If you are a woman, you’re likely to experience at some point in your life the typical symptoms of menopause and perimenopause, or the menopausal transition. There are key vitamins and minerals that play a vital role in supporting your physical health during this time, and certain ingredients can help reduce the symptoms.
What is menopause?
Menopause happens when reproductive hormone levels naturally drop and periods stop, this usually happens between the ages of 45-55, although it can occur earlier. Surgery that removes the ovaries or uterus, chemotherapy and radiation therapy can also cause menopause.
Perimenopause refers to experiencing symptoms before your periods have stopped. Menopause is diagnosed once someone has gone 12 months without a period.
What are the symptoms of menopause and perimenopause?
Some of the symptoms can include:
- Hot flushes
- Brain fog
- Night sweats
- Weight gain
- Joint pain
- Irregular periods
- Anxiety and mood swings
Signs and symptoms can vary from person to person, including changes in menstruation. Missing periods during perimenopause is typical and often, periods will skip a month and return, or skip several months and return for a few months. Symptoms can last for months or ever years and can change over time.
Lifestyle changes to ease menopausal symptoms
Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet, getting enough exercise and looking after your mental health can all help to ease the symptoms associated with menopause and perimenopause.
Read our guide on how to sleep better at night for tips on how to develop a calming sleep routine to make sure you're resting and getting the most from your downtime. Relaxing activities such as yoga, tai chi and meditation can also help to maintain a positive mindset.
It's also important to look after your bone health, as after the age of around 35 you gradually start losing bone density. Calcium-rich foods like milk, yoghurt and kale and weight-bearing exercises will help to maintain bone mass and prevent osteoporosis.
5 daily vitamins and supplements for women with menopause symptoms
1. Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 assists in balancing hormone levels, especially oestrogen and progesterone which are lower during menopause. Vitamin B6 aids chemical reactions in the immune system, helping it work better. Eating foods rich in vitamin B6 will also help your body guard against infection. Poultry and fish such as tuna and salmon are high in vitamin B6 so are a great natural source, you can also find over-the-counter supplements.
Try our vitamin B complex supplement.
2. Tannic acid
Sage is traditionally used to treat hot sweats, lowering their severity. Its leaves have tannic acid in them which constricts sweat glands and reduces perspiration.
Supplements such as red clover, alongside foods such as edamame beans, linseeds, sesame seeds and cauliflower are all great sources of phytoestrogens. These mimic the effect of oestrogen in the body – something which is lowered during menopause. Low oestrogen levels can trigger symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings and vaginal dryness.
4. Vitamin D
Vitamin D will help with postmenopausal symptoms such as osteoporosis, a disease of increased skeletal fragility. Our bone density reduces during menopause, so maintaining vitamin D and calcium levels is important, fish and orange juice fortified with vitamin D are dietary solutions but this should be supported by other calcium-containing foods if possible, as well as regular and appropriate weight-bearing physical activity, including resistance training exercise with weights - this will help to keep your bone density stronger.
Check out our vitamin D3 supplements for an instant vitamin boost in a delicious lemon flavour.
Magnesium additionally helps with bone strength support but also assists relaxation, sleep and anxiety which are often problems during menopause.