How are you? I don’t know where the weeks are going, but already it’s October – and that means the seasons are changing in both hemispheres. My coaching group is full of women from around the world and this week I’m talking about the seasonal changes and the effects on our symptoms.
One of the changes that occurs is around our hot flushes and night sweats. I’ve been explaining to my Northern Hemisphere ladies that there are dramatic changes to our sleep, blood pressure and hot flushes as we move into winter. There’s a reason for this and it’s all to do with the loss of oestrogen reducing the elasticity in our blood vessels as we move through menopause.
Many of you already know from following my blogs (thank you), I’m always talking about a condition known as ‘arterial stiffness’. As women age and go through menopause, cardiovascular risk increases because the loss of oestrogen also affects the walls of our blood vessels.
How timely that when I made you this video yesterday talking about the nutrients that help to reduce arterial stiffness, relatively new research arrived in my in-box suggesting that yes indeed, we need to put in place strategies to reduce arterial stiffness during our menopause years. Achieving this can impact positively on our blood pressure, weight and LDL cholesterol (the type of cholesterol linked to narrowing of the arteries). Now, new research suggests that there is a connection between arterial stiffness and hot flushes/ night sweats, so helping our blood vessels to become ‘less stiff’ may help to reduce the frequency of hot flushes and night sweats too.
If you have more that 10 hot flushes or sweats a day, then this is linked to a higher level of arterial stiffness (Yang et al, 2017). That’s why I have this short video for you. In it I talk about the nutrients you should be having daily in order to lower your blood pressure and reduce arterial stiffness.
Arterial stiffness occurs because we are losing the role of oestrogen in the epithelial lining of our blood vessels. As such, our arteries lose some of their ability to rebound and this makes them ‘stiffer’. This affects the blood flow or pulse wave velocity (speed). The pulse-wave velocity is the measurement of arterial stiffness or the rate at which pressure waves move down the blood vessel. It is well known that with increasing age and our transition into post-menopause, blood vessels become stiffer and the speed at which the pressure wave moves through the system increases because there is less resistance from the blood vessel wall.
Hot Flushes and Night Sweats and the connection between arterial stiffness and changing blood pressure in menopause are an important issue for mid-life and older women to understand. Both issues are connected.
Fortunately, there are solutions that are lifestyle based and I have all of these in the MyMT™ 12 week programmes. But in this mid-week briefing, I want to share with you a few nutrients that are evidenced to improve our blood vessels and heart health as we age.
Yesterday I went shopping at my local fruit and vegetable shop. What went into my basket were the beautiful fruits and vegetables that are evidenced to help give me the nutrients that I need at this stage of life – in light of the pandemic continuing to be with us as the months go on, what we eat matters.
When I read the research on arterial stiffness and our changing blood pressure in menopause and the effect this has on our hot flushes and night sweats, I began to understand that many expensive supplements don’t necessarily help our cardiac and blood vessel health. Many also may not work into the longer term. Are they working for you?
That was the question I asked myself as well. This all changed the more I began to understand that there is a powerful connection between women’s changing heart health, arterial stiffness and our hot flushes and night sweats as we age. This was crucial to positioning our nutritional needs in menopause against cardio-vascular health research in the MyMT™ programmes.
Many of these nutrients come from the foods that I tell you about in the video below – beetroot, celery, parsley, oranges, tomatoes, bananas, avocados, apples and lemons. The lemons are from my tree which has a heavy crop this year.
Thank you for joining me in my newsletter community. I love that you are here with me and your commitment to learning about the incredible changes in our body that occur as we transition through menopause into the next phase of our life – our post-menopause years. Have a listen when you can.
Don’t forget to listen to my online Masterclass on Menopause when you can. It’s described for you HERE in this video. In my Masterclass I have lots of other information for you and take you on a journey of what is going on as you move from peri-menopause to post-menopause. No matter whether you are experiencing symptoms or not, I have lots of solutions for you as well.
Whatever you have got going on in your life, I hope you are staying healthy and can find the time to make yourself a cuppa and read my blogs or watch my videos on the My Menopause Transformation website. Take my Symptoms Quiz as well. It’s important to understand that when we change our lifestyle to better suit the changes going on in our body during menopause, we feel like ourselves again and can move towards our ageing with renewed confidence and improved wellbeing.
Harvard Bioscience, Pulse Wave Velocity. Sourced from:
Ji H., Kim A., Ebinger J., Niiranen T., Claggett B., Bairey Merz C., Cheng S. (2020). Sex Differences in Blood Pressure Trajectories Over the Life Course. JAMA Cardiol. 5(3):19-26. doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2019.5306.
Tanaka H., Palta P., Folsom A., Meyer M., Matsushita K., Evenson K., Aguilar D., Heiss G. (2018). Habitual physical activity and central artery stiffening in older adults: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study. J Hypertens.36:1889–1894. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000001782
Yang, R., Zhou, Y., Li, C. et al. Association between pulse wave velocity and hot flashes/sweats in middle-aged women. Sci Rep 7, 13854 (2017).