Although less frequently prescribed, oestrogen only HRT is still being used despite long-term exposure to oestrogen being associated with high blood pressure, a key link to heart attacks and strokes.
Research at Michigan State University has found that long-term oestrogen exposure generates excessive levels of a compound, superoxide, which causes stress in the body. The build-up of this compound occurs in an area of the brain that is crucial to regulating blood pressure, suggesting that chronic oestrogen induces a build up of superoxide that in turn causes blood pressure to increase.
Although the process by which oestrogen induces high blood pressure in women is unclear, it is yet another reason to ensure that oestrogen levels in the body are properly balanced with bioidentical natural progesterone during menopause.
Help for high blood pressure
Increased blood pressure is very common at menopause due to a combination of factors: a natural increase in weight and a corresponding decline in exercise and activity plus the stress and anxiety that often accompany this stage of life.
Getting weight under control starts with rebalancing hormones to provide good levels of progesterone to oppose any oestrogen dominance. One of the effects of progesterone is to balance the water retention action of oestrogen and it is this water retention that is a factor in high blood pressure and is linked to both oestrogen dominance and HRT use.
Also, as progesterone is a natural diuretic it helps balance this by helping to reduce weight as excess water is expelled and this in turn helps reduce blood pressure.
More good news is that the study also found that giving the anti-oxidant resveratrol seems to reverse the increase in both superoxide and blood pressure . Resveratrol is a compound present naturally in red grape skin and red wine and is also being studied for its beneficial effects on both diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Seems like it would be a good idea add a daily bunch – or glass – to help lower your blood pressure and improve your health generally.