What Is The Menopause What Are The Symptoms & How Can Certain Vitamins & Supplements Help
What is menopause?
Menopause is a natural process that happens in womens bodies, usually between the ages of 45 and 55. Its marked by the reduction of oestrogen in the body, which is a hormone that plays an important role in the menstrual cycle.
When a woman goes through menopause, this reduction in oestrogen will result in fewer and fewer periods. This change can happen over the space of a few months, or a few years.
Menopause also brings about other changes in the body. The effects of menopause can sometimes be unpleasant or uncomfortable, but there are various things you can do to help manage these symptoms.
What are the symptoms of menopause?
Symptoms of menopause can include mood changes such as lower mood and anxiety. A healthy diet and regular exercise can help to manage these feelings. The best way to ensure a healthy and balanced diet is by eating a variety of foods, including plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Its important to find exercise that you enjoy, whether its hiking, swimming, or group fitness classes theres bound to be something to suit you.
If youre finding that low mood or anxiety is affecting your everyday life, speak to your GP, as various treatments are available. This can include taking medicines, but also involves a variety of other options.
Osteoporosis & menopause
Calcium is a mineral that plays a vital role in maintaining healthy bones. Calcium can be found in:
Green leafy vegetables
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Vitamins That Could Help Manage Perimenopause And Menopause Symptoms
It is important to remember that menopause is not a disease or an illness. It and the lead-up to this period are merely times of transition. However, the changes might still be difficult for some women to handle. Hormone therapy might help with managing menopausal changes, but it is not necessarily suitable for everyone. Ideally, you should make conscious lifestyle choices like adopting a healthier diet and turning to vitamins that could help supplement your changing body. Here are our top picks from Puritan’s Pride:
Complete Balance: For Menopausal Relief
Manufactured by NATROL, a leader in vitamin and supplement manufacturing, Complete Balance is formulated to help alleviate hot flashes with its unique AM Formula. It also contains a PM Formula that might help reduce night sweats and assist in getting a good night’s rest for occasional sleepiness.*
Founded in 1973, Puritan’s Pride is a vitamin and supplement manufacturer that provides quality products, caring service, and value pricing. The company scours the Earth for the best raw ingredients for its products and uses ones that are unique to specific regions. Puritan’s Pride aims to address every aspect of a healthy lifestyle by providing high-quality products at a great value.
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How Our Top Recommendations Compare
- Weight gain
Those approaching or in menopause may also experience fatigue, depression, headaches, joint and muscle pain, or increased heart rate.
Menopause is a process that, overall, can take up to 10 years. It includes three phases:
This stage can last up to four years before you enter menopause. Your estrogen levels decline, and you begin to have many typical menopause symptoms.
Youre officially in menopause when youve stopped having a period for one year. This means your ovaries have mostly stopped producing estrogen and no longer release eggs. The length of menopause varies but typically lasts 5-7 years.
You enter post-menopause once the typical symptoms of menopause subside. And you remain in post-menopause until the end of your life.
If you suspect that you are entering perimenopause or menopause, your doctor can test your hormone levels through a simple blood test. Higher levels of follicle stimulating hormone and lower levels of estradiol and Anti-Mullerian hormone could signal that menopause has begun.
Because menopause is a natural process, there is no cure, but treatment options exist to lessen the impact of menopauses symptoms. They include:
Hormone replacement therapy
HRT involves taking medications that replace the hormones no longer produced by the body to mitigate many menopause symptoms, including hot flashes and dry skin.
Topical hormone therapy
Our Pick Of The Best Menopause Supplements To Help With Symptoms Including Fatigue Hot Flushes And Changes In Your Mood
Menopause supplements can be a great addition to your daily routine, and are known to bring relief from some of the symptoms associated with that difficult time period following the end of a womans menstrual cycle.
Menopause is a natural part of ageing and occurs after a woman has gone 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period, marking the end of her reproductive years. Most women experience menopause after the age of 40, but in some cases it happens earlier . During menopause, womens estrogen and progesterone levels change, leading to symptoms such as hot flushes, sleep disturbances and vaginal dryness. Pre-menopausal symptoms can include irregular or skipped periods, periods that are heavier or lighter than usual, hot flushes and urinary urgency.
While menopause is unavoidable, there are many treatments that can help with the transition. In addition to menopause supplements, another common way in which women seek support during menopause is by undergoing hormone replacement therapy . This treatment is known to replace hormones and improve common menopausal symptoms. While symptoms pass after a few years, this type of therapy can offer great relief.
Browse our list below to find the best menopause supplement to suit your needs.
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Natural Supplements And Vitamins For Menopause
In our experience, women are often not aware of the power that vitamins, plants and herbal remedies have to prevent symptoms. In many cases, their strength comes from an adaptogenic effects. Certain plants and herbs can adapt to the needs of your body because they share specific molecular features with your own hormones. This can encourage hormone production, slow it down, or even mimic your own hormones depending on your bodys unique needs.
Here is a list of the best herbs and supplements for menopause symptoms, plus the evidence behind their effectiveness and relevant safety information.
Need Help With Managing Symptoms Of Perimenopause
If you need help with perimenopause or menopause symptoms, Catherine provides a full coaching service to help women who are finding hormonal change challenging. It includes a lifestyle audit, a practical plan for movement/exercise, sleep, meditation and relaxation that works with your life. It includes nutrition for weight management and energy and recommendations for supplements.
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Common Elements In Menopause Supplements
There are certain ingredients youll often see in menopause supplements because they have been shown to treat common symptoms. The list below provides a few typical components and what they are meant to treat.
Black cohosh is a plant extract shown in some clinical studies to treat hot flashes, but other studies have shown inconclusive results. Long-term use of black cohosh can also damage your liver, so be cautious if you have liver disease or take medication for liver problems.
St. John’s wort
St. Johns wort is a plant that has long been used to treat mood disorders. When combined with black cohosh, this component may help regulate mood swings in menopausal people. Be careful if youre already taking any psychiatric medication, as combining it with St. Johns wort can induce serotonin syndrome.
Dong quai is an herb that may help treat menopause symptoms like hot flashes. There hasnt been much scientific evidence to back up this claim. Dong quai may also have some severe side effects if taken long-term.
Flaxseed may help alleviate night sweats because it contains lignans plant polyphenols that help balance estrogen. While some studies have shown the benefits of flaxseed for menopause, others are inconclusive.
Red clover contains isoflavones, which are similar to estrogen. This extract may help with hot flashes and bone health, but clinical research results are inconsistent.
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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Estroven Menopause Relief Weight Management
Best for weight loss
- No subscribe and save options
- Some ingredients have mixed effectiveness results in clinical trials
Estroven Menopause Relief Weight Management uses a unique blend of ingredients to help control weight gain during menopause and help alleviate hot flashes and night sweats. Each capsule contains the following ingredients:
Black cohosh is often used to reduce the effects of menstrual cramps and hot flashes. Clinical studies of the effectiveness of black cohosh are inconclusive, but many menopause supplements contain this ingredient.
Soy isoflavones are thought to reduce hot flashes and night sweats in those with menopause through its estrogen-like isoflavones, but clinical studies have shown mixed results.
CQR-300 contains an extract from the Cissus quadrangularis plant that has demonstrated significant effects on weight loss, blood glucose levels, and cardiovascular health in clinical trials.
This supplement does not contain lactose, hormones, gluten, stimulants, or preservatives. For best results, take one capsule daily for at least two months.
Buying Guide: Heres What To Look For
Before we dive into the supplements we recommend, lets first identify some of the criteria we used to create our list and help you understand what you should be looking out for as well.
Checking the ingredients label on any supplement youre considering is important, but especially so when looking for a perimenopause supplement. If youre like most women, youre looking for a supplement thats safe, natural, and hormone-free as the first line of defense. Check the nutrition label to ensure that the ingredients are natural, plant-based, and have clinical data showing their relevance and effectiveness for treating the symptoms youre looking for relief from.
Speaking of symptoms, some supplements focus on one or two specific symptoms whereas others provide more of a comprehensive hormone balancing approach. Take some time to consider what youre struggling with the most and then decide if youd like to add a supplement thats specifically formulated for that specific symptom or if youd like a more well-rounded approach to treating the hormonal imbalance that is the root cause of most symptoms.
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Women Could Experience Up To A Decade Of Perimenopause Symptoms
It’s important to consult your doctors with any medical concerns, and before making any changes or adding supplements to your health plan.
The journey into menopause is a three-stage transition into a new phase of life, which may affect some women both physically and emotionally. These three stages are known as perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause.
Perimenopause can begin years before menopause and is when your ovaries gradually begin to produce less estrogen until they completely stop releasing eggs. Some women may enter this period as early as 30 years of age. This phase may often be characterized by hot flashes, mood swings, and irregular bleeding. Some women may also experience weight gain, anxiety, and even clinical depression in this stage due to hormonal imbalances that might occur.
Women could feel up to a decade of perimenopause symptoms until their ovaries stop producing eggs completely, which is when a woman cannot get pregnant naturally. This phenomenon is called menopause, the second transition, which marks the end of the menstrual cycle in women. This is the period when a woman does not menstruate for 12 consecutive months, also concluding the perimenopause phase. While the symptoms can be similar to the perimenopause phase, lifestyle changes could help during menopause and postmenopause.
Dong Quai: Empress Of The Herbs
Dong quai has been used in Chinese medicine as treatment for women’s health for thousands of years. But research in recent times hasn’t found evidence to back this up. One study of dong quai to determine its effects on hot flashes during menopause found no benefits. Because dong quai may have some risks, including cancer when taken long-term, check with a doctor before using it.
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Are Menopause Supplements A Good Choice For You
Anyone who is experiencing menopause symptoms could benefit from taking menopause supplements. There are also other things you can adjust in your day-to-day life to alleviate or lessen the symptoms of menopause in addition to taking supplements. These include:
- Getting regular exercise
- Improving sleep quality
- Eating healthy foods
If youve tried these changes and dont know if you should take a menopause supplement, talk to your doctor. They can help you decide if a supplement or other treatment option is right for you.
Are You In Perimenopause
Perimenopause is the period before menopause and has over 30 symptoms. Find out what age these symptoms start and how long they last.
Another type of deep acting hormonal support is red clover blossoms. Multiple studies have suggested that this may be beneficial for alleviating perimenopause symptoms like hot flushes, anxiety, depression and vaginal dryness.1,2,3,4,5,6
- Suitable for vegans and vegetarians
- 430mg of red clover extract per capsule
- Take one to three tablets a day preferably with meals
What our customers say:
Neen 5/5 stars GreatThis product is amazing, works really well for me. I was struggling with peri menopause symptoms and Red Clover has taken my symptoms away. I feel normal again.
Kathryn_T 5/5 stars Fewer hot flushes! I’ve definitely been aware of improvement in menopause symptoms since taking this regularly, and I only take 2 or 3 during a day . Certainly recommend giving it a try.
- Suitable for vegetarians and vegans
- Take one to three a day preferably with meals
What our customers say:
These are great and I think they’ve really helped reduce perimenopausal symptoms.
kd47 5/5 stars Hormone tamer! The discovery of this product stems from the lack of black cohosh and I’ve never gone back. Very useful for keeping a female hormones under control. Would recommend.
Our expert nutritionist Alexander Thompson does highlight however that there may be some limitation with the above three supplements:
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How Does Menopause Occur
Menopause is the cessation of ovarian function, explains Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., a clinical professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. In women who have a uterus and have periods, it is defined as a year of no periods, she says, noting that blood tests are needed to confirm menopause in women who have had hysterectomies.
Menopause can happen in your 40s or 50s, with the average starting age being 51 in the U.S., adds Kellyann Petrucci, N.D., a functional medicine doctor and certified nutrition consultant in New York City.
While we often associate menopause with the end of the menstrual cycle, theres also the perimenopause and postmenopause stages.
As you age, your reproductive cycle slows down and prepares to stop, says Dr. Petrucci. As menopause nears, the ovaries make less estrogen and stop releasing eggs into the fallopian tube, resulting in changes to the menstrual cycle. may become irregular and unpredictable and, eventually, completely stop.
The most effective therapy for menopausal hot flashes is estrogen therapy, per Dr. Minkin. However, some women cannot take hormonal therapy or simply choose not to do so. And thats, in general, where the talk of supplements, which are aimed primarily at hot flashes, comes in, she explains. Prescription non-hormonal medications are also available, which can help with hot flashes, too.
What Are Menopause Supplements
Menopause supplements are typically a combination of botanicals and/or vitamins and minerals administered to alleviate one or more of the symptoms women experience during menopause, says Dr. Petrucci. Black cohosh, red clover, chasteberry, dong quai and evening primrose are popular botanicals you often see in menopause supplements, she says.
While theres a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest these botanicals can provide some reliefparticularly with hot flashesresearchers say many botanicals found in menopause supplements offer limited scientific evidence showing their effectiveness and long-term safetyGeller S.E., Studee L. Botanical and Dietary Supplements for Menopausal Symptoms: What Works, What Does Not. J. Womens Health. 2005 14:634649. .
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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.