Happy Sunday everyone, hope you have had a fantastic week?
Well, it’s the DSJ Hypnotherapy A-Z Menopause Blog time again and we are at P and this week I’m going to talk about Palpitations!
With menopause, women often report episodes of heart palpitations, which is an irregular heartbeat or pounding pulse, that may feel their heart is going to jump right out of their chest.
It can be really disturbing and unsettling, and of course the anxiety that an episode can bring can often make the problem worse.
So, as though we don’t already have it all going on, these heart palpitations can often bring on hot flushes or anxiety too, oh… thanks for that, didn’t have enough of that in the first place!
Once again the reduction of Oestrogen can cause an over-stimulation of the heart, meaning some women can experience an increase in heart rate and an increased frequency in palpitations and non-threatening arrhythmias. These can be known as premature ventricular contractions (PVCs), a Premature Contraction is when a single heartbeat occurs earlier than normal.
Although palpitations associated with a decrease in oestrogen are usually harmless, you should never ignore them, and it is always advisable to contact your doctor who will evaluate any new or recurrent irregular heartbeats to rule out any abnormalities. If your palpitations are linked to a shortness of breath, dizziness or chest discomfort, ensure that you contact the NHS 111 service for advice immediately, or if really concerned call 999. Don’t mess about with this stuff….get it checked!!
If visiting your GP, they may also wish to check for Grave’s disease (an autoimmune disorder that leads to over-activity of the thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism), which can be another reason for the presentation of palpitations. The GP will carry out some blood tests to make sure your present thyroid hormone production is still appropriate for your needs, so it’s a good little M.O.T whilst you’re there.
For menopausal women who are experiencing irregular heartbeats caused by changes in oestrogen production, the treatment is often a combination of lifestyle changes and natural remedies. The decreased oestrogen production also puts women at an increased risk for coronary artery disease, (thank you once again Menopause) ….. particularly if associated with other risk factors such as a high cholesterol, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and/or obesity, risks that can be calculated.
So, when we take a look at the lifestyle changes that may help to reduce the incidence of irregular heartbeats during menopause, it is noted that reducing caffeine and other stimulants such as cigarettes and alcohol can help. In addition, it is encouraged that relaxing techniques such as yoga, general breathing exercises and mediation can all help reduce the anxiety levels that can exacerbate the palpitations.
You might find that you experience small waves of anxiety as a result of the palpitations, concerned that they will return and may be worse with greater impact next time around. Sadly, this kind of anxiety can start to generate its own negative responses and you may feel a little detached from reality as your mind struggles to ground itself when you first experience palpitations, our primitive brain is great at negatively forecasting the future and anything heart related always send us straight to that place!
You might find it hard to focus, experience a change in appetite, even suffer tense and stiff muscles, and disturbed sleep – all of which are the result of the sudden high and fall of your stress levels and of course all of which can only make the palpitations more likely to occur.
I you feel yourself caught in that cycle, or alternatively feel you need to find an effective way to break those unhelpful patterns habits that are not helping those palpitations, then give me a call for your free Initial Consultation.
Living your best life is easy and taking away factors that risk your health can only be a positive step. The positive changes that Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy Techniques can bring are boundless!