The onset of menopause is a great inspiration to start taking care of ourselves. Even if you had been leading an exemplary healthy life, with lots of exercises and a nutritious diet, remember that menopause has its own needs and privileges.
There are vitamins you should concentrate on in order to keep your body healthy and supplied with what it needs. The symptoms of menopause aren't trivial, but taking the right supplements and vitamins can give you the upper hand in winning the battle against them.
The loss of estrogen takes its toll, and in addition to uncomfortable symptoms, there is a number of conditions you want to stay away from, but menopause puts you at ahigher risk of:
Heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases
Having a low level of certain vitamins can also put you at a higher risk of those dangerous diseases and conditions.
Here is a list of essential vitamins that can give you a headstart in managing menopause symptoms and warding off some of them altogether. Remember, some symptoms of a vitamin deficiency can disguise themselves as menopause symptoms - better rule them out!
The best thing about eating a balanced diet that's full of all the right vitamins are the amazing recipes you can find. The best vitamins are in the best foods - colorful chards, sweet potatoes, peppers, greens and fatty fish. If you play your cards right, eating healthily will be the best and the most delicious thing you have done for yourself.
Vitamin B-12 is a water-soluble vitamin, and it is needed by the nervous system and the production of DNA in our body. It helps to support healthy brain functions. It can be found in:
Liver (especially lamb)
Fortified cereal and milk
Adults should have an intake of 2.4 mcg (micrograms) of vitamin B-12 a day. Careful - if you have conditions like celiac disease, lupus, or Graves' disease, or have been taking diabetes medication like metformin, you are at a higher risk of developing a B12 deficiency. B-12 gets harder to absorb with age, so menopausal women should be on the lookout for symptoms associated with a deficiency of this vitamin.
Symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency:
a sore red tongue or mouth ulcers
pins and needles
As you can see, these can merge with other menopausal symptoms. Make sure you're getting enough vitamin B-12 and you may get rid of some of these symptoms as well.
Vitamin B-6 is water-soluble and is crucial for metabolizing carbohydrates and fats. It also helps to produce red blood cells and keep your nervous system functioning properly. It plays a vital role in mood regulation and has been linked to reducing depression. Vitamin B-6 has to be gotten from outside sources - your body cannot produce it by itself, therefore vitamin B-6 deficiencies are more common than others.
If you're not getting enough vitamin B-6, you may be at a higher risk of depression. This is a particularly risky condition for menopausal women since so many possible factors play into mood changes and depressive conditions. Somestudiessuggest that low levels of this vitamin might more than double the risk!
Significant sources of vitamin B-6 include:
Vitamin B-6 might help with the "brain fog" of menopause - it helps to keep your neurotransmitters in shape, and it helps with memory. Research suggests that deficiencies in vitamin B-6 are linked to:
Weakened immune system
Tingling in hands and feet
As you can see, some of these symptoms are similar to menopause symptoms.
Vitamin D is fat-soluble, and it can be obtained from supplements, sunlight on the skin, and certain foods like:
Fortified foods like milk or cereals
Vitamin D aids incalcium absorption, which is a crucial helping factor in avoiding osteoporosis and managing good bone health.
Vitamin D also plays a role inreducing inflammation andglucose metabolism. These functions can help with many menopause symptoms like altered blood sugar and joint inflammation.
According to a 2017studypublished inThe American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, early menopause affects as much as 10% of women. This means going through menopause before the age of 45. The study evaluated the effect of vitamin D intake on early menopause and found that women with the highest vitamin D intake had a significantlylower risk of early menopause. The study also focused on calcium from dietary sources. Let's sum this up!
Making sure you get enough vitamin D before, during, and after menopause is important because it:
Helps with calcium absorption
Promotes glucose metabolism
Lowers the risk of early menopause by 17%
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin. It helps to manage free radicals in your body and is a major antioxidant. You might have noticed that a lot of creams, soaps, and shampoos are fortified with vitamin E to keep your skin smooth. It's also used as a natural preservative in a lot of high-shelf cosmetic products.
Free radicals can contribute to the risk of atherosclerosis, and can be a factor in the development of cancer, vision loss, and other conditions that are associated with aging. Vitamin E should be supplemented and ingested by women over 50 because it helps with a lot of age-related issues.
Take vitamin E for:
Vision problems (age-related)
You can naturally find vitamin E in foods like:
Dark leafy greens (these add a lot of folic acid to your diet as well)
Sunflower seeds and sunflower oil
Wheat germ oil
Vitamins for hot flashes and night sweats
If you're looking to target specific menopausal symptoms with your vitamin intake, you can. Hot flashes and night sweats are probably some of the most dreaded symptoms that most women hear about, and most women over 50 have experienced them.
What vitamins should you pay particular attention to if you want to target those pesky hot flashes, not to mention uncomfortable, insomnia-causing night sweats?
The Mayo Clinic suggests lots of therapies that can help with dealing with hot flashes and night sweats in particular. In addition to hormone therapies, supplements like plant estrogens, and getting more exercise, the vitamin that seems to be crucial in helping to relieve hot flashes and night sweats isvitamin E.It's important to remember that too much vitamin E can be harmful - never take more than the recommended dose.
Vitamins for bone health
If you are looking at your multivitamin ingredients and want to make sure you're getting enough vitamins to keep your bones healthy, you should pay particular attention to:
Vitamin D - when taken with calcium, it plays a very important role in bone health and fending off osteoporosis.
There were studies done that found that poor bone density and compromised bone health are associated with the deficiency in these:
This shows how a big variety in your diet can have an effect on healthy, strong bones. Don't forget that even if you're taking all the right vitamins you still need to mind your mineral intake - make sure that your diet is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc!
There are some things that negatively impact your bone health and density - smoking, drinking alcohol and physical inactivity can all cause bone loss.
Risks and Warnings
Taking vitamins is not enough by itself. While these can help and aid you, you should focus on getting rid of habits like smoking, high alcohol intake, and low intake of calcium in your diet. Exercise is also crucial to keeping yourself healthy and has been proven to keep osteoporosis and heart disease at bay.
Some vitamin deficiencies can seem very much like your menopause symptoms.
Take a look at your daily multivitamin if you're taking one - see that all the essential recommended vitamins are in it, and see what the right dosage is. Some multivitamins have a small print that says you should take more than one a day, meaning that the serving size might be two or three. The daily dosage seen on the bottle reflects that daily serving.
Before taking any vitamins and supplements, you should check the recommended dosage, and check if the brand you're buying has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
The Bottom Line
There are a lot of steps you can take to improve how you're feeling. Hot flashes, night sweats, foggy thinking, mood swings - are just some of the troublesome symptoms that women face during menopause.
This is the perfect time to think about a change in your lifestyle - for the better and healthier. Exercising more and getting more variety in your diet is very important. But don't just concentrate on supplements, herbal remedies, and medical therapies - remember to take your vitamins!
Multivitamins designed especially for menopause can help you manage your symptoms and improve your overall long-term health. Healthy bones don't just happen overnight - but they can be rebuilt over time with proper nutrition, exercise, and vitamin intake.
If you have any pesky habits like smoking or overindulging in alcohol, think about how you can quit.