A study underlines that taking the correct dosage of selected vitamins might contribute to improving the quality of life in menopausal women. So, which are these vitamins to cope up with menopause symptoms? Are these enough, or do
you need some other types of nutrients too? Continue reading this article to know.
What Changes Happens During Menopause?
Menopause causes a lot of changes in body.
- The hormone oestrogen begins to decline during the transition to menopause and beyond, affecting a woman’s normal cyclical patterns of oestrogen and progesterone.
- Low oestrogen levels have a negative impact on your metabolism that results in gaining of weight.
When estrogen is low in the body it also leads to joint pains and causing mood swings
- These changes may also have an impact on your cholesterol levels and how your body digests carbohydrates.
- During this transition period, many women experience symptoms such as hot flashes and face difficulty in sleeping.
- It also leads to vaginal dryness because of which the tissues becomes thin and this causes uncomfortableness while being intimate with the partner.
- Furthermore, hormonal changes cause decrease in bone density and they become prone to increase the risk of fractures and certain conditions like osteoporosis.
Why Sleep Is Important During Menopause?
Menopause causes a lot of hormonal, physical changes in women, sleep is one of the major problem creating havoc. When we are asleep, the body restores energy and many processes go on within the body.
As estrogen level is less when a body goes through menopause that affects the sleep cycle. Estrogen is responsible for the metabolism of serotonin and other neurotransmitters it leads to less sleep. If you are facing sleep disorder then consult your doctor to get it treated. Also, try to maintain a healthy weight and diet. Try to get some natural light in the morning and it’s always a good practice to exercise early morning for better results.
Which Are The Most Popular Vitamins For Menopausal Symptoms?
Estrogen helps protect the body against inflammation. Naturally, inflammation increases when estrogen decreases after menopause. Besides, estrogen is also linked to serotonin, a hormone that regulates mood. Lower estrogen may result in mood swings and worsen mental health problems, for example, depression and anxiety. So, how does Vitamin E help? A potent antioxidant, Vitamin E helps lower inflammation and its effects, which tend to rise during menopause. It also helps with hot flashes, stress and oxidative stress, thus contributing to your health inside out.
Vitamin D is crucial for healthy bones, musculoskeletal health, heart health, blood sugar regulation, and cognitive health. Estrogen is a catalyst in activating the enzyme that helps the body use Vitamin D. Therefore, Vitamin D deficiency, because of declining estrogen levels, is a common problem in menopausal women. That is why it is sensible to consider its supplementation to keep bones strong and stave osteoporosis off. Besides, adequate Vitamin D levels post-menopause may also help improve mood and cognitive performance.
Vitamin B6 and B12
B6 supports optimal metabolism, the body’s ability to control inflammation, and immune function; B12 is essential for forming red blood cells, protecting your brain and heart, regulating energy levels, promoting gut health, and strengthening the nervous system and eyes. For example, in menopausal women, B6 helps alleviate the risk for menopausal depression by boosting serotonin levels. It also helps increase energy, ward insomnia off, improve cognition, and even reduce hot flashes. Similarly, B12 may help ease fatigue, brain fog, digestive issues, and irritability. Talk to your doctor about the form of Vitamin B12 most suitable for you.
As estrogen goes down, collagen levels fall, and the skin loses elasticity. In addition, Vitamin C may also affect cognitive and bone health. It also helps heal wounds, supports iron absorption, and protects heart health. Vitamin C helps maintain bone density, relieves hot flashes, and may contribute to skin elasticity.
Your body utilizes two forms of vitamin A—carotenoid and retinol. Betacarotene from food sources converts into carotenoid, i.e., vitamin A in your body. On the other hand, the sources of retinol include animal and dairy products. Vitamin A is significant for eye and skin health, immunity, and reproduction in non-menopausal women. In menopausal women, vitamin A does not directly affect alleviating menopause symptoms. But, its impact on thyroid function, vision, and immunity supports your body when it is going through a challenging transition.
Typically, Calcium and Vitamin D are the two nutrients that pop up in people’s minds when someone mentions bone health. Et Tu, Brute? Well! Let us bust the myth for you. Sure! Calcium and Vitamin D are important for bone health, but so is Vitamin K, as it has a role in supporting bone health. It also keeps your blood vessels healthy and promotes proper blood clotting. So, munch on some leafy greens (for example, kale) and show some love to your bones, especially after menopause.
So, are vitamins enough to overcome physical and mental changes after menopause? Well! No. You also need minerals and other nutrients to be fit and fine during menopause. Here are a few common nutrients that can help manage menopause symptoms.
Magnesium is a requisite for various bodily processes, namely, muscle and nerve function, blood pressure regulation, maintaining blood sugar, bone building, and energy use. Some women may have depleting magnesium levels during menopause, resulting in problems that affect heart health, bones, blood pressure, and mood. It also helps clear excess estrogen in women undergoing hormone therapy to replenish estrogen levels. Typically, magnesium citrate and magnesium glycinate are the two commonly prescribed magnesium supplements.
The body makes this compound when cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower, go through digestion. Research suggests that DIM may help maintain healthy estrogen levels. In addition, DIM may also be helpful for women who experience the effects of higher testosterone levels after menopause. It does so by inhibiting aromatase, which converts testosterone to estrogen. Menopause symptoms like hot flashes, acne, and weight gain may also improve through DIM supplementation.
Calcium depletion and decreasing estrogen levels are correlated. Therefore, maintaining adequate calcium levels after menopause is imperative for keeping bones strong, proper muscle function, and a healthy nervous system.
Constipation, boating, and gas are common gastrointestinal issues after menopause. Plummeting estrogen and progesterone during this phase slow down digestion, and the food takes longer to pass through the GI system. It causes water reabsorption into the bloodstream, leading to gastrointestinal problems. Probiotics supply your gut with healthy microorganisms that expedite digestion, improve mood, and support physiological function. However, ensure taking a balanced diet to reap the benefits of probiotics. Stuffing your stomach with junk food or red meats regularly and then popping probiotic capsules will lower the latter’s efficacy. That’s not all! Probiotics also balance the vaginal microflora and prevent post-menopausal vaginal problems.
Some more nutrients to consider for relieving menopause symptoms include zinc, omega-3s, curcumin, and fiber.
Menopause is a transition in women’s life cycle. To manage the symptoms it is highly essential to maintain a healthy diet along with doing some workout.
Remember to consult your doctor before taking new supplements to manage menopause-related issues. For most women, life after menopause is a discomforting phase. However, the right nutrition and a healthy lifestyle help get life back on track during and after menopause.