When cultivating women’s arterial and heart health it is helpful to appreciate that estrogen has a regulatory role on blood pressure. Women over age 50, experience a natural, yet significant decline in estrogen due to menopause. This diminished estrogen contributes to the incidence of high blood pressure in many postmenopausal women.
More specifically, estrogen helps regulate blood pressure through three mechanisms:
1) sympathetic nervous system activity
2) L-type calcium channels
3) angiotensin/renin activity
Vascular smooth muscle cells are located in the middle layer of the artery. Estrogen generates a calcium balancing effect on vascular smooth muscle cells and cardiac fibers. In the artery, the movement of calcium ions across the cell membrane causes squeezing and tightening. Prior to menopause, estrogen had balanced the entry of calcium into these cells, contributing to relaxed arteries. Prescription blood pressure medications that help regulate or block L-type calcium channels are called Calcium Channel Blockers.
Estrogen also modifies sympathetic nervous system activity. For many women diminished estrogen production due to menopause contributes to enhanced sympathetic (excited) nervous system activity and parasympathetic (relaxed) nervous system withdrawal. Sympathetic stimulation tightens arteries. Tight, narrow arteries contribute to high blood pressure and cause the heart to work harder. For example, you have to blow harder through a narrow straw to push liquid out. Yoga, mediation, and Tai Chi help quite and calm sympathetic over-stimulation. These peaceful practices send signals, like little whispers, to your arteries to stay relaxed.
Estrogen also regulates another blood pressure mechanism involving renin, angiotensin and aldosterone. After menopause, for many women this part of the blood pressure regulating system become off balance. Specifically, angiotensin II activity brews which causes increased systemic vascular resistance and arterial pressure, increased sodium and fluid retention and increased sympathetic nervous system stimulation: adrenergic activity. Prescription blood pressure medications that regulate angiotensin mechanisms are called ACE inhibitors and ARB blockers.
Soy isoflavones behave similar to estrogen and help keep arteries soft and relaxed. Soy isoflavones are available in soy milk, soy flour, tofu, and soy nuts. Red clover (sprouts) and chick peas also provide isoflavones. It is healthy to select isoflavone foods that are organic or non genetically modified. Pacific Foods a west coast USA natural food manufacturer offers Ultra Soy Vanilla (organic). This is an excellent high calcium, magnesium, potassium organic soy milk. A thoughtful gift idea for you are a loved one!
Keirá Feminine Ointment for vulva – labia comfort. The natural decline in estrogen production due to menopause, medical conditions and medications can disrupt vulva tissue hydration and renewal, resulting in symptoms that include dryness, irritation, and/or burning sensation of the labia and vulva tissues. Keirá Feminine Ointment, a Kathá Soma skin care therapeutic addresses symptoms of labia dryness and vulva atrophy (thin fragile vulva tissue). CLICK HERE to learn more about Keirá Feminine.
Kathá Soma skin therapeutics are for people with vulnerable and troubled skin. Our naturally derived, nutrient enriched skin care formulas penetrate the top (epidermis) and middle (dermis) skin layers to protect and renew skin.
DISCLAIMER The content presented within the Kathá Soma website is not intended as or should be construed as medical advice. Please consult with a healthcare practitioner for individual medical recommendations. Kathá Soma Consumer Health USA/2015