This site has limited support for your browser. We recommend switching to Edge, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.

Body

menopause and blood pressure (high and low)

By | Fact Checked By Andrea Donsky |

Do you know your blood pressure? When was the last time you had it taken? We usually think about blood pressure in relation to heart disease or diabetes, but it also has a relationship with the changing hormonal landscapes known as perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. Understanding that relationship can go a long way toward protecting your health and taking natural preventive steps to maintain it.

What is high and low blood pressure?

Before we can define high and low blood pressure, let’s establish what’s considered to be normal. According to the American Heart Association, systolic of less than 120 mmHg and diastolic of less than 80 mmHg is normal. High blood pressure is said to be 130 mmHg or greater systolic or 80 mmHg or greater diastolic.

You’re considered to have low blood pressure if your systolic is 90 mmHg or lower and diastolic is 60 mmHg or lower. Both high and low blood pressure, when chronic, can be serious health issues.

Why does blood pressure rise or fall during menopause?

During and after menopause, it’s more likely for blood pressure to rise than to decline, but low pressure can occur as well. In fact, high blood pressure is the most important risk factor that affects women during their early postmenopausal years. Between one third and one half of women develop hypertension before they reach 60. Some experts say high blood pressure is associated with the changes in hormones, while other say an increase in body weight is the likely culprit.

Lower levels of estrogen, for example, is a factor because nitric oxide, which helps expand your blood vessels and improve blood flow, depends on estrogen. When estrogen levels drop, the arteries don’t expand as much and blood pressure can rise.

morphus newsletter

Aunt flo has left the building, does it feel like your old self went with her? Let us help you find yourself again.

your privacy is important to us.

Have you gained some weight during menopause? The extra weight could make your blood pressure more sensitive to salt, which then can cause your pressure to rise. Postmenopausal women also tend to be more salt sensitive than they were in their younger years, so you may need to lower your salt intake if you’re in this category. If you are taking some types of hormone therapy to treat menopausal symptoms, they could result in higher blood pressure as well.

How can I treat high or low blood pressure naturally?

Lifestyle modifications can be very effective in treating and preventing high or low blood pressure. Here are some tips:

  • Follow a heart-healthy, primarily plant-based diet of whole foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, and fatty fish
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Reduce the amount of processed food and salt in your diet. However, if you have low blood pressure, you may want to increase the amount of salt in your diet
  • Limit or avoid the use of alcohol
  • Don’t smoke
  • Engage in physical exercise five to six days a week for 20 to 30 minutes per session
  • Practice stress-reducing techniques, such as yoga, deep breathing, enjoyable exercise such as dancing or tai chi, visualization, or meditation.
  • Take natural remedies. A few of the herbs and other natural substances that have been shown to help reduce high blood pressure include flax seed, garlic, beet juice, ginger, celery, basil, and numerous more. Take these remedies according to the manufacturer’s directions, or use in cooking.

Ideas specifically for managing low blood pressure include the following:

  • Cross your legs while sitting. This may result in a slight rise in pressure but should be avoided if you have high blood pressure
  • Try compression stockings. These can help reduce the amount of blood that is trapped in the lower legs and feet and help it flow elsewhere

Lifestyle modifications can be very effective in treating and preventing high or low blood pressure. Here are some tips:

  • Follow a heart-healthy, primarily plant-based diet of whole foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, and fatty fish
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Reduce the amount of processed food and salt in your diet. However, if you have low blood pressure, you may want to increase the amount of salt in your diet
  • Limit or avoid the use of alcohol
  • Don’t smoke
  • Engage in physical exercise five to six days a week for 20 to 30 minutes per session
  • Practice stress-reducing techniques, such as yoga, deep breathing, enjoyable exercise such as dancing or tai chi, visualization, or meditation
  • Take natural remedies. A few of the herbs and other natural substances that have been shown to help reduce high blood pressure include flax seed, garlic, beet juice, ginger, celery, basil, and numerous more. Take these remedies according to the manufacturer’s directions, or use in cooking.

Ideas specifically for managing low blood pressure include the following:

  • Cross your legs while sitting. This may result in a slight rise in pressure but should be avoided if you have high blood pressure
  • Try compression stockings. These can help reduce the amount of blood that is trapped in the lower legs and feet and help it flow elsewhere
  • Stay well hydrated. This can help increase blood volume, which in turn can reduce the risk of low blood pressure.
  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals. Smaller meals help stop a decline in blood pressure that can occur when you eat larger, heavier meals.

when to see a health provider

Because high blood pressure doesn’t typically cause any symptoms unless it is dramatically high or it results in a heart attack or stroke, it’s best to have your blood pressure checked at least once a year and more often if you are overweight, menopausal, or have a history of heart disease, or diabetes, or stroke. Routine checks on your blood pressure is always a good idea!

bottom line

Some women experience blood pressure fluctuations beginning during perimenopause or once they reach menopause and postmenopause. Although these fluctuations are often harmless, it’s still suggested you have a talk with your doctor to check your pressure and to talk about your lifestyle habits. A few simple modifications may be all it takes to bring you back into balance.

  • American Heart Association. High blood pressure.
  • Fletcher J. Nine ways to raise blood pressure. Medical News Today 2020 Jan 12
  • Mattina D. 3 reasons menopause changes your blood pressure. Henry Ford Health System 2017 Mar 16
  • Sheps SG. Menopause and high blood pressure: What’s the connection? Mayo Clinic
  • Tabassum N, Feroz A. Role of natural herbs in the treatment of hypertension. Pharmacognosy reviews 2011; 5(9):30-40
  • Wassertheil-Smoller S et al. Hypertension and its treatment in postmenopausal women. Baseline data from the Women’s Health Initiative. Hypertension 2000; 36:780-89. 
Andrea is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) & Menopause Expert. Andrea is in menopause & has been researching for the last 5 years science-based ingredients and methods to help women manage their symptoms. She’s the Founder of NaturallySavvy.com—a multiple award-winning website. Andrea co-authored the book “Unjunk Your Junk Food” published by Simon and Schuster, as well as “Label Lessons: Your Guide to a Healthy Shopping Cart,” and “Label Lessons: Unjunk Your Kid’s Lunch Box.” Andrea co-hosts the Morphus for Menopause podcast and appears as a Healthy Living Expert on TV across North America. Andrea has more than 20 years of experience in the health & wellness space and is a multiple award-winning Influencer.