Nutrition is always important. But when you’re in (or approaching) menopause , your body is especially reliant on vitamins and nutrients to keep you healthy and strong as your estrogen production drops and your metabolism slows.  

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Don’t rush to the store to load up upon pills plus powders, though. Menopause specialist Pelin Batur, MD , explains which supplements can be helpful and which usually can be harmful — and why a healthy lifestyle should always become your first line of defense.  

The importance of nutrition during perimenopause and menopause

Wouldn’t it end up being nice if there were a magic pill or even powder a person could take to make menopause symptoms like hot flashes and weight gain just disappear? Alas, within nearly all cases, the healthy way of life does more for your body than any over-the-counter supplement may.

“Eating nutritious foods, taking good care of yourself, exercising — there’s a lot to be said for taking plain old good care of your self, ” Dr. Batur says. “Following fad diets plus taking a bunch of supplements may help temporarily take off a few pounds, but in case you’re not practicing a healthy life-style, you can still end up with health issues, including a huge decline in bone density throughout menopause. ”

Eating a balanced diet of veggies, calcium and soy may go a long way toward relieving symptoms plus ensuring that you get almost all the nutrients you need. But in some cases, dietary supplements may become warranted.

Best supplements with regard to menopause

There are no “best” health supplements for perimenopause, per se, as you should always speak with a doctor before starting any vitamin or supplement.

“Supplements are unregulated and can cause serious health problems, like liver toxicity, ” Dr . Batur cautions. “Just because something comes from the health food store doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe. ”

That said, here are some of the supplements your own doctor may recommend around the time of menopause. Just be sure, as always, that will you’re paying close attention to labels, warnings, dosage and, of course , your doctor’s expert advice.

1. Calcium

Menopause contributes to bone loss, and calcium is critical to bone tissue health. If you’re already eating a lot of calcium-rich foods , such as dairy products and leafy greens, you may end up being getting enough calcium through your diet plan.

“Dietary calcium mineral is preferable to products whenever possible, ” Doctor. Batur states, “but when you have gastrointestinal issues or lactose intolerance, you may not be able to get adequate dietary calcium. ”

If you’re not really getting sufficient through meals, your doctor might OK a calcium supplement in order to help a person reach the particular recommended 1, 000 to 1, 200 mg a day (depending on your age).

Do not jump on the calcium supplement train “just because, ” although. If you’re already getting enough calcium mineral to keep that skeleton sturdy, steer clear of supplements. Too much can contribute to hypercalcemia , the build-up associated with calcium in your bloodstream.

“Calcium is a safe product overall, but just like anything else, it should be taken in moderation, ” Dr. Batur says. Plus, this can make you constipated!

2 . Vitamin D

Sometimes known as the “sunshine supplement, ” vitamin D is critical for calcium supplement absorption, among other aspects of your health. Some people may get enough of it through sun exposure (don’t forget to wear sunscreen! ) and food items that contain supplement D .

But in the event that you’re headed toward peri menopause, you may be at risk for a deficiency , so ask your doctor about vitamin D dietary supplements . Recent studies suggest that routinely taking vitamin Deb supplements are usually unlikely in order to help most people, though your doctor’s recommendations will vary depending on your own individual health and risk factors.

Taking too much vitamin D can cause your calcium levels to rise — and not in a good way. Should you be getting calciferol, follow your healthcare provider’s instructions to be sure you are taking a dosage that’s secure for you — typically a dose of 2, 000 international units or less is considered safest.

3. Ground flaxseed

Research is mixed on whether flaxseed (also known as linseed) may ease hot flashes, as some people claim it can. Still, these tiny seeds have big health benefits — but in ground form, not supplements.

Floor flaxseeds contain omega-3s plus lignans, which may decrease your risk associated with breast cancer and lower your cholesterol. This makes them a healthy addition to your own diet, even if they don’t bring relief from hot sensations.  

“Flax does consist of phytoestrogens, which are substances that can have estrogen-like effects upon body tissues and cells, ” Doctor Batur notes, “so check with your physician if you’re being treated regarding uterine or breast cancer. ”

What about black cohosh?

Hold off before shelling out for this health supplement. Some studies claim that dark cohosh , a member of the buttercup family, may help relieve very hot flashes and night sweats. But most studies suggest (and the majority of doctors agree) that it does not work any better than a placebo .  

“This means that will about 30% of people who use black cohosh health supplements get benefit because of the healing effects of positive thinking, because opposed to the dietary supplement itself, ” Dr. Batur says.

If you do choose in order to take dark cohosh, this should only be used for fewer than six months. “There are some concerns about liver safety, and there have been reports associated with liver failure, ” she warns.  

Because black cohosh may cause liver problems, you shouldn’t take it if you have the known liver organ disorder. And even if you don’t, be aware that its side effects can include cramping, headaches, nausea and an upset stomach.

Stay away from these types of supplements intended for menopause

The supplement industry is a good unregulated one, making it the particular Wild West of otc health items — which usually can become seriously dangerous, even though you’re taking some thing “natural. ”

“When you are getting a vitamin or mineral from meals, that’s natural and safe, ” Dr . Batur says. “When it’s put into a manmade form, though, like a pill or a powder, then it essentially becomes an unregulated chemical. ”

Dr. Batur walks us through some of the supplements you should avoid, for the sake of your wellness as well as your wallet:

  • Evening primrose oil: Some people say this supplement can ease warm flashes, yet no scientific evidence proves its benefits. It has, however, been associated with nausea or vomiting, diarrhea plus blood clots, and it’s especially harmful if you take blood thinners or have a history of seizures or schizophrenia.
  • Fluoride: This mineral is an important ingredient in toothpaste, but do not take this for bone fragments loss within menopause. “Fluoride can help improve your bone density, but we don’t use it for bone tissue loss due to the fact it’s thought to increase risk of fractures, ” Dr. Batur says.
  • Iron: When you menstruate, you need to get sufficient iron to make up to get the bloodstream you lose during your period. But once you hit menopause, you typically need less of it. Instead associated with supplements, eat healthy, iron-rich foods .
  • Soy: While, soy-based foods such as tofu and edamame are a safe part of a healthy diet, soy supplements may not end up being. “Soy may have estrogen-like properties, and even though plant estrogen is found in nature, it’s completely unnatural to our body chemistry, ” Doctor. Batur explains. Lower amounts of exposure through organic foods are usually fine, yet in concentrated, manmade forms, it gets an unregulated estrogen.
  • Strontium ranelate: This silvery metal will be concentrated in your bones. “People sometimes get strontium as a supplement, but we do not recommend this, ” Doctor Batur states. “Long-term safety is unclear, and it can make bone fragments density testing difficult to interpret. ” It also hasn’t been approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  
  • Over-the-counter estrogen or even progesterone creams: Your body easily absorbs estrogen via your skin, but this can’t absorb progesterone since well. “Sometimes, patients lather on these products thinking they’re balancing their hormones, whenever in reality, they’re causing serious health issues, ” Dr. Batur states. This kind of imbalance is usually associated along with uterine malignancy and pre-cancer.
  • Wild yam: Thanksgiving dinner, yes; menopause, simply no. Studies show that wild yam extracts plus tinctures possess little to no effect on perimenopause symptoms.

How in order to relieve your menopause symptoms

Many people breeze through peri menopause without issue, while others experience significant discomfort, from sweaty nights to swollen breasts and beyond.

Lifestyle changes like diet modification and stress management can go a long way toward relief — but if you find that will your menopause symptoms are interfering with your quality associated with life and your overall well-being, ask the healthcare provider for guidance and assistance.

To learn a lot more on this topic from Dr. Batur, listen to the Health Essentials Podcast episode “What to Expect in Perimenopause. ” New episodes of the Health Essentials Podcasting publish every Wednesday.

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