Can menopause cause shortness of breath?
There can be a lot of changes in menopause that are challenging, including shortness of breath. Let’s talk about why this is, and what you can do about it.
Shortness of breath is yet another strange symptom of menopause that you may experience during this time of your life.
Falling hormones can lead to shortness of breath, which is usually a manifestation of an anxiety or panic attack. Take note that shortness of breath caused by lung or heart issues is not necessarily induced by menopause. If you have a pre-existing cardiac issue, you may notice that it gets worse during menopause. That’s because estrogen is super important to your cardiovascular health, keeping your blood vessels elastic so your heart doesn’t have to work as hard. As estrogen declines through menopause, it does affect the way your heart functions. In some cases, this may lead to arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation, which may give you an experience of shortness of breath.
The falling hormones in menopause can actually contribute to lung issues as well.
Asthma, for instance, can be aggravated as you go through the change. Once you’re through menopause and are finally postmenopausal, asthma can get better. But going through the hormonal rollercoaster of perimenopause, where your estrogen and progesterone levels are falling, you may notice an increase in asthma symptoms, which may make you feel short of breath.
In general, menopause does not cause shortness of breath. If you don’t already have heart or lung issues and you’re experiencing shortness of breath while you’re going through the change, you should be evaluated by a healthcare provider.
As your hormone levels drop in menopause, your heart and your lungs can be affected. Also, you may be experiencing more anxiety, which can contribute to an increase in shortness of breath. However, be sure to get evaluated by a health care provider if you’re experiencing shortness of breath during menopause.
We talk a lot about these strange menopause symptoms in our hormone support group where I do weekly Facebook Lives to answer your questions. If you’d like to join us, all you need to do is sign up for our Hormone Reboot Training.
*Statements not reviewed by the FDA.