Menopause isn’t typically a life threatening condition – but in extreme cases, it can bring upon symptoms like rapid heart beat that feel like it is. The occasional feeling that your heart “skips a beat” does not necessarily indicate a serious medical problem. For those with menopause, rapid heart beat should be monitored by your doctor to check for a mitral valve prolapse which is a mild deformity of a heart valve.
Palpitation is when the heart races repeatedly without any sign of stopping. It’s not only extremely uncomfortable, it’s downright frightening. Premature contractions cause the heart to beat twice really quickly, causing more blood to enter the heart on the third beat. This increased amount of blood makes the heart contract even more. In essence, it is a forceful pulsation that can sometimes be caused by stress.
Stress can come from menopausal symptoms like irregular periods, annoying ringing of the ears (tinnitus), insomnia, panic attacks, depression, and everyday occurrences like the simple yelling and shouting of a child at the playground.
When you perceive a stressor, hormones form your brain pass into the bloodstream alerting the adrenal glands. In response they secrete corticosteroid hormone including cortisol.
When cortisol raises sometimes twenty fold, the body speeds up its blood sugar burning capacity providing an instant surge of energy. Cortisol causes your heart to beat faster in order to pump oxygen-bearing blood more quickly into your tissues. Too much of cortisol can lead to diabetes or high blood pressure, so this is a process of you can to be conscious of and learn to cope with by practicing such relaxing techniques as yoga, meditation and Pilates.
The addition of caffeine loaded drinks can worsen this condition as can smoking. In order to avoid rapid heart beat and palpitations, it is best to refrain from stress and maintain a healthy diet. Alcohol and coffee are known to excite the heart’s processes, causing it to work much harder than it has to.
The information in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice.