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Can Menopause Cause High Blood Pressure?

can-menopause-cause-high-blood-pressure

ANSWER:

Menopause can cause high blood pressure.

More Info: Though the cause is not completely clear, blood pressure tends to increase following menopause.  Possible causes are hormonal changes or simply an increase in body mass index, which is a known contributor to elevated blood pressure.

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is caused by several factors including: age, heredity, race, sodium intake, obesity, alcohol, and inactivity.

Age. As people age, there is an increased likelihood of high blood pressure.

Heredity. High blood pressure tends to run in families.

Race. African Americans tend to develop high blood pressure compared to Caucasians.

Sodium intake. Some people have a sensitivity to sodium. Consuming foods that are high in sodium cause an increase in blood pressure.

Obesity. Blood pressure increases as body weight increases.

Alcohol. Consuming more than one to two glasses of alcoholic beverages a day can increase blood pressure.

Inactivity. Lack of exercise or leading a sedentary lifestyle can lead to obesity and an increase in blood pressure.

How to Control High Blood Pressure?

Hypertension is treated by weight loss, exercise, diet, and most commonly by medications. All treatment regimens require weight loss and lower sodium and fat intake. Medication treatments either relax arterioles (the blood vessels used to regulate blood pressure) or increase diuresis (water loss). Beta blockers, alpha blockers and calcium channel blockers all relax arterioles and therefore lower blood pressure by increasing the overall intravascular space. ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II inhibitors, aldosterone inhibitors, and classic diuretics, both loop diuretics and “potassium sparing” diuretics all increase water loss and decrease the blood volume to lower blood pressure. A few medications act on the regulatory centers of the brain to lower the blood pressure. Often times controlling hypertension requires combinations of medications, and usually medications are lifelong therapy.

 

Resources

“Menopause and high blood pressure: What’s the connection? – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 July 2011. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/menopause-and-high-blood-pressure/AN01463.

“10 ways to control high blood pressure without medication – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 July 2011. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-blood-pressure/HI00027.

“Causes of High Blood Pressure: Weight, Diet, Age, and More.” WebMD – Better information. Better health.. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 July 2011. http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/blood-pressure-causes.

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