What Is The Difference Between Perimenopause And Menopause
Even though every woman will go through it at some point, a lot of women know very little about menopause symptoms or the menopause natural remedies available to them. It might feel like a taboo subject, but menopause matters. You deserve to be informed about whats going on with your body.
Before we get into specific menopause natural treatment options, lets make sure you understand the basics, including the difference between menopause and perimenopause:
- Perimenopause: A transitionary period that begins several years before menopause, often in a womans 40s or late 30s the ovaries slowly start to produce less estrogen during this time
- Menopause: Occurs when estrogen production declines to the point that the ovaries stop releasing eggs and menstruation stops
A woman is considered to have gone through menopause when shes stopped menstruating for 12 months or longer. At this point, shell likely be deemed post-menopausal by her physician.
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What Is Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, though it functions more like a hormone than a vitamin. It enhances absorption of iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium, and phosphate in your digestive tract, and maintains blood levels of calcium and phosphate. Essential compounds in this group are vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. You can get these vitamins from supplements and vitamin D rich foods. Your body can also create vitamin D3 from cholesterol in the skin when you get enough sunlight.
Over The Counter Herbal Products
There are many complementary and alternative medicine products available over the counter and online, with various formulations of herbs and/or nutrients for treating the symptoms of menopause. The effectiveness of these preparations can vary greatly due to the combination of herbs used, as well as the quality or amounts of herbs used.
The best way to seek guidance about these herbal remedies is to consult a health practitioner trained in herbal medicine use, such as a herbalist/naturopath or Chinese medicine practitioner.
We know that about 13% of Australian women use CAM therapies for managing hot flushes, and that the three most commonly used CAM therapies are phytoestrogens , evening primrose oil and ginseng. We know that these are not necessarily the most effective remedies, and we also know that only about 25% of these women consult an expert for advice about these therapies. Therefore, many women may be making inappropriate or indeed, ineffective choices.
When buying herbal medicines over the counter, you need to consider some of these factors:
- The quality and standard of herbal preparations, including those available over the counter and online, can vary considerably
- Some herbal products can interact with other pharmaceutical therapies, but their labels might not necessarily carry a warning
- The best way to use herbal remedies is under the guidance of a well-trained herbalist/naturopath.
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Black Cohosh 540 Mg: Traditional Support For Overall Menopausal Health
Black cohosh is a supplement traditionally used to provide nutritional support for menopause. * This ingredient is made from the root of the North American black cohosh plant that has been traditionally used to support the physical changes that occur in a womanâs body over time, including the changes experienced leading up to and in menopause.*
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Multi Vitamins For Menopause
A healthy diet is always the best source of vitamins and minerals, but even the healthiest eaters have nutritional gaps. A good multi vitamin acts as a nutritional safety net during menopause, providing you with essential vitamins and minerals you might not be getting enough of through food.
With so many multi vitamins on the market, how do you know which is best? Some of the most important nutrients to look for are:
- B vitamins, which are necessary for healthy energy production and metabolism.
- Vitamin C, which promotes a strong immune system and antioxidant protection of cells.
- Vitamin D,calcium and magnesium, which work together to support bone and muscle health.
Once youve found a multi vitamin that has the nutrients you need, youll want to make sure its free of stuff you dont need, like artificial colors and sweeteners as well as genetically-modified organisms .
Learn more about Bonafides Essential Multi Vitamin, formulated with doctors and inclusive of essential vitamins and minerals needed to compliment a womens diet.*
Size matters, too. Because theyre packed with so many nutrients, some multi vitamins can be large and hard to choke down, so choose one thats easy to swallow.
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St Johns Wort For Hot Flashes And Night Sweats
St. Johns wort is a popular dietary supplement for menopausal symptoms. Its well known as an herbal antidepressant. Now a study suggests it may also be beneficial for menopause symptoms, especially hot flashes and night sweats .
Yet another study examined the effects of St. Johns wort on symptoms of perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. Researchers found that complaints of symptoms, such as feeling tired, dizzy, anxious, nervous, etc., decreased or disappeared altogether for the majority of women after treatment with St. Johns wort .
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How Do I Know If A Product To Treat Hot Flashes Is Safe Or Legitimate
In general, its always a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider before starting a new medication or supplement. Sometimes, a product might seem safe on the surface, but it might not be a good option for you when you factor in other medications you take or other medical conditions you might have. Your provider will discuss each of these factors with you and make sure its a safe product for you.
Ask yourself a few simple questions when youre considering a new treatment for hot flashes:
- Whats the treatment?
- Ads disguised as valid news articles.
- Ads in the back of the magazines.
Additional red flags to look for can include:
- Big claims: If products claim to be a “cure” for your condition or give outrageous claims, be cautious.
- : Be wary if the product is only offered through one manufacturer or purchased only through a healthcare providers office.
- Ingredients: Make sure all of the active ingredients are listed and dont trust “secret formulas.”
- Testimonials: Remember that only people who are satisfied with a product give testimonials and that they may be getting paid for their endorsement.
The best and safest thing to do is talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new product for your hot flashes.
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The Best Menopause Supplements You Can Buy Right Now
Soy isoflavones are mild plant oestrogens that can help by balancing some of the common symptoms of menopause, such as hot flushes and night sweats. In this supplement, the isoflavones are taken from an extract of soya beans. The product contains other nutrients, too, including magnesium, which may help ease tiredness and fatigue, common issues around menopause. And because its gentle, you can use it even if youre taking HRT, although its always a good idea to check with your doctor first. Furthermore, the price makes it a good-quality option for most budgets
Ayurveda is the traditional Indian medical system, working with native plants to bring balance back to the body. This supplement is based on shatavari, an adaptogenic herb considered a tonic for the female reproductive system. Although its been in traditional use throughout the ages, like many medicinal herbs, shatavari hasnt been studied extensively but one 2018 study did suggest it may help ease hot flushes and night sweats.
This nourishing supplement also contains sage, known to help with vasomotor symptoms, anti-inflammatory turmeric, and B vitamins, important for energy and mood. With all-organic ingredients, its suitable for vegans and has fans swearing its helped where other products havent.
Whatever you do, dont put up with it there are solutions from both your chemist, in the form of internal moisturisers, and your doctor, in localised HRT.
Which Vitamins Help With Hot Flashes
Vitamins are an essential part of our diet, as they help to keep our bodies healthy and working properly. If you’re experiencing hot flashes, vitamins may even be able to help you reduce the frequency of your hot flashes. While medications for menopause-associated conditions like hot flashes are always an option, many women prefer not to experience the many side effects that may occur with prescription medications. Read on to learn about the best vitamins for hot flashes.
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How To Ease Vaginal Dryness
There are vaginal moisturisers or lubricants you can get without a prescription at a pharmacy.
You can talk to a pharmacist in private if you’d like help to decide which moisturiser is right for you.
If you’re having sex and using condoms, do not use oil-based lubricant as this can damage condoms. You can use a water-based lubricant.
There are other treatments for vaginal dryness that a doctor can prescribe, such as HRT or hormonal treatment .
Find out about treatment for menopause.
St John’s Wort Hypericum Perforatum
St John’s wort traditionally has been used for menopausal symptoms of anxiety, irritability, insomnia and depression. It can be useful for hot flushes. It does not possess hormonal actions and its antidepressant action is believed to be due to a combination of active constituents in the herb. St John’s wort has been studied extensively for its effectiveness in mild to moderate anxiety and depression. It may be that St John’s wort is as effective as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for the treatment of depression, and it may have fewer side effects.
A recent review suggests St John’s wort, alone or combined with other herbs, may be significantly better than placebo in the treatment of menopausal symptoms. it is particularly effective when combined with black cohosh to decrease hot flushes and improve mood.
Precautions: St John’s wort influences your liver enzymes that can reduce or increase the effectiveness of certain medications. It is one of the few herbs that has been studied for interactions with medications. If you are on the following medications, you should be very cautious about using St John’s wort, and consult your own doctor:
- anticoagulants such as warfarin, heparin, aspirin, apixaban and rivaroxaban
- antidepressant drugs, especially SSRIs or serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors
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Siberian Rhubarb Root Extract
ERr 731, a special extract of Siberian rhubarb root, contains a compound that has been clinically studied to reduce hot flashes, night sweats, and other symptoms associated with menopause. This isnt the typical rhubarb you may have had in say, that pie your grandmother made, though. Known as Rheum rhaptonicum L., research has found that this extract can reduce hot flashes by up to 83 percent. It targets a specific estrogen receptor to help the body manage the ups and downs of estrogen.
In one clinical study of 112 symptomatic perimenopausal women who had an average of 12 hot flashes per day, half took 4 mg of ERr 731 extract and half received a placebo. After 12 weeks, women taking the Siberian rhubarb extract reported between 0-5.6 hot flashes per day while those in the placebo group reported between 4.6-18.2 per day.
What Is The Best Supplement For Perimenopause
It is hard to pinpoint one best supplement for perimenopause, as symptoms can differ from person to person!
However, we have listed a range of different supplements suitable for supporting a whole variety of perimenopause symptoms, so its best to do your research based on your own experience and choose from that.
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Low Vitamin D May Not Be A Culprit In Menopause Symptoms
- The North American Menopause Society
- No significant connection between vitamin D levels and menopause symptoms has been made from the results of a research project on the topic. The authors analyzed the relationship between the blood levels of vitamin D and a number of menopause symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbance, concentration, and forgetfulness in 530 women who participated in the calcium and vitamin D trial.
A new study from the Womenâs Health Initiative shows no significant connection between vitamin D levels and menopause symptoms. The study was published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society.
The authors analyzed the relationship between the blood levels of vitamin D and a number of menopause symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbance, concentration, and forgetfulness in 530 women who participated in the calcium and vitamin D WHI trial.
There was good reason to look for a link because other studies have implied some relationship. For example, breast cancer patients with higher vitamin D levels have fewer hot flashes and other symptoms than women with lower levels. Supplementing vitamin D can improve mood in other groups of people. The vitamin can protect against depletion of serotonin, which plays a role in regulating body heat. And vitamin D deficiency can result in muscle and joint pain.
Evening Primrose Oil Oenothera Biennis
Evening primrose oil originates from the seeds of the flowering plant and is a rich source of omega-6 fatty acids, gamma-linolenic acid and linoleic acid. It is widely self-prescribed and recommended by health professionals for treating hot flushes however, it has been shown to be no better than a placebo for hot flushes. It may be effective, combined with vitamin E, for premenstrual breast pain.
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Black Cohosh Actaea Racemosa
For centuries, Native North American women have used black cohosh for menstrual cramps and menopausal symptoms.
Black cohosh is the most extensively researched of all herbs used for managing menopausal symptoms, and is available in many different formulations, which vary in quality and efficacy. Many of the clinical studies of black cohosh have used the commercially available product Remifemin®, or the extract Ze 450 .
It is not clear how black cohosh acts on the body. It does not appear to act like the female hormone oestrogen, but may be involved in modulating oestrogenic pathways in the body. It may mimic the actions of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.
Precautions: black cohosh should be taken only for as long as your menopausal symptoms persist. It is generally well tolerated, although can cause headaches in some women. Headaches usually stop if the dose is reduced for a while, then gradually increased again.
Black cohosh is often used in early menopause brought on by cancer treatments, especially breast, ovarian or endometrial cancer. Of all the herbs, black cohosh has the most research about its safety in support of its use. It appears to be safe in breast cancer patients, although further research is needed. Women with breast cancer or other hormone-dependent tumours should always talk to their doctor before taking black cohosh.
Menopause Symptoms And Treatments
Once women reach the menopause years, typically around the age of 50, a variety of physiological changes and menopause symptoms can occur and may have a profound impact on their lives. Menopause is a term that refers to the end of menstruation, the result of the natural decline in the hormones produced in the ovaries. After years of preparing and releasing eggs, the ovaries eventually reach a point where they end their monthly routine. As hormone levels decrease, a number of symptoms of menopause may emerge, although their presentation and severity varies greatly from woman to woman. The most common menopause symptoms are hot flashes, depression, insomnia, vaginal dryness, irritability, mood swings and headaches.
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Do Women Need Menopause Supplements
Menopause supplements can be crucial when hormone levels start to change. ThatÃ¢s because, during perimenopause, levels of the hormone oestrogen, fluctuate.
And, as women age, the production of all the female hormones by the pituitary gland start to decline. The decline in oestrogen occurs because as an egg develops it produces oestrogen, so if there is no egg to develop then this source of oestrogen will cease, says nutritionist Shona Wilkinson.
ThatÃ¢s not all. Progesterone the counterbalancing hormone to oestrogen production also stops when a woman has had her last period.
Where oestrogen levels drop by 40-60% and progesterone levels drop to nearly zero, it causes an imbalance in peri and menopausal women,Ã¢ says Harley Street gynaecologist Dr Tania Adib. This is where menopause supplements can really help to balance things out.
However, itÃ¢s important to note that menopause supplements may not be enough to support your menopause journey in isolation. You may need to speak to your GP about treatments such Hormone Replacement Therapy or HRT alternatives, including Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy .
Which Magnesium Is Best For Hormones
Magne glycinate or bisgycate is the best magnesium supplement. Its the most absorbable and also the least likely to cause diarrhea. According to Lara Briden, the mineral is linked to the amino acid glycine, which calms the nervous system and raises insulin sensitivity. Briden is a naturopathic doctor with 20 years of experience in womens health. Her book is called the Period Repair Manual, and it will be available in German as well as English.
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How To Manage Hot Flashes With Complementary And Alternative Medicine
We want to empower you with the most knowledge possible regarding effective treatments for the menopausal transition. Depending on your severity of hot flashes, a physician may recommend hormone replacement therapy . Hormone therapy isn’t an option for everyone and has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. Your doctor might also recommend non-hormonal treatments like gabapentin. Gabapentin can have pretty intense side effects and again, may not be an option for everyone.
Black cohosh is a non-hormonal, over-the-counter supplement that many turn to for hot flash support. The side effects of black cohosh can be rather intimidating. Headache, rash, weight gain, vaginal bleeding, and cramping are some of the heavy hitters that accompany black cohosh. If that sounds too intense, theres no shame in crossing it off your personal list of support options. Red clover is another supplement that is available over-the-counter – however it shares many of the same side effects, so tread with caution. Dong quai is also a common supplement folks turn to when experiencing hot flashes. There are conflicting studies on the efficacy of dong quai, with some stating great success in clinical trials while others note no difference. Isoflavones are yet another supplement that may be recommended for treating hot flashes – however, they can affect thyroid function, thus discounting it as a viable option for everyone.
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