Supplements for Menopause
Typically around her late forties or early fifties, a woman's ovaries cease manufacturing estrogen and progesterone and stop releasing eggs. When six months pass without a period, she is considered to have officially completed menopause. However, it's not necessarily as cut and dry as it sounds. This is a process that can commence five to ten years prior to the end of menstruation and unpleasant symptoms can persist long thereafter. While menopause is not considered a disease, many women experience things like menstrual irregularities, hormonal fluctuations, hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, vaginal dryness, decreased bone mass and an increased risk of heart disease.
Today, there are lots of options to help women through this natural transition in their lives. Hormone replacement therapy is traditional medicine's approach, but there are also some natural therapies women can try to relieve them of some of their menopausal symptoms.
Vitamin E is recommended for heart health and lowering cholesterol levels. Some women report it helps reduce hot flashes as well. Keep bones strong with regular intakes of calcium, best taken along with vitamin D for proper absorption. Vitamin C and flavonoids can help reduce the heavy menstrual bleeding associated with perimenopause, plus it can also help with hot flashes and mood swings. Omega-3 fatty acids and folic acid are other supplements recommended for women at this life stage.
Black cohosh and chasteberry are two herbs widely used by menopausal women in Europe to help stabilize hormone levels, quell hot flashes and relieve vaginal dryness. Siberian ginseng is also recommended as a general female tonic. Dong quai, an herb often used to alleviate symptoms of PMS, may help reduce hot flashes and other menopausal complaints. Licorice contains plant-based phytoestrogens that can act like nature's hormone replacement therapy.
It's interesting to note that hot flashes, osteoporosis, heart disease and other typical menopausal symptoms are rare in countries where soy is consumed regularly. You can eat and drink soy products - like tofu and soy milk - or take supplements containing soy isoflavones.
Avoid coffee, alcohol, chocolate and spicy foods if you suffer from hot flashes.