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Cholesterol and Menopause

From the Menopause and Hormones Articles List

woman wondering about cholesterol and menopauseAre my increased cholesterol levels related to menopause?


During menopause, you may find that you begin to battle cholesterol issues. Both LDL (bad cholesterol) and total cholesterol levels can increase, while HDL (good cholesterol) may drop or remain the same. Those changes in cholesterol levels are one of the reasons women have an increased risk for heart disease during menopause.

Studies have found that these menopause related cholesterol changes are not influenced by ethnicity or prior cardiovascular risks. In addition, they can even occur in women who are healthy and follow a healthy lifestyle.

Lower levels of estradiol during menopause are associated with higher LDL, lower HDL, and higher triglycerides, all risks for heart disease. The changes can be triggered by weight gain in the abdomen area as part of menopause.

Having frequent hot flashes or night sweats may indicate there is a problem with your cholesterol and triglycerides. It’s worth talking to your doctor and possibly having some blood work done if you experience six or more hot flashes per day on a consistent basis.

It’s important to be aware of the connection between menopause and the increased risk for heart disease so you can proactively make better choices for better health. Whether or not you are in menopause, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and not smoking can help mitigate the affects of menopause on your cholesterol levels.

The first steps for managing cholesterol and reducing your risks are healthy lifestyle and dietary changes. If you continue to have cholesterol issues, however, you may need medication. Depending on your symptoms, a statin may be best if you are in natural menopause, while hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be better if you are in surgical menopause and facing menopause at a younger age.

While all women need to be aware of the connection between cholesterol and menopause, it is especially important if you have a personal or family history of cholesterol issues or heart disease. You should work with your doctor to determine your risks and monitor your cholesterol levels during menopause.


This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

10-17-2015 - 02:47 PM


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