Menopause is an important time in a woman’s life which can affect each one in different ways. Our expert guide helps you learn the signs and symptoms, stages, and the nutrients you need to support you through this transition.
Table of Contents:
- What is Menopause?
- The Three Stages
- 9 Symptoms of Menopause
- How Long Does it Last?
- What Vitamins Are Needed in Menopause?
- Menopause Supplements from BetterYou
What is Menopause?
Menopause is a natural process which happens as women and those with periods age. It usually happens between the ages of 45 to 55. It occurs when estrogen levels decline, and the ovaries stop releasing eggs.
Women and those with periods enter menopause when they no longer have periods for over 12 months. Experiencing symptoms is very common. These symptoms occur before the periods stop, and may continue for some time once they have.
Menopause supplements are designed to support you through these symptoms, by providing the essential nutrients your body may need more significantly during this time.
The Three Stages
Peri means ‘around’, and perimenopause is the first stage of the cycle. This is the time that the body is transitioning into menopause, usually denoted by irregularities in the menstrual cycle: inconsistent periods. This is because estrogen levels are fluctuating.
This is diagnosed when periods have stopped for 12 consecutive months. There are often symptoms which come from menopause, which can affect your mood and your ability to sleep.
Once the periods have stopped for over a year, you are considered post-menopausal.
Symptoms usually last around 4 years after the last period. However, they could last for up to 12 years. This is less common and happens to around 1 in 10 women.
9 Symptoms of Menopause
The first signs of menopause are irregular periods. They become irregular, and will eventually stop. There can be physical and mental symptoms of menopause which can indicate the change occurring in your body. Some common signs of menopause include:
- Poor sleep - The menopause may cause difficulty sleeping. This is because you may experience night sweats which can cause discomfort. Leading you to being tired and irritable during the day if you haven’t slept well. Sleep supplements can help you to get a restful night’s snooze, by providing the nutrients needed to help prevent sleep deprivation.
- Joint stiffness - The reduction of estrogen can lead to increased risk of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis which affects your bones. This is because your bone density declines as you age, especially around the menopause. Bone supplements can help to strengthen your bones and avoid these aches and pains which may appear.
- Reduced libido - This is another symptom of the menopause which could affect you. Changes in your sex drive will be due to the fluctuations in hormone levels which denote menopause. Vitamin E benefits this because it regulates sex hormones, so this may be something you consider during this time.
- Night sweats - The reason for poor sleep, you may feel uncomfortably hot at night. This can have a detrimental effect on your mood, as you won’t feel rested. Sleep is important for many areas of your health, and so it is important that you get enough.
- Hot flashes - Hot flashes are a very common symptom which affect around 75-80% of all women. In this time, your temperature can change very quickly, going from cold to hot. This is because the decrease in estrogen levels causes other hormones, which affect your temperature, to be produced.
- Headaches - This is due to the fluctuations in hormones in your body, and can cause headaches and migraines that are worse than usual.
- Low mood or anxiety - A low mood could be influenced by a lack of sleep, and the hormonal fluctuations can affect your mental health. Finding people to talk to during this time is important to help deal with these issues.
- Problems with concentration - This is often caused by low mood, anxiety and stress which are related to the effect of low estrogen on the functioning of the brain.
- Vaginal dryness & discomfort during sex - Estrogen is central to the vagina’s lubrication, elasticity and thickness. When estrogen levels decline, you may experience drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls.
If you are experiencing these common symptoms, you may be going through the stages of menopause. If symptoms persist, and become intolerable, seek medical advice from your Doctor. They may arrange a blood test to assess your stage, and help to support symptoms with hormone treatment.
How Long Does it Last?
Menopause lasts for a varied amount of time, which is different for each person. The symptoms can last for a few months, or for many years, and you may have certain symptoms replaced by others.
The transitional period itself usually lasts around 4 years, but could be as long as 12. Though it commonly starts around ages 45 - 55, it is difficult to predict when the menopause will take place.
What Vitamins Are Needed in Menopause?
You need essential types of vitamins and minerals all through your life, but during this time there are some which can help to support you more than others. Menopause supplements may contain these, in order to support you through the changes your body is experiencing. The minerals and vitamins for menopause include:
Magnesium is a muscle relaxant, which helps to ease muscle tension. This can help to support your body as you age and exercise. Magnesium is also linked to sleep, through its role in regulating melatonin. Melatonin indicates to your body when it is time to go to sleep. Poor sleep is a sign of magnesium deficiency, which can be common in menopause. Those experiencing symptoms of the menopause may consider taking magnesium supplements in order to support muscle health and aid their sleep.
Due to the decline in estrogen during menopause, bone turnover occurs. This results in a loss of bone mineral density and an elevated risk of fractures. Vitamin D supplements support your bones by helping calcium to enter them, providing strength.
Body composition changes during the menopause, such as increased fat mass and decreased lean mass. Also, as we age, our ability to make vitamin D from sun exposure decreases. This can lead to an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency, which can lead to bone aches and weak muscles. This is why those going through this process should consider supplementation.
Vitamin K2 works alongside vitamin D in order to move calcium along the blood vessels to the bones. Vitamin K benefits include supporting calcium absorption, in order to avoid calcification in the blood and maintain healthy bones.
Those experiencing menopause may consider vitamin K supplements in order to encourage strong bones and optimal calcium absorption.
Zinc supports the body by regulating our hormone stress response. If your levels of certain hormones, such as cortisol, get too high or low, this can affect the production of estrogen which can trigger early menopause.
To combat your risk of zinc deficiency, which can lead to mental tiredness and a loss of appetite, you may consider zinc supplements to increase your levels.
Vitamin B is a group of vitamins, and are important throughout your life. However, during the menopause you may be more at risk of vitamin B deficiency. During this time, you may need more vitamin B12, B6 and B9 levels to encourage a regular mood. Vitamin B supplements are important through your life, but should be especially considered during the menopause.
As we age, the body struggles to absorb vitamin B12 at optimal levels. This is because the lining of the stomach struggles to produce acid needed for breaking down vitamin B12 and absorbing it. Therefore, you may be more at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency as you approach the menopause.
Vitamin B6 plays an important role in the production of serotonin, known as the “feel good” hormone, responsible for the brain’s signal transmitting. B6 helps convert the amino acid 5-HTP into serotonin. As well as converting the amino acid L-DOPA into dopamine. Both of these chemicals contribute to boosting your mood. As women age, the natural levels of serotonin are prone to dropping, and this can contribute to the mood swings and depression which can be symptoms of menopause.
Calcium is a vital type of mineral needed for bone health. It helps them develop, grow, and stay strong. Calcium helps to slow the decline in bone density that begins once we reach 35 years old. It also contributes to muscle function and blood clotting.
As you age, you release calcium through sweat, skin cells, and body waste, so keeping your levels at their optimum is essential.
Menopause Supplements from BetterYou
Supporting your body through the menopause may require a wide range of lifestyle choices. However, ensuring you are obtaining the vitamins and minerals your body needs is vital to your health during this time.
At BetterYou, our menopause supplements provide you with the nutrients needed to encourage overall health during the menopause. Our pill-free supplements make it hassle-free and convenient to intake nutrients. Take your oral spray, spray into your mouth, and continue about your day, with our pioneering pill-free method of supplementation.