How Does Menopause Affect My Risk of Heart Disease?

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When we think of really the life cycle of the women, in your 20s you are kind of counting the days that you don't have your period and then in your 30s you are counting the days to have your period trying to get pregnant, then in your 40s, you want to hold on to that estrogen for as long as you can.

Because once menopause hits, and the estrogen decreases, that increases your risk of heart disease. As you go through menopause and there is a decrease in estrogen, we lose all that protection on our hearts. Our arteries become more more susceptible to plaque formation, and our bodies increasing LVL the bad cholesterol, and there's a decrease in HDL, the good cholesterol.

So about 10 years after menopause, there is an increase in heart disease that is equal to a man's 10 years before. Menopause is exactly when things change. What I always say is, train for menopause like you are training for a marathon. And that way, you can keep your risk of heart diseases as low as possible.

As you go through menopause, pay attention to your lifestyle. It's really about exercising and diet, and continuing to take care of yourself. If you do that, then your risk of heart disease does not have to go up. But please go to your doctor, get your blood pressure checked, your cholesterol checked, know your sugar levels, keep your weight in check because it's really harder to keep weight off as you go through menopause, but you can do it.

An increased risk of heart disease does not have to happen, but once you go through menopause the tendency is that heart disease does occur. You can do it, you've just got to stick with your lifestyle program.