Where to start with Supplements in the Peri/Menopause
I remember the day I found out I was menopausal, it seemed a right jumble of symptoms that didn’t make any sense to me as a Shiatsu and Chinese Medicine Practitioner. I set to solving what the root cause of symptoms were and alleviating symptoms with Shiatsu treatments, but after a year or so I felt that women needed something more.
Shiatsu, like acupuncture believes that you have the energy within you to heal, it balances out blockages and hot spots to tonify depleted areas in your body. When I felt my energy was getting lower and lower I thought about depletion, and how we probably needed to add something in, and this is when I started to research supplements.
I didn’t believe in supplements and was always rubbish at taking anything so it’s a real turnaround that now I wouldn’t be without the essentials a woman needs to get through this turmoil and transition of hormones.
WHERE DO I START?
There are two routes through your menopause – quick fixes orresolving your health imbalances for longevity and vitality. After all you’re only half way through your time in this body; isn’t this now the time to take stock and evaluate your health and where you are going?
I’m going to take you through some guidance to supplements in a moment but let me explain my way of looking at the menopause and what to do about it.
The hormonal upheaval you’re experiencing is 10-100 times greater than being pregnant, did you even know that? And did you take supplements during pregnancy?
This hormonal change has some downsides and one is that it leeches the nutrients you have in your body that you gainfrom food, and that leaves you feeling exhausted, achy, anxious and foggy. At this point you choose your path, to resolve your health issues or to stick a plaster on it.
HOW TO RESOLVE YOUR HEALTH IMBALANCES TO ALLEVIATE MENOPAUSE SYMPTOMS
Understanding your underlying health imbalances is to understand how your peri/menopause symptoms have gottenso bad. The first step to start rebalancing your body chemistry is to start taking vitamins and minerals that you are deficient in. These are the building blocks of your health, and then to add in other supplements you may need like essential fatty acids, amino acids, adaptogens, probiotic and collagen; depending on what you need individually. My book Understanding Your Menopause is a guide through these changes.
SHOULD I HAVE PHTYOESTROGENS (and HRT)?
The answer is individual to everyone, but what you should know is that you should not just take Menopause Supplements and HRT in lieu of making any health changes in your life, this would just be a sticking plaster over your symptoms, and may lead to further health issues to be resolved later on. The later you leave improving your health the more difficult it will become to get back in to balance and optimal health. If you realise that your symptoms are health issues being flagged, aim to alleviate these as well as taking HRT.
HRT AND PHYTO-ESTROGENS – WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
You may have heard of Soya Isoflavones and Red Clover, these are phytoestrogens. They are plants that naturally contain some oestrogen in them; 2 of the richest sources. HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) is also a phytoestrogen, made from processing plant phyto’s like wild yam into a very condensed supplement. If you are still on contraception you are taking an even more condensed form of this.
Phytoestrogens can be also be gained from certain foods like soya, chickpeas, pumpkin and flax seeds, these are weakerforms that you can take naturally as part of a healthy balanced diet, and they do take effect on you and this can be quite noticeable.
What is the difference?
Only the strength of the oestrogens involved, and that the higher the amount the more processed it is. As your oestrogen declines taking phyto’s in any form is a level of replenishment. In your food, you get phyto’s in their most natural form, as you move into tablets the phyto’s will be processed to varying degrees to create a greater strength.
WHEN TO TAKE PHYTOESTROGENS?
When you know you are in oestrogen decline, this is indicated by scant/ erratic or no periods (and you may be experiencing hot flushes daily), this is a good time to test if phyto supplements are right for you. Whilst you still have regular periods then you can get phyto’s from food sources and taking nutritional supplements will really help you at this time.
If you take phytoestrogens in any form at a time when you are oestrogen dominant, or fluctuating then you can cause your oestrogen levels to spike and it can exacerbate symptoms such as bloating, flushes, and mood swings; testing and journaling is key.
If a supplement has ‘Meno’ in the title, it most likely has a phytoestrogen in it. The ingredients you’re are looking for are Soya Isoflavones or Red Clover.
SUPPLEMENTS TO REBALANCE YOUR BODY CHEMISTRY AND RELIEVE SYMPTOMS
What you do need supplementally in the perimenopause is vitamins and minerals. A good multi vitamin plus an additional magnesium supplement will in a couple of weeks alleviate symptoms of achy joints and muscles and you may well feel more energised and sleep better (if your symptoms weren’t too prolonged before you start taking these). Brain fog requires Omega 3 and Evening Primrose (or Starflower/Borage).
Gut health issues benefit greatly from a probiotic designed for women’s health, collagen and vitamin C (+ Bioflavonoids)are a powerful combination for aiding loss of skin elasticity, preventing future prolapses and maintaining cardio vascular health.
Anxiety benefits from taking Ashwagandha, this is a stress adaptogen that calms the knee jerk adrenal response you may have going on. If you’re fatigued and anxious then you most likely have high cortisol levels and this creates a further nutritional depletion, so push in vitamins and minerals.
Fatigue needs a hefty dose of B vitamins, we’re talking 1000s percentage of the recommended daily allowances.
Vitamin D3 is critical to bone, lung, immunity and mental health, but again the right supplement is half the battle, the dosage is the other half!
IS THERE A MAGIC PILL?
I’m working on it! A powerful antioxidant called Lonicera Longevity works at the cellular level in the body, cleansing the liver, restoring the gut, rebuilding your energy from the ground up to create your best health for now and the future. Initial results are good and I’m hoping that women won’t need to rattle with supplements in future if this one can do the job of many!
DON’T PUT UP WITH HEAT SYMPTOMS…
If you’re suffering from hot flushes and night sweats right now and need support, then I have Blossom cream, designed especially for you to ease your symptoms now. A very specific blend of essential oils that ease the heat symptoms, and calm you down. Purchase here, and used this code BLOSSOMCM for a 15% discount:
HOW CAN I HELP YOU
I’m a practical solutions person, my aim is to help you alleviate your physical symptoms and strengthen your mind and emotions to help you have a successful natural menopause. My website has some great information for you, including:
Getting started with supplements and a ‘When to take my supplements’ guide
Understanding Your Menopause – now on Amazon too!
‘Successful Natural Menopause’ facebook group
‘Successful Natural Menopause’ guide and a section of free downloads
See all of my tried and tested solutions to help you at cotswoldmenopause.co.uk