The second most common symptom of menopause is rapid heartbeat or heart palpitations. As with hot flashes these often indicate the onset of menopause. The rapid heartbeat will normally be accompanied by a hot flash and is usually nothing to be worried about. In fact, worrying about it will probably just trigger further episodes. However, having said that...the first thing any woman should do when she encounters these for the first time is to speak to her doctor. This is just a precaution to rule out and other possible issues, as a rapid heartbeat is a symptom of several possible illnesses. Once your doctor has confirmed that the rapid heartbeats are just a symptom of menopause you can use this to help control the palpitations.
When visiting your doctor be sure to give him or her as much information as possible. List all the symptoms you can, even minor ones. If you suspect that you may be starting menopause tell the doctors. By nature doctors tend to look for the more serious problems first, so unfortunately not all doctors will recognize the symptoms immediately and may send you for lots of unnecessary tests. There have been several high profile incidents of people being misdiagnosed or sent for second and third opinions only to find it was just menopause related heart palpitations.
There are a number of things that you can do to help control the rapid heartbeats. If they are accompanied by hot flashes the first thing to do is to concentrate on minimizing the hot flashes. Reduce room temperature and wear several light layers of clothing. Also look at your diet and stress levels. If you can start to control your hot flashes you should reduce the palpitations.
Try some exercises and relaxation techniques to help control the rapid heartbeat. To help you to relax; close your eyes and breathe deeply, remind yourself that this is just a symptom of menopause and that it’s not serious. By learning some advanced relaxation techniques you will be able to get a good level of control over your heartbeat. In the most serious cases hormone replacement therapy has proved to be very effective in controlling this particular problem. HRT has problems of its own, so do your homework if hormone replacement therapy is suggested.
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