Symptoms of hormone imbalance can be frustrating. Hormones also play a large role in your heart health. Some hormones that have the greatest impact on heart health include cortisol, thyroid hormones, and estrogen.
Cortisol: We all know that stress plays an important role in our health. Research has shown that when the body is under stress it releases high levels of Cortisol. This in turn affects many risk factors that increase your risk of heart disease including high cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure and blood sugar. Cortisol is also an anti-inflammatory, so too little can also become a problem.
Your body does not know the difference between emotional stress and physical stress so it is important to be aware of both.
Thyroid Hormones: Thyroid hormones play a pivotal role in your heart health. They are responsible for how hard and fast your heart beats, as well as cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
If you suffer from low thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism), you have a slower heart rate. You can also develop high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
If you have too high of the thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism), it can also cause high blood pressure and trigger atrial fibrillation and heart palpitations.
Estrogen: Hormonal fluctuations that often accompany menopause also play a role in heart health. During Menopause estrogen usually decreases. Higher levels of estrogen help keep the inside layer of artery walls strong allowing blood vessels to be flexible and improving blood flow. That means that a natural drop in estrogen can stiffen the blood vessels, causing hypertension (high blood pressure) and putting additional demand on your heart.
Decreased estrogen can also lead to heart palpitations, an increase in LDL cholesterol (the bad stuff), and a decrease in HDL cholesterol (the good stuff).
The good news is that there are ways to combat these effects!