It’s very common for women to experience a racing heart when they’re going through the menopause. This is due to the change in hormones, which can trigger sudden hot flushes and a racing or fluttering heart rate as a result.
Why do we get a racing heart during the Menopause?
When oestrogen hormone levels are fluctuating and falling, the protection that this hormone once offered to our blood vessels is also in flux during the menopause, which means that when we are in the middle of a hot flush, our heart rate is more susceptible to the effects of it.
Lifestyle choices can also contribute to a racing heart; a high stress job, heavy exercise, frequent consumption of caffeinated products, nicotine and alcohol, and medication. If you experience any issues with your thyroid, or consistently have low blood sugar, a low blood pressure or frequently dehydrated, these can also stimulate a racing heart.
What does a racing heart feel like?
A racing heart feels like your heart is beating at a rapidly higher rate above its usual pace, which can echo into our chest, neck and throat area for a few seconds to a few minutes. The feeling can be likened to sprinting really quickly, really fast and experiencing an acute awareness of the elevated pounding of the heart. It can feel scary at first which can contribute to feelings of anxiety, worry and stress during the menopause, however the good news is that a racing heart will subside as soon as our hormones find their new balance as we enter into postmenopause.
What can help with my racing heart?
Remember that a racing heart is harmless, it is just a reaction to hormonal changes within the body, and is going to be a temporary effect until you enter into postmenopause where your symptoms ease off and your heart rhythm is able to stabilise itself long term. When you do experience a racing heart; stop what you are doing, be as calm as you can and focus on deep breaths until it passes.
A racing heart doesn't tend to signify any serious problems however if you feel that there could be one, please seek further help from your health professional, especially if you are on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or any other medication that has heart related side effects.
Popular remedies for a racing heart
- Limit any caffeinated stimulants i.e. coffee, chocolate, cacao, energy drinks
- Enjoy a wholesome food intake, full of colour, nutrients and energy
- Keep yourself hydrated each day with plenty of water
- Take regular exercise
- Avoid alcohol, smoking, secondary smoke and recreational drugs
- Try to lower emotional stress as much as possible
- Embrace daily relaxation practices such as mindfulness, yoga, meditation
- Consider an phytoestrogen supplementation
- Be aware if your medication is having contributing effects
If you need further support and guidance for the menopause, make an appointment to have a discussion with your doctor.
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