Perimenopause, the transitional stage before menopause, can bring about a multitude of challenging symptoms that affect a woman’s physical and emotional well-being. Mood swings, hot flashes, sleep issues, depression, brain fog, low energy, and anxiety are just a few of the commonly reported symptoms during this period. While hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is an option for some, many women are seeking natural alternatives. In this blog post, we will explore the need for and benefits of specific natural supplements, herbs, vitamins, and minerals in managing perimenopausal symptoms, focusing on magnesium glycinate, omega-3, ashwagandha, black cohosh, shatavari, vitamin D3, and iron. Additionally, we will delve into known deficiencies in perimenopausal women and their impact on perimenopausal symptoms.
Understanding perimenopausal deficiencies
During perimenopause, hormonal changes can lead to imbalances that may contribute to deficiencies in essential nutrients. These deficiencies can exacerbate symptoms and impact overall well-being. Are you a perimenopausal woman struggling with nutrient deficiencies? You’re not alone. Studies show that perimenopausal women are at a higher risk for deficiencies in magnesium, vitamin D, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids. Here are some notable deficiencies in perimenopausal women:
1. Vitamin D3
Shockingly, over 80% of subjects in a study were deficient in vitamin D. However, magnesium supplementation has been found to increase vitamin D levels, making it a crucial nutrient for perimenopausal women. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with an increased risk of depression and compromised bone health. Vitamin D3 supplementation supports mood regulation, strengthens bones, and boosts overall immune function.
Research suggests that magnesium deficiency is prevalent among women experiencing perimenopause, and it can contribute to mood swings, sleep disturbances, and anxiety. Magnesium glycinate, a highly absorbable form, supports relaxation, promotes better sleep, and helps alleviate mood-related symptoms.
3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 deficiency is associated with an increased risk of depression and cognitive decline. Supplementation with omega-3, specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), can help regulate mood, improve brain function, and reduce inflammation.
Iron deficiency anaemia is prevalent among women of reproductive age, including those in perimenopause. It can contribute to fatigue, low energy levels, and cognitive difficulties. Ensuring adequate iron intake can help combat these symptoms.
It is important to note that certain medical conditions can impair the absorption of nutrients from the gastrointestinal tract due to inflammation and damage to the intestines. Deficiencies in certain nutrients, such as iron, vitamin D, and magnesium, which are already common during perimenopause, can be further exacerbated by Celiac disease, inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis), gastric bypass surgery, chronic kidney disease and alcohol dependency. These deficiencies can contribute to increased fatigue, low energy levels, and potentially worsen mood swings and brain fog.
A balanced diet and supplements can help fill any nutrient gaps and improve your overall health during this transitional phase of life.
Exploring the power of supplements and herbs
Perimenopause is a transitional phase in a woman’s life that marks the onset of hormonal changes leading up to menopause. It often comes with a host of symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, irregular periods, and sleep disturbances. While these symptoms can vary in severity, there is growing evidence that certain supplements and herbs can offer relief during this transformative stage. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits, supported by studies where available, of taking specific supplements and herbs during perimenopause.
Magnesium is a mineral that plays a vital role in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. It has been linked to relieving symptoms associated with perimenopause, such as anxiety, irritability, and sleep disturbances. A randomized controlled trial published in the journal Menopause found that magnesium supplementation significantly improved mood and reduced bloating and weight gain in perimenopausal women.
Vitamin D is known for its crucial role in bone health, but emerging research suggests that it may also have a positive impact on perimenopausal symptoms. A study published in the Journal of Mid-Life Health found that women with higher vitamin D levels experienced fewer hot flashes and sleep disturbances. Additionally, vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption, aiding in the prevention of osteoporosis, which becomes a concern during menopause.
Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have been studied for their potential benefits in perimenopause. A systematic review published in Climacteric showed that omega-3 supplementation reduced the frequency and severity of hot flashes and improved overall quality of life. Furthermore, omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that may help alleviate joint pain, another common symptom during perimenopause.
Iron deficiency anaemia can occur during perimenopause due to heavy menstrual bleeding. Supplementing with iron may help replenish iron stores and alleviate symptoms like fatigue and weakness. However, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional to determine if iron supplementation is necessary, as excessive iron levels can be harmful.
Ashwagandha, an adaptogenic herb, has gained attention for its potential role in balancing hormones and reducing stress. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine found that ashwagandha supplementation reduced stress and improved quality of life in perimenopausal women.
Black cohosh is a herb that has been extensively studied for its potential benefits in menopausal symptoms. Research suggests that black cohosh may help alleviate hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep disturbances. However, it is important to note that some studies have shown mixed results, and its long-term safety profile requires further investigation.
Shatavari, a herb commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine, is renowned for its ability to support female reproductive health. It is believed to help regulate hormonal fluctuations and relieve symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and mood swings. Although limited scientific studies exist on shatavari’s effects during perimenopause, it has a long history of traditional use.
The most common perimenopausal symptoms and the best supplements for managing them
Irritability and mood swings
Magnesium glycinate, omega-3, ashwagandha, and vitamin D3 have all shown potential in supporting mood stability and reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Black cohosh and shatavari can alleviate hot flashes and night sweats, offering women a much-needed respite from these uncomfortable symptoms.
Magnesium glycinate, ashwagandha, and black cohosh may help regulate sleep patterns, reduce insomnia, and improve overall sleep quality.
Brain fog and cognitive decline
Omega-3 fatty acids, ashwagandha, and iron play crucial roles in supporting cognitive function. Omega-3 fatty acids promote brain health and improve cognitive abilities, while ashwagandha has been shown to enhance memory, concentration, and overall cognitive performance. Iron helps prevent cognitive decline associated with iron deficiency anaemia.
Fatigue and low energy
Iron and magnesium glycinate contribute to increased energy levels and combat fatigue, which are common complaints during perimenopause.
Shatavari and black cohosh have estrogenic properties and can help regulate hormone levels, reducing the severity of hormonal fluctuations and associated symptoms.
In conclusion, while the journey through perimenopause can be challenging, incorporating certain supplements and herbs into your routine may offer relief from various symptoms. Vitamin D, magnesium glycinate, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, ashwagandha, shatavari, and black cohosh have shown potential benefits supported by studies and traditional use. However, always consult with your healthcare provider to determine the best approach for your specific needs, as they can provide personalized guidance and monitor your progress. With the right support, you can navigate perimenopause with greater comfort and embrace this transformative phase of life.
It’s worth noting that supplements and herbs should not replace a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management, and adequate sleep. They should be used as complementary measures to support overall well-being during the perimenopausal phase.
Lastly, it’s essential to rely on high-quality supplements from reputable brands to ensure purity, potency, and safety. Look for products with third-party certifications, such as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), to ensure the highest standards of quality.
Remember, perimenopause is a unique journey for every woman, and finding the right combination of natural supplements and lifestyle adjustments may require some trial and error. Patience, self-care, and a holistic approach will help you manage your perimenopausal symptoms effectively and improve your overall quality of life. Book a discovery call now to find out how health coaching can help you on this journey.