Menopause and High Blood Pressure

By Mary Pickett, M.D.
Content provided by the Faculty of the Harvard Medical School

Question:

Mary Pickett, M.D., is a lecturer for Harvard Medical School and an assistant professor of medicine at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, OR. At OHSU, she practices general internal medicine and teaches medical residents and students.

Can menopause induce high blood pressure and aches?

Answer:

High blood pressure is not a usual symptom of menopause. However, it is reasonably common for high blood pressure to begin in your early 50's. So your high blood pressure and menopause may be hitting at around the same time.

A menopause "hot flash" might cause a temporary elevation in blood pressure right after a hot flash. The body can have a surge of hormones that are intended to replace lost body heat. These hormones can constrict arteries, leading to a rise in blood pressure.

Aches are not a common symptom that directly results from menopause. However, if hot flashes interrupt your sleep, you may become more aware of everyday aches and pains. It is a well-known phenomenon that pain is more severe if you are sleep deprived.

Certain tendonitis problems and carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist are pain problems that can be triggered by the hormone changes of menopause.

Last Annual Review Date: 2009-04-15T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright: Copyright Harvard Health Publications

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Which of the following is one of the changes your may experience during menopause?