Over The Counter Herbal Products
There are many complementary and alternative medicine products available over the counter and online, with various formulations of herbs and/or nutrients for treating the symptoms of menopause. The effectiveness of these preparations can vary greatly due to the combination of herbs used, as well as the quality or amounts of herbs used.
The best way to seek guidance about these herbal remedies is to consult a health practitioner trained in herbal medicine use, such as a herbalist/naturopath or Chinese medicine practitioner.
We know that about 13% of Australian women use CAM therapies for managing hot flushes, and that the three most commonly used CAM therapies are phytoestrogens , evening primrose oil and ginseng. We know that these are not necessarily the most effective remedies, and we also know that only about 25% of these women consult an expert for advice about these therapies. Therefore, many women may be making inappropriate or indeed, ineffective choices.
When buying herbal medicines over the counter, you need to consider some of these factors:
- The quality and standard of herbal preparations, including those available over the counter and online, can vary considerably
- Some herbal products can interact with other pharmaceutical therapies, but their labels might not necessarily carry a warning
- The best way to use herbal remedies is under the guidance of a well-trained herbalist/naturopath.
What Are The Best Vitamins For Menopause Symptoms
During menopause, you may find your skin becomes drier than usual. This is down to your hormones. Adding more Vitamin A into your diet, may help to support overall skin health, vision and even your immune system.
Whilst Vitamin A does not have any proven benefits in targeting specific menopause symptoms, its role in skin support, vision and thyroid function may play a greater role in supporting your overall health.
The recommended dosage is around 700 mcg, and it is fat-soluble, meaning the body can absorb it better if consumed with a little fat, preferably the healthy, plant kind. The body can also produce vitamin A from the beta carotene found in fruit and vegetables, including red peppers, kale, carrots, sweet potato, mango, and grapefruit.
Good food sources for Vitamin A include:
- Beef and lamb liver
This is possibly one of the most important ones on the list, and many women are deficient in it. Magnesium is involved in a wide variety of processes within the body, including muscle and nerve function, blood sugar and pressure regulation, metabolism, and bone formation.
In supporting heart health, magnesium may also decrease the risk of developing conditions such as diabetes and osteoporosis, particularly in the later stages of your menopause journey.
Good food sources of magnesium include:
- Brown rice
The recommended daily intake is around 75 mg, and some good food sources include:
Vitamins B6 and B12
What Are The Other Ways To Manage Symptoms Of Menopause
If you start to experience symptoms like sleep disturbances, aches and pains, mood changes, fatigue, feeling hot at night and changes to their menstrual cycles then you should speak with a healthcare professional who has an expertise in hormone health, so they can ease the path through perimenopause and menopause, recommends Dr Kaikavoosi. They may, she adds, suggest hormone replacement therapy , which relieves symptoms by replacing female hormones.
More generally, you can make tweaks to your lifestyle. We should all be eating well – including eliminating where possible sugar, dairy and processed food from our diets – and staying hydrated, says Dr Adib. Aim to exercise three times a week to help mood and keep joints flexible, and lower stress to a minimum with mindfulness, meditation and therapy.
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Vitamin D: Get Some Sun
Vitamin D is just as important as calcium for bone health. Without vitamin D, your body can’t absorb calcium. Most adults need 600 IU daily. Those 71 and older need 800 IU per day. Vitamin D is in many foods and supplements, but there’s another source: the sun.
Tip: You may have heard that your body produces vitamin D when exposed to sun. That’s true, but even small amounts of sun can lead to skin damage. It’s best to focus on food and use supplements if you don’t get enough in your diet.
Avoiding Stimulants And Alcohol
It is tempting to rely on stimulants such as caffeine when energy levels are low. However, too much caffeine may disrupt sleep . This may mean a person feels more tired during the day.
Similarly, while alcohol can help people feel drowsy when they are having difficulty sleeping, it lowers sleep quality overall. For some, it is also a hot flash trigger.
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Dr Vegan Menofriend Menopause Support
MenoFriend is an acclaimed formula of clinically tested botanicals, minerals and phytoestrogens to relieve common symptoms of menopause, including hot flushes, poor sleep, weight gain and joint aches.
The ingredients include Wild Yam, Dong Quai, Red Clover and more to help regulate your hormone activity to support a better mood, sleep, energy and joints every day.
How Can I Treat Menopause Naturally
There are many ways to treat menopause without medication. Getting regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can help alleviate some symptoms. Increase your nutrient intake by eating regular meals of foods rich in calcium, vitamin D, phytoestrogens, and protein, including plenty of fruits and vegetables and no processed foods or refined sugar. Stay hydrated and work on reducing stress through yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, or acupuncture.
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Natural Remedies For Menopause
In addition to diet, there are many natural remedies that have been used by naturopathic doctors for centuries to help offer women menopausal relief. Researchers recommend using maca root, for example, which allows the endocrine system to better regulate mood, metabolism, and energy levels all of which can serve to alleviate pesky irritations caused by menopause. Though its unclear exactly how maca works, experts believe it may suppress the follicle-stimulating hormone , which is important, because low estrogen levels and high FSH levels may cause hot flashes.
Root herb black cohosh, flaxseed, red clover, and evening primrose oil have all been shown to help quell hot flashes, while plant extract kava, which can help with generalized anxiety, and St. Johns Wort, which treats mild to moderate depression, are sometimes used to help control mood swings.
If you need some help beyond what your diet and natural remedies can provide, it may be time to take a supplement. Read on for Womans Worlds picks for the best menopause supplements for women over 50!
Note: Before taking any herbs, supplements, or vitamins, its imperative that you first talk to your doctor, as some herbs are not compatible with other medicines, and/or medical conditions, such as liver disease.
Womans World has affiliate partnerships so we may receive compensation for some links to products and services.
See more of our best product recommendations.
Is Black Cohosh Safe To Use
Black cohosh is generally safe when taken appropriately, but there are some people who should avoid it or use it very carefully, Dr. Lin says.
Side effects of black cohosh are uncommon but may include:
- Breast pain or enlargement.
- Upset stomach.
- Vaginal spotting.
Cases of liver failure have been reported following the use of black cohosh, though researchers arent sure whether thats actually a result of the supplement. Still, if you have liver disease, you should stay away from black cohosh or use it with caution and have your liver function periodically monitored, Dr. Lin advises.
People who are pregnant or breastfeeding also shouldnt use black cohosh due to its impact on the hormones.
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The 7 Best Supplements And Vitamins For Energy According To A Doctor
If your energy lags by mid-day or you wake up tired and spend the whole day feeling sleepy, it could be a matter of needing to get more shut-eye or up your physical activity. But another possibility is that youâre falling short on certain nutrients and vitamins.
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This could be the result of a restrictive diet, where groups of foods are eliminated, or due to a health condition that leads to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, says Liz Weinandy, a registered dietician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
âShortages of several nutrients can affect our energy levels,â Weinandy says. Take a look at some key nutrients that could be behind low energy levels Ã¢ along with the recommended supplements and foods to help you boost your intake of them.
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How To Manage Menopause Fatigue
Menopause fatigue is real. You can help relieve some of the symptoms by trying different things such as:
Soy-rich foods. Foods high in soy are high in a chemical that gives you the same benefits that estrogen has on your body. This can help even out some of the hormones.
Avoid eating spicy food. Spicy food is notorious for triggering hot flashes â avoid it if you can.
Dress in lightweight clothing. When you go to bed, wear lightweight clothing to help keep you cool in case a hot flash comes on.
Exercise. Exercising regularly can help you fall and stay asleep, improving your sleep quality overall.
Medication and therapies. Some medications called serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been shown to help menopausal women with sleep symptoms.
Hormone replacement therapies may also help improve your sleep quality, although they come with some risks and potential health concerns. Starting hormone replacement therapy is a serious decision that your doctor can help you make.
Acupuncture. Some women have found that alternative therapies, like acupuncture, can help improve sleep and overall wellbeing.
Sleep aids. Sleep aids can be helpful from time to time, but you donât want to become reliant on them. Itâs helpful to try incorporating other things, too. You can wind down before you go to bed, go to bed at the same time every night, not watch TV in bed, and not look at your cell phone in bed.
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How Menopause Supplements Work
Menopause supplements use a combination of botanicals, vitamins, minerals, and other elements to treat common menopause symptoms. Some menopause supplements are designed to treat specific issues , but in general, they are made to treat:
- Hot flashes
- Changes in mood
- Hormone imbalance
Menopause supplements usually fall into one of two categories: phytoestrogenic or hormone-regulating. A phytoestrogenic supplement uses plant hormones to correct hormonal imbalance. Hormone-regulating supplements contain ingredients that stimulate hormone production in the body. Symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats result from lowered estrogen production, so supplements that are designed to restore estrogen levels help with these thermoregulation issues.
Which Vitamins May Help With Menopause Symptoms
Several vitamins and minerals could help relieve menopause symptoms.
For instance, vitamin D supplements have been shown to support vaginal health and decrease vaginal dryness, especially during menopause .
Meanwhile, some research suggests that B vitamins such as folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 play a central role in brain health and may also help protect against depression, an issue that affects many people during menopause (
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How Much Magnesium Does A Menopausal Woman Need
For most menopausal women, we advise between 250 400mg of magnesium daily. MagAsorb Ultra 375mg is an excellent choice for its absorption and quality.Magnesium is a powerful and versatile mineral that can support many areas of your physical and psychological health in menopause. Throughout this natural hormonal transition, you should try to eat plenty of magnesium-rich foods or take a quality supplement as an insurance policy.Learn more about managing your health in menopause in our Menopause hub
Ashwagandha: For Stress And Anxiety In Menopause
Hormonal changes in menopause can make whatever stress you have feel that much bigger by exacerbating the physical effects of stress on your body. Suddenly you have less energy, more anxiety, mood swings, and maybe even depression.
Ashwagandha is one of the best herbs for stress and anxiety in menopause. Ashwagandha ranks hight among natural mood enhancers for menopause because the herb is an adaptogenanother normalizerwhich makes it a great tonic for the adrenal glands. Ashwagandha can also boost a sluggish thyroid, and it counteracts depression and makes your brain function better, especially for memory issues due to stress.
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Calcium: Preventing Bone Loss
Bone loss can become a serious problem once hormone levels drop after menopause. It’s crucial to get enough calcium. Women under 51 need 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day. Women 51 and older need 1,200 milligrams a day.
Tip: It’s best to get your calcium from food. If you need supplements to fill the gap, take smaller doses with food during the day . You’ll absorb it better.
Signs And Symptoms Of Menopause Fatigue
People with menopause-related fatigue may feel they have less energy than usual. This may need to take more breaks while doing tasks, find activities such as walking upstairs more exerting, or take longer to recover from exercise.
Fatigue can affect people mentally, too. People with mental fatigue can have more difficulty thinking, concentrating, remembering, or making decisions.
However, it is worth noting that the signs of menopause-related fatigue can also be symptoms of physical or mental illnesses. It is a good idea to speak with a doctor so that they can determine if menopause is the likely cause.
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Herbs And Supplements For Menopause
Menopause is the natural decline of female reproductive hormone production and conclusion of a womans menstrual cycles. It usually begins during your 40s or 50s .
Common menopause symptoms include hot flashes, vaginal dryness, chills, night sweats, weight gain, irregular periods, labile moods, decreased sex drive, poor sleep, bone loss, headaches, anxiety, and depression .
Since its a completely natural process, treatments focus primarily on symptom management. A variety of pharmaceutical drugs are available, but the risk of side effects leads many women to use alternative therapies either alongside or instead of conventional treatments .
Remember to consult your healthcare provider before adding any supplements to your routine.
Here are 10 herbs and supplements commonly used to manage menopause symptoms, plus the evidence behind them and relevant safety information.
Long used in Native American herbal medicine to treat a variety of illnesses, its currently most often taken to alleviate night sweats and hot flashes associated with menopause.
Two reviews that included data on over 8,000 perimenopausal, menopausal, and postmenopausal women concluded that insufficient evidence exists to determine whether black cohosh is any more effective than a placebo at treating menopause symptoms .
However, the authors noted that more research may be warranted.
Nonetheless, this evidence is weak, and more research is needed.
Why Do We Need Supplements
Due to over-farming and the extensive use of pesticides, the soil in which our food is grown has become depleted in minerals. Fruit and vegetables in the 1980s had on average 20% less minerals than they did in the 1930s, with some losses as high as 70%.
Nutrient depletion of our foods occurs further due to food storage and food processing, and at the same time our nutrient requirements may be increasing as we are exposed to air and water pollutants, and other environmental toxins, which the body has to detoxify. This increased requirement is further compounded by Western diets high in refined foods, sugar, coffee and alcohol and a stressful lifestyle. All these factors combined increase the need for vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients.
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What Is Chronic Fatigue
Chronic fatigue is a medical condition that causes long-term tiredness and lack of energy. It is not the same as being generally tired or exhausted from hard work or exercise, but it can feel similar to those who suffer from it.
People with chronic fatigue often have difficulty completing daily tasks and may even struggle with simple things like showering or getting dressed. Activities that were once easy to do, such as going out with friends or working a full-time job, and raising a family, may suddenly become overwhelming and difficult for someone with chronic fatigue.
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How Much Is Perimenopause Fatigue Supplements
perimenopause fatigue supplements come in a variety of designs and pricing ranges. Its difficult to predict product costs nowadays. You dont know how much something costs because the pricing range is so vast. For example, a pair of pants can range from $20 to $200 depending on where you buy them. Similarly, additional goods like as perimenopause fatigue supplements.
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What Is The Most Effective Treatment For Fatigue During Menopause
Fatigue is a complex, multi-faceted symptom that can plague people at any stage of life. It is impacted by overall physical and mental health, by daily stresses and life events. But one of the most common and, at the same time, most troublesome times to experience fatigue is during menopause and the preceding perimenopause transition. Whats more, it often lasts for years, and its course is different for every woman.
Menopause-related fatigue can be caused by changing estrogen levels, but it is often compounded by common symptoms. Chief among these are vasomotor symptoms, which are experienced by up to 80% of women and include hot flashes and night sweats that can disrupt sleep. Whatever the point of origin, this fatigue can impact both womens personal and professional lives. With the proper support, however, treatment for fatigue during menopause can address the cascade of related symptoms and significantly improve quality of life.