Professor warns of bodily sensation predicting risk for heart disease

Menopause: Essity reveals some of the 62 common symptoms

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“Menopause symptoms such as hot flushes are a warning sign that something is out of balance,” Professor Philip Sarrel cautioned. “They cause a sudden release of adrenaline, which normally our arteries can control,” he stated. “However, bad cholesterol, post menopause, can stop the arteries performing efficiently, causing them to spasm.” The hormone oestrogen, which dips during the menopause, is said to help “prevent spasm in arteries and also reduces the calcium in the arterial wall”.

During the five-day online event, run by The Latte Lounge (an online platform for women over 40), Professor Sarrel highlighted a troubling trend.

Recent data, presented between October 10-14, shows that one in two women are dying from cardiovascular disease, which is now the leading cause of death in women.

Professor Sarrel also stated there’s evidence that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) “can reduce the risk for osteoporosis, heart disease, and dementia”.

He advised there is a “window of opportunity” for women to reduce their heart disease and dementia risk by taking HRT before the age of 60.

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“It is important to note that young women, who have had a hysterectomy, and are therefore plunged into menopause instantly, should be given oestrogen only therapy immediately,” he added.

“For those that can’t or don’t want to take HRT, after an informed discussion with their health care provider explaining the benefits [and] risks, there are many other medical and lifestyle factors that we can consider, to act as a deterrent.”

One of the attendees on The Latte Lounge Facebook Group said the information shared was “shocking”.

Another attendee posted: “Professor Sarrels’ interview blew me away, think of the saving to the NHS if we reduced the number of bypass surgeries alone.

“This needs to be streamed on mainstream TV so everyone understands that HRT, for those that can and want to take it, is not just about mitigating nasty menopause symptoms, it’s about saving lives!”

The Latte Lounge was founded by Katie Taylor after her debilitating menopausal symptoms got misdiagnosed as depression.

Katie said: “The Midlife Festival was created in order to make menopause a normal topic of conversation.”

In addition to breaking the taboo around talking about the menopause, Katie wanted to highlight the different symptoms women can experience and treatments available.

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Way to reduce heart disease and dementia risk

As alluded to by Professor Sarrel, there are numerous ways a person can help to minimise their risk of disease.

The NHS says that heart disease risk can be minimised by eating a healthy, balanced diet.

“A low-fat, high-fibre diet is recommended, which should include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables (five portions a day) and whole grains,” the health body stated.

You will also need to reduce the amount of salt and saturated fat you eat.

This will mean avoiding sausages, butter, cream, hard cheese, cakes, and biscuits.

Furthermore, you will need to be more physically active each day, aiming for 150 minutes of exercise each week.

These measures, in addition to protecting your heart, can also help to protect the brain.

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