In case you haven’t heard it yet, heart disease is the number one killer of women in the U.S. To put it in more concrete terms 306,000 women died of heart disease in 2007, more than died from breast cancer, the flu or in motor vehicle accidents.
It’s a staggering number that means we need to look at what happens to increase the risk of heart disease in women as they age.It’s a simple connection between heart disease and menopause. Estrogen, the hormone women have an abundance before menopause, is a major protector of the heart and once that disappears, women catch up with men and even surpass them in having more heart attacks, strokes and cardiac disease.There are 52 million women over age 50 today who should run to get prescriptions for bioidentical hormones, which would immediately drop their risk of heart disease by more than 60 percent.
Let me explain why.
When we are in our 20s and 30s, we are full of hormones. By that I mean we are full of estradiol (estrogen of youth), progesterone (the hormone that balances estrogen) and yes, even testosterone. We are full of energy, want to have sex and don’t have wrinkles. Our skin glows and weight loss is easy with diet and exercise. Hormones are the root reason we are healthy when we are young. They also support our immune function so we get over a cold in 48 hours and eliminate inflammation so we don’t suffer with arthritic joints.
In our 40s, things change. We manufacture fewer hormones, ovulate irregularly and the quality diminishes until we stop making them altogether at menopause. On the outside, wrinkles appear, midriff bulge spills over, energy drops and sleep becomes a nightmare, accompanied by hot flashes, night sweats, palpitations and, of course, anxiety.
Inside, the loss of hormones increases bad-cholesterol levels, plaque in our arteries and shortness of breath.
Complicating the picture for women is the fact that they do not experience or manifest heart disease like men.
Chest pain may not be the presenting symptom. Heart disease in women can be a nagging toothache, jaw aches, arm pain and often exhaustion and persistent cough.
Too many women who die are misdiagnosed, because studies on and treatments for heart disease have been conducted with men.
If women would learn to be unafraid of bioidentical hormones – which are manufactured to look identical to their own hormones – and take them before menopause, heart disease would claim fewer women’s lives.Let’s start today, shall we?
- Become aware that hormones are your saviors and protectors.
- Start taking bioidentical hormones as soon as you begin experiencing symptoms of pre-menopause.
- If you have a family history of heart disease, start bioidentical hormones as early as possible.
- Change your diet to low carbs, low animal fat, high vegetable and fruit by age 40.
- Cut down on alcohol, caffeine, soda and sugar substitutes.
- Increase the amount of cardio exercise and strength building to 30 minutes a day.
- Sleep eight hours every night.
- Eliminate fear and anxiety from your life. They are dangerous to your heart.
- Work with doctors who support and encourage you, not fear-mongers.
- Don’t fear heart disease or cancer. Take control of your life and enjoy every minute. Stay young and full of hormones forever.
The above article originally appeared in WAG Magazine.