Guarding Your Heart: Embracing Cardiovascular Health in Menopause

As a female functional medicine physician, I've seen how menopause can be a turning point in a woman's life, especially regarding heart health. Post-menopause, women face an increased risk of heart disease, primarily due to the decline in protective estrogen levels. This hormonal change can affect your cardiovascular system, making it more important than ever to focus on heart health. Understanding this risk is not meant to alarm, but to empower you with the knowledge to take proactive steps towards protecting your heart.

 One key area to monitor during and after menopause is cholesterol. With the decline in estrogen, LDL ("bad" cholesterol) levels can rise, while HDL ("good" cholesterol) levels may decrease. Additionally, blood pressure can become more challenging to manage. This necessitates a keen focus on dietary habits. Incorporating heart-healthy foods – rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants – can make a significant difference. Think...

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Inflammation: A Silent Killer

Inflammation is a word that is used often, yet hard to define.  Most of us have a hard time separating inflammation from an ankle sprain vs. inflammation contributing to heart disease and arthritis.  In order to understand how to fight it, it’s important to understand how and why it occurs!

Inflammation is a very common and innate response to an injury, pain or stress.  It is part of our bodies natural defense system to prevent something worse and/or speed up healing time.

Acute inflammation is the first response to an injury or pathogen.  It’s acute because it should only last several days or less.

Examples of what can cause this:

  • Illness (virus, bacteria)
  • Trauma (punch, kick, sprain)
  • Burn
  • Frostbite
  • Allergic Reaction

There are a lot of players involved in the inflammatory process, but the basics are: heat, redness, swelling, and pain.  Thus leading to loss of function.  Acute inflammation is an important part of healing.  Follow...

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