the proper movement of blood through the vessels can increase an individual’s risk of developing a blood clot. Blood clots are concerning because they can break off and flow freely throughout the bloodstream. When blood clots become lodged in blood vessels that supply the heart, brain, or lungs, life-threatening medical conditions can occur. A blood clot that becomes lodged in vessels that supply the heart with oxygenated blood can result in cardiac arrest, and a blood clot that gets stuck in the brain’s blood vessels can result in a stroke. While this type of therapy alone increases the risk of blood clots by a small amount, an individual’s risk can considerably increase when bioidentical hormone therapy is combined with other blood clot risk factors, which include obesity, advanced age, smoking, bed rest, heart failure, and a sedentary lifestyle.
Discover more information about the side effects and risks of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy now.
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Hormones And Irregular Heart Beats
Estrogen and progesterone levels rise and fall in women with a normal menstrual cycle during the days of the month. The rise of progesterone and the fall of estrogen correspond with:
- More frequent episodes of supraventricular tachycardia
- More symptoms associated with SVT
- SVT of longer duration¹
During perimenopause , there is a marked decrease in ovarian estrogen production. This is associated with an increase in heart rate and an increased frequency in palpitations and non-threatening arrhythmias, such as premature ventricular contractions or PVCs.
Menopause causes a further decline in estrogen as the menstrual cycle stops. This time period is associated with irregular heart beats, palpitations, spasmodic chest pain and nightmares in women 40 -64 years old².
The Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study found no benefit in the use of hormone replacement therapy to reduce cardiovascular events, and hormone replacement therapy may even increase the risk of thromboembolism during the first year³. HRT is also associated with lengthening the QT interval , although the relevance of this finding is not known. On the other hand, HRT may decrease palpitations and other symptoms such as hot flashes, insomnia, and sweating. Therefore, it may be considered a treatment option in low risk female patients to relieve symptoms of palpitations.
Learn More Additional Resources
- Womens Bodies, Womens Wisdom, by Christiane Northrup, M.D., Chapter 4, The Female Energy System
- The Wisdom of Menopause, by Christiane Northrup, M.D., Chapter 14, Living with Heart, Passion, and Joy: How to Listen to and Love Your Midlife Heart.
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Which Supplements Or Herbs Cause Heart Palpitations
“Heart palpitations are a potential concern with supplements containing green tea, guarana, yerba mate, or kola nut all ingredients that naturally contain caffeine,” says Tod Cooperman, MD, president of Consumerlab.com, an independent testing company focused on health and nutrition products in White Plains, New York. “Another ingredient of concern is bitter orange, which naturally contains synephrine,” which is a stimulant, he adds.
These ingredients are often combined in weight loss supplements some of which include straight caffeine, he says.
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Energy drinks, which contain stimulant drugs, including caffeine, may also cause heart palpitations, especially in kids, according to a study in a December 2017 issue of Pediatric Emergency Care. Some 40 percent of teens in the study reported a side effect from energy drinks, including heart palpitations.
In addition to supplements , nicotine in tobacco products, stress, exercise and certain medications can make your heart race, including asthma inhalers, decongestants, blood pressure medications known as beta blockers, drugs that control heart rhythm, thyroid medication and some over-the-counter cough and cold medicines, according to the Mayo Clinic.