High Blood Pressure in Women: 5 Key Points

· October 26, 2016
Given that high blood pressure depends on many factors, it's best to monitors those factors which we can control. We should also consult with a specialist if this condition runs in our family, in order to avoid the negative consequences of high blood pressure.

Many people wrongly believe that high blood pressure mainly affects men. However, this condition affects both genders equally. In fact, high blood pressure in women is often a “silent” disease, which causes many problems that are not diagnosed in time.

One fact worth mentioning is that when women go through menopause, there is a much higher possibility that they will suffer from high blood pressure than men of the same age will.

This is why it’s important that women who fall in this group get periodic checkups with their doctors.

Moreover, having a blood pressure monitor at home would be extremely useful, as this will allow you to check your blood pressure any time.

Any effort or investment you make to monitor your blood pressure, no matter how small, will help you to look after yourself better. Below, we explain 5 facts about high blood pressure that are important to have in mind if you’re a woman.

1. High blood pressure in women is more and more frequent

In the last couple of decades, the cases of high blood pressure in women have risen.

The following factors could be a cause of this:

  • Smoking tobacco, given that it’s now common among women.
  • Occupational stress combined with family pressure, such as looking after the kids or dependent family members. All of this increases the high blood pressure rates among women.
  • Doctors state that, on average, men continue to have higher rates of high blood pressure between the ages of 40 and 50.
  • However, the rate of  high blood pressure cases found in women between the ages of 50 and 60 is higher than the rate found in men of the same age, due to factors such as menopause.

2. Contraception

According to various studies, like one conducted by the Mayo Clinic, the contraceptive pill raises the blood pressure of women who take it,

If we’re overweight, the odds of this happening is higher. However, there are other factors that contribute to this occurrence:

  • Being over 35
  • Having a history of high blood pressure in your family

If you currently take oral contraceptives, contact your doctor to find out about the possible side effects associated with the contraceptive in question.

3. Women and the menopause

During a woman’s life before menopause, her blood pressure usually remains stable. This is the case if she doesn’t smoke or isn’t put under a lot of stress.

However, a woman’s blood pressure rises after going through natural or surgical menopause, which occurs when the ovaries are removed for medical reasons.

  • A lack of estrogen has been associated with high blood pressure. This is explained by focusing on a specific structure: the endothelium.
  • The function of the endothelium is to regulate the dilation and contraction of certain vessels. This is why your blood pressure remains stable and enables you to have a better quality of life.
  • However, when women go through menopause, this structure is less active. This makes the arterial walls more rigid and increases our blood pressure.

This lack of estrogen also makes us gain weight. Unfortunately, fat buildup around the stomach also increases blood pressure.

High blood pressure in women.

4. Symptoms of high blood pressure in women

  • Headaches, which intensify in the morning and in the evening
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye inflammation
  • Palpitations
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Increased anxiety
  • Finding it more difficult to concentrate
  • When doing activities, such as going up the stairs, you become fatigued and short of breath
  • Insomnia
  • Blood in your urine. This is more apparent when high blood pressure has already affected the health of your kidneys.
  • Dizzy spells.
  • General feeling of weakness.

All these symptoms can intensify when going through menopause.

See also: Stop Insomnia with These Homemade Juices

5. How to treat high blood pressure

Firstly, it’s important that we find out whether there is a history of high blood pressure in our family. If this is the case, you should tell your doctor so that she can regularly check up on you.

A bowl of oats and strawberries.
It’s also important that you put the following advice into practice:

  • Avoid sitting down all the time. For instance, you should walk for at least half an hour every day.
  • If you smoke, you should quit now.
  • Reduce the amount of salt you consume in your diet.
  • Drink at least 4 pints of water a day.
  • Start the day off by drinking a glass of water with lemon.
  • Eat artichokes, carrots, brussel sprouts, eggplants, peas, lentils, etc.
  • Season your casseroles or dress your salads with garlic.
  • Walnuts and bananas are also useful to lower blood pressure.
  • Have oats with green apples for breakfast.
  • Limit your consumption of coffee and certain teas.
  • Make sure you’re not put under too much stress.
  • Avoid weight gain.

Read more: 5 Best Tips to Stop Drinking Too Much Coffee

To conclude, if you’re a woman and have almost reached menopause or have already gone through it, remember that this is a very important stage in your life, during which you must only have one goal: to look after yourself.

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  • Willis, F. (2010). Hipertensión. In Tratado de medicina de urgencias pediátricas. https://doi.org/10.1016/b978-84-8086-225-7.50076-1
  • Fornet, I. (2003). Hipertensión arterial y embarazo. Actualizaciones En Anestesiologia y Reanimacion.
  • Valero Zanuy, M. Á. (2013). Nutrición e hipertensión arterial. Hipertension y Riesgo Vascular. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hipert.2012.09.004