You may be surprised to learn that heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in the United States.

It is also a leading cause of disability for women. As women age, their risk of heart trouble increases; there is a strong link between menopause and heart disease.



 When women are young, they have large amounts of estrogen, which is a hormone that helps to protect the heart.  With estrogen levels depleted, older women have more cardiac disease, heart attacks, and strokes than men.
People in their twenties and thirties are full of progesterone, testosterone, and estradiol.  You will see glowing skin, lean bodies, and other benefits of having plenty of hormones.  Hormones support the immune system, helping to reduce inflammation and increase resistance to colds and flues.  

 Hormones and Aging

Around the fourth decade of life for women changes begin to take place.  Ovulation becomes irregular and the quality of the hormones produced declines, eventually stopping completely with menopause.  As a result, cholesterol levels increase and plaque begins to build up in the arteries.  Skin begins to wrinkle, stomach fat is increased, energy levels plummet; many women experience night sweats, hot flashes, heart palpitations, and anxiety. 
Women experiencing heart disease might not have chest pain, the tell-tale sign that there is a problem.  Instead, symptoms like arm pain, jaw aches, toothaches, exhaustion, and even a perpetual cough are often present.  Women are often misdiagnosed, partly because treatments for heart disease have largely been based on men. 

Thankfully, there is help for hormonal changes.  Women over the age of fifty should consider taking prescription bioidentical hormones.  With these hormones, the risk of heart disease is decreased by sixty percent (60%).  Bioidentical hormones are manufactured to be molecularly identical to the hormones your body naturally produces. 

To best protect your heart and the overall quality of your life, start taking bio-identical hormones when you are premenopausal.    Does your family have a history of heart problems?  Talk to your healthcare practitioner about starting bio-identical hormones even earlier.  

How You Can Have Heart-Healthy Hormones

You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease as well as controlling and preventing risk factors if you already have heart disease.

Adjust your diet by eating lots of vegetables and fruit.  Cut back on alcohol, soda, caffeine, sugar substitutes, animal fat, and carbohydrates.  Try to get eight hours of sleep every night.  Strive to get thirty minutes of strength building and cardio exercise each day.  Do away with anxiety and fear, which is taxing for the heart.  Enjoy each day of your life, celebrating your strength and vitality.  Consider adding supplementssuch as COQ10, Resveratol, and Magnesium.  Always check with your practitioner if you are taking and medications.  
Jennifer Cebulak
Research Editor

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