True to their name, your reproductive hormones largely govern your reproductive system, but these tiny chemical messengers can cast a wide net and affect everything from your mental health to your cardiovascular health. Hormone-related heart palpitations are one example of that range.
If you feel like your heart is racing, pounding, or flip-flopping and you have lower-than-normal levels of estrogen, the two conditions may be linked. To explain this connection further, Dr. James Kim and our team pulled together the following information.
Estrogen and your cardiovascular system
During your reproductive years, your estrogen hormones ensure that you release eggs regularly and that your vaginal tissues are healthy. Outside of these duties, certain estrogen hormones also promote cardiovascular health by helping to:
- Keep your blood pressure low
- Keep your cholesterol levels in check
- Ensure the health of your blood vessels for optimal circulation
- Promote blood clotting
Of course, your cardiovascular system relies on many other things for good health, such as your diet, your lifestyle, and your family history, and these influences are, arguably, more important.
Still, there is an appreciable connection between your reproductive hormones and your cardiovascular system.
When estrogen levels drop
A woman’s reproductive levels fluctuate considerably during her reproductive years, but the levels are significantly affected during passage through menopause.
When your ovaries shut down, so does your production of estrogen, which can lead to a wide range of side effects, including hot flashes and heart palpitations.
While the natural transition through menopause is the primary driver of low estrogen levels, this can also occur if you have a hysterectomy with ovary removal or a medical condition like being severely underweight.
Regardless of how your estrogen levels drop, the end result can include heart palpitations as the drop stimulates your heart, which can beat 8-16 times more per minute. As well, these palpitations often occur at the same time as your hot flashes.
Behind heart palpitations
While we’ve been using the term heart palpitations, let’s back up a moment and provide some more information about them. Heart palpitations are a heightened awareness of your heart as it beats. It may feel like your heart is:
In most cases, heart palpitations aren’t serious and they usually last for mere seconds or minutes. Still, the feeling can be disconcerting; you’re normally not aware of your heartbeat.
When to seek help
If you’re experiencing ongoing episodes of heart palpitations or they last longer than a few minutes, you should come see us so we can rule out other problems, like an arrhythmia.
If we find that your heart palpitations are likely related to your hormones, we can discuss whether you should consider a solution like hormone replacement therapy.
If you have more questions about the relationship between heart palpitations and hormones, please contact one of our offices in National CIty or Chula VIsta, California, to schedule an appointment.