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Lori is a Nurse Practitioner, Board Certified Health Coach & Creation Coach who specializes in getting to the root cause of your symptoms

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Hormone Health

Heart Health

Women are NOT small men- even when it comes to the pathophysiology (disease process) of heart disease or cardiovascular disease (CVD). In this blog, we are going to discuss more about the differing disease process for women. This sneaky condition of small vessel disease (SVCD) impacts tiny arteries throughout the body, particularly hitting hard on the heart and brain. While it also affects other organs like the kidneys and eyes, our focus today will be on understanding how SVCD impacts the heart and brain, and how we can potentially improve their health, especially for those in the postmenopausal stage, through hormone optimization. Let’s break it down!

Gender Differences

Women do NOT develop cardiovascular disease like men do. Thus, the oft misdiagnoses, poor treatment, poor outcomes, lack of follow-up, etc. I like to use the gender differences in gaining weight, as an analogy for the difference in pathophysiology (disease process) of cardiovascular disease. You know that men often gain all of their weight in one spot – the belly. It’s like a pimple sticking out. Well, it’s like that in the coronary arteries, too. It’s localized like a pimple. And, because it’s localized it’s easier to see via cardiac catheterization and easier to bypass around it.

Women on the other hand gain weight all over right? Our rings get tight, our bras get tighter, our waist and even our shoes can get snug. Can you relate? Well, this is what our disease process looks like with cardiovascular disease too – “diffuse” or spread out in every direction. This small vessel disease is harder to see, and certainly harder to bypass around or place stents. Thus the reason I focus SO much on prevention. Let’s dive into SVCD.

Understanding Small Vessel Cardiovascular Disease

Picture this: your body is a complex network of blood vessels, big and small. SVCD is like a glitch in the system, causing trouble in those tiny blood vessels that supply oxygen-rich blood to various tissues and organs. Unlike the larger arteries that can get clogged up with plaque, SVCD messes with the smaller ones, disrupting the flow of oxygen and nutrients.

Impact on the Heart

Okay, let’s talk about heart health. SVCD doesn’t play nice here. Those small blood vessels in the heart, called coronary microvessels, are crucial for keeping your ticker ticking. When SVCD messes with them, it can lead to a condition called microvascular angina or ischemia, where your heart doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood. It’s like trying to run a marathon with a cramp – not fun!

Again, for women, this is a big deal. These microvessels are so tiny that you can’t bypass around them.

Impact on the Brain

Now, let’s shift gears to the brain. SVCD doesn’t discriminate – it messes with your noggin too. Cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD) is the brain’s version of SVCD, and it’s a big deal. CSVD can cause all sorts of trouble, from memory loss to difficulty with language and motor skills. It’s like your brain’s Wi-Fi connection getting all wonky – not ideal!

But here’s the kicker: CSVD doesn’t just mess with your brain cells; it messes with the blood flow too. This can lead to a condition called vascular cognitive impairment, where your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood, affecting your ability to think and remember stuff.

Optimizing Heart and Brain Function with Hormone Optimization

Alright, now for the good stuff – how do we fight back against SVCD? Well, it turns out hormones might hold the key. During menopause, hormonal changes can wreak havoc on your heart and brain. Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone – these guys are like the superheroes of your body, keeping everything in check.

But as you age, hormone levels drop, leaving you vulnerable to SVCD and all its nasty side effects. That’s where hormone optimization comes in. By replenishing your hormone levels with bioidentical hormones, you can give your heart and brain the boost they need to stay healthy and strong.

Ensuring that we have optimal hormone therapy during our menopausal years can benefit us (see last week’s blog) by increasing Nitric Oxide, which supports the dilation of our vessels; reducing IL-6, one of the markers of inflammation; and supports healthier cholesterol levels, too. All of these can help prevent SVCD.

Think of it like giving your body a tune-up – you’re restoring balance and keeping everything running smoothly. Here’s the deal – anything you do to improve your heart health, will improve your brain health, and visa-versa. And hey, who doesn’t want a healthy heart and brain?


Small vessel cardiovascular disease is no joke – it’s like a stealthy ninja wreaking havoc on your body. But armed with knowledge and the right tools, you can fight back. By understanding how SVCD impacts your heart and brain, and exploring options like hormone optimization, you can take control of your health and live your best life. So here’s to a happy, healthy heart and brain – you’ve got this!

Now, MORE info on Optimizing Brain Health – I am presenting at the upcoming Family Strong Summit a transformative online conference designed to empower and support families in navigating the complexities of mental health and wellness.  Best of all?? It is FREE to sign up!

I’m so excited to share because this is important for families. After all, our physiology impacts our psychology!! Our physiology also impacts our verbal and emotional tone and all that goes on in our home. 

Even if you have the perfect family, I bet you might be concerned about optimizing your brain health and preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s. I am sharing about hidden saboteurs to your brain health, and also sharing incredible tips to optimize your brain health.

Event Details:

  1. February 26th to March 8th
  2. One session available per day
  3. You will have 24 hours to watch the presentations
  4. Highly qualified speakers share their expertise on topics that will help support your family in your mental health and wellness.

You can see more info on my social media pages or

Register at

Do you feel like your body is working against you?  Are you frustrated with a lack of knowledge and providers who will not listen to you? Then take my Free Hormonal Assessment today to finally get some answers!

Stay tuned – my new book, “Create the Vitality You Crave- Unlock Your Healing Powers by Optimizing Your DNA,” will be released in Spring of 2024. If you’d like to be one of a small group of women to whom I gift a PDF version of my book in exchange for a review (5 stars would be awesome, just sayin’), then please reach out via or via my website. Thanks.

This Free Quiz was created to help you gain clarity about some of your most aggravating symptoms and to help you get on your healthy hormone path.

FREE Hormone Symptom Quiz!