Women are at greater risk of developing heart disease after menopause and now a new study reveals one reason why.
Besides those hot flashes and night sweats many women begin to see a rise in cholesterol levels after menopause.
In a recent study of more than a thousand women virtually all of them saw a sharp increase in around the time they they got their last menstrual period. It's not just total cholesterol that spiked, the so called bad cholesterol - called LD - increased most dramatically.
LDL can cause plaque to develop in the arteries. While it's known that women are at a greater risk of developing heart disease as they age, only cholesterol is directly linked to menopause.
Doctors say by having this knowledge, it can help keep women healthy during menopause. "If we can identify women who are at risk for developing high cholesterol early on, we can make changes so that when they go into menopause their cholesterol doesn't go up," says Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum.
Changes women can implement to keep their cholesterol in check include eating lots of fruits and vegetables, staying away from red meat and getting plenty of exercise. By supplementing the diet with fish oil and flax seed many women have not only seen an improvement in the reduction of dietary cholesterol, but also many other menopausal symptoms. The omega 3’s seem to help many of the symptoms menopausal women experience.