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Managing Menopause Symptoms With Supplements

Posted by Blooms The Chemist on 13 May 2020

Managing Menopause Symptoms With Supplements


In the simplest definition of menopause, it is the stage in life when your monthly period stops[1]. In the conventional sense, you are in menopause when a woman hasn’t seen a period for 12 months. In most women, it happens between 45 and 55 years of age. Along with menstrual cessation comes a series of side effects, uncomfortable feelings, and experiences.

Why Does Menopause Happen?

At around 50 years old, when women transition from reproductive age to post-reproductive age, the ovaries stop working to produce oestrogen and progesterone – two hormones important for pregnancy.

The abrupt change in hormones is what causes the symptoms of menopause, including hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, fatigue, and sometimes anxiety and depression[2]. The discomfort and the symptoms that accompany menopause.

There are many options to look at when seeking relief from these symptoms. If considering a supplement, it is important to do so in consultation with your professional health care provider.

Supplements To Consider

Let’s look at some of the herbal, vitamin, and mineral supplements you may want to consider in consultation with your doctor or pharmacist. It is important to explore the clinical evidence or lack thereof;

  • Calcium: The changes in female hormones are the leading cause of bone loss[5]. Getting enough calcium can help protect you from bone loss, which can lead to osteoporosis
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D is essential for effective calcium uptake into the bones
  • Ginseng: If you worry about menopause and is its potentially negative effect on your mood, ginseng may help. Studies have shown that it helps to improve mood and sleep[7]
  • Wild Yam: Wild yam pills are popular alternatives to hormone therapy since some of the compounds in these yams in their extracted form have a similar effect to oestrogen and progesterone and may reduce symptoms. However while women have shared positive anecdotal evidence, research has not been able to confirm that they are active in people[6]
  • Red clover: Red clover may help to reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flushes in women experiencing menopause[8]
  • Black Cohosh: This herbal supplement made from the root of the cohosh plant has been demonstrated[3] to help with hot flushes. While larger studies have mixed results, researchers agree that initial evidence warrants further investigation into how and to what extent black cohosh could be effective[4]

Note that there are multivitamin and supplement brands that combine vitamins and minerals along with some of the herbal extracts mentioned above. You may find that they are effective in reducing your symptoms of menopause but please explore these options along with the guidance of a qualified health care professional.

Written by Sasha A.
With a B.A. in Anthropology and a Master of Science, Sasha shares her knowledge in articles about food, nutrition, health, and fitness.

References

[1] Jean Hailes. Menopause. 2020

[2] Health Direct. Menopause. 2019-09

[3] American College of Physicians. 2020

[4] Leach M J, Moore V. Black cohosh (Cimicifuga spp.) for menopausal symptoms. 2012-09-12

[5] Osteoporosis Australia. Calcium. 2013

[6] Komesaroff P A, Black C V S, Cable V, Sudhir K. Effects of wild yam extract on menopausal symptoms, lipids and sex hormones in healthy menopausal women. 2009-07-03

[7] Kennedy D O, Scholey A B. Ginseng: potential for the enhancement of cognitive performance and mood. 2003-06

[8] Ghazanfarpour M, Sadeghi R, Roudsari R J, Khorsand I, Khadivzadeh T. Red clover for treatment of hot flashes and menopausal symptoms: A systematic review and meta-analysis. 2015-10-15

All articles are provided as general information and are not intended, nor may it be construed, as medical advice or instruction. Information and opinions expressed are believed to be correct and accurate to the best knowledge and judgement of the authors. Readers should consult their appropriately qualified health care professional prior to taking any action or inaction.