The Best Menopause Supplements to Start Using Today

Every year in the United States, approximately 1.3 million women become menopausal. When going through this period, most women experience a variety of unpleasant side effects, from weight gain and hot flashes to mood swings and night sweats. 

The good news is that there are a lot of supplements designed to help women naturally control their symptoms. Read on to learn more about the most effective strategies and menopause supplements you can try today.

 

Looking for menopause supplements? - Menopause Supplements Guide - Better Body Co

What Is the Difference Between Perimenopause and Menopause?

Even though every woman will go through it at some point, a lot of women know very little about menopause symptoms or the menopause natural remedies available to them. It might feel like a taboo subject, but menopause matters. You deserve to be informed about what’s going on with your body. 

Before we get into specific menopause natural treatment options, let’s make sure you understand the basics, including the difference between menopause and perimenopause:

  • Perimenopause: A transitionary period that begins several years before menopause, often in a woman’s 40s or late 30s; the ovaries slowly start to produce less estrogen during this time
  • Menopause: Occurs when estrogen production declines to the point that the ovaries stop releasing eggs and menstruation stops

A woman is considered to have gone through menopause when she’s stopped menstruating for 12 months or longer. At this point, she’ll likely be deemed post-menopausal by her physician.  

What Are the Most Common Perimenopause Symptoms?

Perimenopause can last for a long time, and symptoms often come on gradually. A woman might find that she goes through perimenopause for years before she even realizes that changes are taking place.

The symptoms of perimenopause look a lot like those of menopause, which we’ll explain in greater detail later on in this article. The following are some of the most common symptoms women report experiencing:

  • Hot flashes
  • Breast tenderness
  • Worsened PMS (premenstrual syndrome)
  • Irregular periods
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Vaginal dryness or discomfort during sex
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Sleeping difficulties

Initially, these symptoms are often quite mild. Over time, though, as estrogen continues to decline and a woman gets closer to menopause, they tend to become more severe and more noticeable. 

For women who are unsure if they are going through perimenopause but are experiencing these symptoms, it’s a good idea to see a doctor. They can help you determine whether it’s perimenopause that you’re dealing with or another health condition. 

To diagnose perimenopause, doctors will most often use a blood test to check hormone levels, specifically levels of estrogen and progesterone. Both estrogen and progesterone tend to decline when a woman is going through perimenopause. These decreases in hormone production can contribute to irregular periods, hot flashes, and other symptoms.

What Causes the Most Common Perimenopause and Menopause Symptoms?

All perimenopausal and menopausal women are different. At the same time, though, there are some common symptoms that the majority of them experience, at least to some degree. 

Here are some more details on these symptoms, as well as what causes them:

Hot Flashes

A hot flash is a sudden feeling of heat. It may be accompanied by sweating, as well as redness in the face and neck (when this happens, it’s considered to be a “hot flush”). 

Hot flashes and hot flushes both occur when the blood vessels near the surface of the skin cool down. When this happens, it causes you to feel hot and start sweating. In some cases, women also experience chills after a hot flash.

Hot flashes are most commonly triggered by changes in hormone levels. Most experts believe that they occur because decreases in estrogen cause the hypothalamus (a part of the brain that acts as your body’s thermostat) to become more sensitive to changes in temperature. 

Sleep Problems

Having night sweats or sleep problems? - Menopause Supplements Guide - Better Body Co

 

If a hot flash occurs at night, it’s considered a night sweat. Many perimenopausal and menopausal women notice that they experience night sweats that keep them awake or make it hard for them to sleep soundly. 

In addition to night sweats, other sleep issues are also common during perimenopause and menopause. For example, changes in estrogen and progesterone levels can increase feelings of anxiety. This anxiety, in turn, can make it harder for women to fall asleep or stay asleep. 

Menopausal and post-menopausal women might also be more prone to sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition that involves temporary cessation of breathing while one is asleep. This, in turn, causes the person to wake up during the night and have trouble sleeping soundly. It can lead to issues like daytime fatigue, depression, anxiety, and headaches as well.

Low Energy Levels

If a woman is having trouble sleeping through the night because of hot flashes and other problems related to menopause, it’s likely that she’s going to experience low energy levels throughout the day. Even if sleep isn’t a problem, though, low energy is still common during menopause. 

This period of a woman’s life causes a series of changes in her sex hormones, as well as her thyroid and adrenal hormones, all of which play an important role in cellular energy regulation. When these processes are thrown off, it’s normal to feel more fatigued or to tire out easily even after getting a good night’s sleep.

Weight Gain

There are lots of reasons why women tend to gain weight during menopause. Low levels of estrogen promote belly fat storage and increased waist circumference, for example. Higher levels of visceral belly fat are also associated with several other weight-related health problems, including type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and heart disease.

Weight gain during menopause can also be attributed to decreases in one’s activity. Menopausal women are often less active than their younger counterparts. This is due, in part, to the fact that they’re struggling with fatigue and other symptoms that decrease their motivation to exercise. 

Because they move less, these women burn fewer calories throughout the day and are more prone to weight gain. This is especially true if their food intake and dietary patterns have not changed.

Skin Changes

Changes in skin health and appearance are another common complaint among menopausal women. 

Decreases in estrogen can lead to dry, dull, or thinning skin. This, in turn, can result in more wrinkles and fine lines, as well as a general lack of plumpness and youthfulness. 

Perimenopausal and menopausal women might also notice that they have more sunspots and discoloration. They can bruise more easily, too, thanks to the fact that their skin is thinner and more sensitive. 

Hair Changes

Hair quality changes are common, too. Many women lose hair during and after menopause, or they may notice that their hair is dryer and more brittle. 

Sometimes, menopausal and post-menopausal women develop facial hair as well. They may notice hairs popping up on their chin or above their lip. This happens because levels of female hormones (estrogen and progesterone) fall during and after menopause, while testosterone levels remain the same or even increase slightly.

Poor Digestive Health

During and leading up to menopause, a lot of women complain about poor digestive health. They might be more prone to bloating and stomach upset, for example, and they may find that they struggle with constipation or diarrhea as well. Women with Irritable bowel Syndrome (or IBS) often notice that their symptoms get worse during menopause, too.

Digestive distress often happens during menopause because of, you guessed, hormonal changes. Estrogen plays an important role in balancing cortisol, one of your body’s stress hormones. 

If cortisol increases due to low levels of estrogen, digestion tends to slow down. This can lead to problems like cramping, constipation, bloating, and acid reflux.

Vaginal Dryness

Menopause can cause vaginal dryness and low sex drive - Menopause Supplements Guide - Better Body Co

 

A decrease in estrogen can contribute to vaginal dryness for many menopausal women. This increased dryness, in turn, can lead to discomfort during sex. It also increases women’s likelihood of developing vaginal infections.

Low Sex Drive

When women are struggling with menopause-related vaginal dryness and discomfort, they may find that they’re less interested in sex than they were previously. 

Menopause can also contribute to a decrease in libido because of the other physical changes it causes. For example, women may experience a lower sex drive if they’ve gained weight, aren’t sleeping well, or are generally feeling uncomfortable due to hot flashes. 

Migraines

Decreases in estrogen can trigger headaches and migraines in some women. In particular, women who struggle with headaches or migraines at certain points in their cycle when estrogen is at its lowest (during menstruation or after ovulation) may find that they experience more headaches and migraines during menopause. 

Brain Fog

Lots of women complain of brain fog and memory problems during menopause. This has to do, in part, with the fact that many women experience sleep problems during this stage of life. Poor sleep makes it much harder for them to focus during the day and can have a negative impact on their memory recall.

Some experts believe that low estrogen levels also contribute to menopause-related brain fog and memory issues. This is because estrogen contributes to language skills, attention, memory, and several other brain processes.

Depression

It’s common for women to complain of depression while experiencing menopause, too. When the body is going through so many changes, it’s easy to feel out of control, and this can cause some women to feel depressed or defeated. Hormonal fluctuations and poor sleep can lead to mood swings and depression as well. 

Are There Any Post-Menopause Health Risks?

There are some post-menopause health risks that women may face, too. For example, women may develop poor bone health and face an increased risk of osteoporosis. This is because decreases in estrogen can contribute to bone loss and lower calcium levels.

Reduced immune health is common, too. Research also shows that women who go through menopause after 55 are more likely to develop certain types of cancer, including uterine, ovarian, and breast cancer. 

Post-menopausal women also face a greater risk of heart disease and stroke. Estrogen helps to keep the blood vessels open and relaxed. It also promotes healthy cholesterol levels. 

When estrogen decreases after menopause, women may be more prone to poor cardiovascular function. This is especially true if they do not take steps to keep their hearts healthy (regular exercise, healthy diet, etc.).

Symptoms of Menopause: What Helps?

There’s no question that these symptoms are often unpleasant. We’ve got good information for you, too, though. 

There are lots of steps women can take and products they can use to manage their symptoms and support their bodies. The following are some of the most common treatment recommendations women may receive from their doctors:

  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Vaginal estrogen (usually administered via a cream, tablet, or ring)
  • Low-dose prescription antidepressants
  • Gabapentin (for hot flashes)
  • Clonidine (for hot flashes)

Sometimes, doctors also recommend medications and supplements (like calcium and vitamin D) that are meant to reduce one’s risk of osteoporosis. 

How Can I Treat Menopause Naturally?

You can treat menopause naturally - Menopause Supplements Guide - Better Body Co

 

When it comes to treating menopause naturally, there are lots of steps you can take to decrease the severity of your symptoms and make this stage of life more tolerable. 

If you don’t want to rely on prescription medications or other medical interventions, here are some of the most common recommendations doctors, naturopaths, and holistic practitioners recommend:

  • Dietary changes
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Hormone-balancing supplements (herbal products, probiotics, etc.)
  • Mind-body practices (yoga, meditation, etc.)

These solutions can be used on their own or in conjunction with other treatment modalities. 

What Are the Benefits of Treating Menopause Naturally?

Some women are wary of using certain medicinal approaches when it comes to treating their menopause symptoms. These concerns are understandable. Treatment options like synthetic hormone therapy come with a variety of risks and can exacerbate symptoms in some women. 

Some synthetic hormones have even been shown to contribute to serious health problems, including the following:

  • Breast cancer
  • Stroke
  • Blood clots
  • Dementia

Because of the potential risks associated with certain conventional treatment methods, many women prefer taking a more natural approach to combating their menopause symptoms. 

There are lots of advantages to natural symptom management. When naturally managing menopause symptoms, the treatment options are often far less invasive. There’s no need for regular hormone injections, for example. 

These treatment methods also come with fewer side effects in many cases as well. Women are less likely to notice their symptoms getting worse before they get better, and they may see improvements sooner.

Another great advantage that comes with taking a more holistic approach is that practices improve women’s overall health. 

In addition to balancing their hormones and minimizing the severity of their menopause symptoms, women can also experience better heart health, better digestive health, and increased physical fitness. All of this helps to decrease their risk of experiencing other health problems, including some of those that may be more likely to affect them post-menopause (such as heart disease, blood clots, osteoporosis, etc.).

How Do You Stop Weight Gain During Menopause?

For many women, one of the most troubling aspects of going through menopause is weight gain. This is a common side effect of the hormone changes that occur when menstruation stops, but it’s not inevitable. 

If you’re worried about gaining weight and want to do what you can to prevent it, listed below are some of the most effective strategies you ought to consider trying:

Add in Healthy Foods

When women first start seeking medical treatment to cope with changes in mood, hot flashes, and the other symptoms, they’re often told to make adjustments to their diet. 

Dietary changes can have a big impact on a woman’s hormone balance during menopause. Some common nutrition therapy recommendations include:

  • Eating more fruits and vegetables
  • Consuming high-quality protein sources (meat, poultry, eggs, fish, etc.)
  • Consuming more soy, as well as other plant-based products that are high in phytoestrogens (compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body)
  • Drinking plenty of water to promote hydration and natural detox

You may want to try adjusting your macronutrient ratios during menopause, too. Macronutrients are proteins, carbohydrates, and fats — the nutrients your body needs in significant quantities in order to survive. 

When you’re going through menopause, it can be beneficial to decrease your carbohydrate consumption and increase your consumption of protein and healthy fats. Eating fewer carbohydrates during menopause can help to improve your insulin sensitivity and minimize your cravings. This, in turn, can help to prevent blood sugar swings and make it easier for you to avoid weight gain.

Identify and Decrease Consumption of Trigger Foods

In many cases, during or leading up to menopause, your doctor will also recommend reducing your consumption of foods that are high in sugar, as well as processed foods and alcohol. These foods and beverages can cause blood sugar swings and energy crashes. For some women, they might also worsen symptoms like night sweats, weight gain, and poor sleep.

If you notice that certain foods or beverages make your symptoms worse, these are considered trigger foods. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Pastries and baked goods (doughnuts, muffins, cookies, etc.)
  • Fast food
  • Fatty meats
  • Caffeinated drinks

Spicy foods can make menopause symptoms worse in some women, too. They may contribute to hot flashes or cause digestive issues like heartburn or bloating.

Focus on Vitamins and Minerals

During and after menopause, the body often needs additional help to get adequate amounts of certain vitamins and minerals. 

For example, vitamin D is very important during menopause, as is calcium. Both of these play an important role in promoting bone health, which can be negatively affected by low estrogen levels. Vitamin D also helps to strengthen the immune system and minimize inflammation.  

Iron is beneficial during menopause as well. It helps to reduce your risk of anemia, promotes healthy blood cells, and keeps your metabolism functioning in the most optimal way. Most women don’t need to supplement with iron when going through menopause, but they should still make sure they’re consuming a few servings of iron-rich foods per day (lean red meat, fish, eggs, poultry, leafy greens, etc.). 

It’s also important to consume adequate fiber during menopause. Appropriate fiber consumption (around 21-25 grams per day) is associated with a decreased risk of health conditions like heart disease and obesity. It can help to improve digestion and increase feelings of fullness, too, which is helpful for menopausal women who experience more cravings and are prone to overeating. 

Exercise Regularly

Exercising regularly to help manage weight - Menopause Supplements Guide - Better Body Co

 

If you want to reduce your weight gain and support your overall health during this period, research shows that exercising at least a few times per week (if not every day) is safe and can make a big difference. 

Focus on low-impact forms of exercise and place a special emphasis on strength training (lifting weights or doing bodyweight exercises like squats and push-ups). Strength training helps to increase your muscle mass. This, in turn, can speed up your metabolism so you burn more calories at rest and during your workouts. 

Strength training improves your bone health, too. It strengthens the bones and makes them more resistant to fractures, which is very important since post-menopausal women are more likely to develop osteoporosis.

Start a Smart Supplement Protocol

Finally, a carefully planned supplement protocol can have a big impact on your mood, hormone levels, and overall health as you go through this stage of life. By taking the right menopause supplements each day, you can balance your hormones in a safe and effective way while also combatting your worst symptoms. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for natural remedies for menopause weight gain or natural remedies for hot flushes. Either way, there are plenty of herbs and supplements that can help you feel better and enjoy a higher quality of life while going through menopause.

How to Get Rid of Hot Flashes?

In addition to weight gain, hot flashes are one of the most troublesome menopause symptoms with which nearly all women struggle. There are quite a few strategies women can implement to control hot flashes, though, without having to turn to over-the-counter or prescription medications. 

Here are some of the most well-known and effective approaches to try:

Keep Your House (and Yourself) Cool

This is an easy solution that can help you find relief right away. Lowering the thermostat in your home, using fans, and opening windows are simple ways to keep the house cool. 

Consider dressing in layers, too. That way, you can easily shed clothing to feel more comfortable when a hot flash arises.

Avoid Trigger Foods

Once you’ve identified trigger foods that make your menopause symptoms (including hot flashes) worse, do your best to avoid them. Keep them out of the house if possible so you’re not tempted by them on a regular basis.

Manage Stress

When you’re struggling with high levels of stress, you may notice that you deal with more hot flashes. Take steps to keep your stress under control whenever possible. 

Consider taking up yoga or meditation, for example, or do an activity that you enjoy like watching a favorite show on TV or reading a book. Remember that managing your stress will help to improve your sleep and minimize many other menopause symptoms, too.

Some women also notice benefits from alternative health practices like acupuncture or massage. Both of these can be effective when it comes to reducing stress and promoting relaxation. 

Avoid Smoking

Smoking comes with a myriad of health risks for people of all ages, but it’s especially problematic for certain menopausal or perimenopausal women. Women who smoke and have certain genes related to estrogen metabolism may experience more severe hot flashes than others. Quitting smoking is a simple (although, of course, not easy) way to combat this issue.

Maintain a Healthy Weight 

Maintaining a healthy weight during menopause will help to minimize hot flashes, too. Women who are overweight or obese often experience more severe and/or more frequent hot flashes. Losing weight can make them more bearable and will likely reduce the severity and frequency of many other symptoms.  

What Is the Best Natural Hormone Replacement for Menopause?

When it comes to choosing menopause and perimenopause supplements, there are tons of options on the market. Not all of them are created equal, though. Plenty of products that claim to be great forms of natural hormone therapy don’t contain any ingredients that are truly beneficial.

Before you start taking any kind of supplement, it’s important to check the ingredients list and ensure there are studies and reviews from doctors backing up the product. The following are some of the most thoroughly researched supplements women needing menopause help might want to consider:

Red Clover

For menopause treatment, natural supplements are often very effective. One of the most popular options is red clover. 

Red clover is a legume and a good source of isoflavones. Isoflavones are a type of phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogens mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. 

Since estrogen declines during menopause, using red clover and other products that contain isoflavones can be very helpful. This is especially true when it comes to getting rid of hot flashes, night sweats, sleep challenges, and other symptoms. Phytoestrogens can help to make up for a decrease in estrogen and lessen the severity of these issues.  

Black Cohosh

Black cohosh is an herb that’s part of the buttercup family. It aids in body temperature regulation and may be beneficial when it comes to combating hot flashes and night sweats. 

Some women find it black cohosh to be very helpful in reducing the severity of their menopause symptoms. They also experience minimal side effects when they start using it on a consistent basis. 

Research shows that black cohosh can help to treat hot flashes without having negative effects on hormone-sensitive tissues (breast tissue, uterine tissue, etc.), making it a safe option for menopausal women to consider using.

Ginseng

Ginseng is an herb that, like many other herbal remedies for menopause symptoms, contains phytoestrogens. There are many different varieties of ginseng, but red ginseng (also known asPanax ginseng) is one of the most popular among perimenopausal and menopausal women.

Some menopausal women find it to be helpful when it comes to managing mood swings, depression, and poor sleep. It can also increase energy levels and promote an improved sense of general well-being. 

Ginseng does not appear to be helpful for managing hot flashes, though.

Kava

Kava is a bitter herb that has some benefits when it comes to managing anxiety. 

Women who struggle with heightened levels of stress and anxiety during menopause may find relief from incorporating it into their routines. It could be especially helpful when taken before bed to promote more restful sleep.

It’s important to note, though, that kava has been linked to liver disease in some cases. Because of this, women who have a history of liver conditions may want to avoid using it.

Dong Quai

Dong quai is often recommended to women searching for relief from their menopause symptoms. It is a fragrant plant that’s part of the carrot and celery family. Its use as an herbal remedy dates back thousands of years. 

Some women use dong quai to improve their skin health during and after menopause. In their reviews, many also report finding that it helps to reduce the severity of their hot flashes. 

Soy Isoflavones

In addition to seeking relief from isoflavones found in red clover, many women also increase their soy intake during menopause to help them take in more phytoestrogens. Those who do not want to consume soy in the form of tofu, tempeh, or soybeans but still want the benefits of phytoestrogens may prefer to supplement with pre-bottled soy isoflavones instead.

Turmeric

Tumeric is good for your gut - Menopause Supplements Guide - Better Body Co

 

Turmeric is another powerful anti-inflammatory that can promote good gut health. It’s yet another example of herbs and plant compounds that can improve hormone balance and make perimenopause and menopause more tolerable. Studies show that turmeric works so well because it contains a phytoestrogenic compound called curcumin. 

Menopause supplements that contain turmeric may be very helpful to women who need relief from poor sleep, hot flashes, and other side effects that are associated with low levels of estrogen. It’s best if these supplements also contain black pepper extract, though. Black pepper extract helps to improve curcumin’s absorbability and enhances its positive effects.

Moringa

Moringa is a plant that is rich in vitamin E and is a well-known antioxidant. It’s also known as the drumstick tree and has been used for centuries because of its healing properties. In the world of women’s medicine, it’s common for a doctor to recommend additional vitamin E consumption in the form of moringa. 

Moringa’s medical uses include reducing mood swings, fighting depression, and providing relief from chronic inflammation. There’s more than one review saying it's safe and effective at promoting blood sugar balance and preventing weight gain, too. 

These benefits make it a useful supplement for menopausal and perimenopausal women. It can help to increase their insulin sensitivity and improve their sense of well-being, both of which are important when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight.

Probiotics

In addition to herbs and other plant-based supplements, there are plenty of other holistic remedies for menopause and perimenopause symptoms that are backed by research. One of the most beneficial ones to consider is a probiotic supplement.

It doesn’t matter if they focus on alternative medicine or more conventional approaches. Many medical experts and health care practitioners can agree on at least one thing: Probiotics are one of the most effective supplements for women to take when they’re looking to combat hot flashes, balance their hormones, and reduce the side effects and health risks associated with menopause and perimenopause. 

Probiotics are so helpful because the health of your digestive tract, also known as the gut, plays an important role in your overall health. It influences a variety of bodily systems far beyond the digestive system.

There is plenty of information and studies out there that show the necessity of good gut bacteria balance when it comes to promoting healthy levels of hormones in the body. Proper bacteria balance is also important for metabolizing food and helping you to absorb the nutrients that your food and other supplements provide.  

Many gut health experts believe that it’s not what you eat that matters but what you absorb. You could eat the healthiest diet in the world and take all the supplements. If your body can’t absorb nutrients properly, though, you’re not going to experience many (if any) benefits. 

Why Use Provitalize?

Prioritizing your gut health could be the missing piece of the puzzle that allows you to finally experience relief from your menopause symptoms. Remember, without a good balance of bacteria in the gut, you’re less likely to experience the benefits of any supplements you use for menopause relief. 

Keep in mind that not all probiotics are created equal, though. You need to consume the right perimenopause and menopause probiotics to see the greatest benefits. 

Taking a probiotic supplement like Provitalize every day can be especially helpful. It contains the strainsB. Breve (short forBifidobacterium breve),L. Gasseri,andB. Lactis, all of which are helpful to women going through or approaching menopause. 

B. Breveis a probiotic that occurs naturally in the digestive tract. It has been shown to minimize inflammation throughout the body and promote healthy blood sugar balance.

L. Gasseri is a rare probiotic found in certain fermented foods, including a Brazilian dietary staple known aspuba. It has also been shown to help prevent weight gain. 

B. Lactis,on the other hand, is a probiotic that’s found in raw milk. It’s used as the starter culture when making foods like cottage cheese and buttermilk.B. Lactisis considered the “booster shot” of probiotic strains and promotes a healthy immune system and healthy cholesterol levels.

This combination of probiotic strains can help to reduce inflammation, prevent weight gain, bolster the immune system during this stage of life. When inflammation levels go down and the immune system is functioning properly, you’ll likely find that you can digest food more easily and experience greater nutritional benefits. You may also sleep better, have better skin health, and notice a decrease in digestive symptoms (bloating, gas, constipation, cramping, etc).

Provitalize is also a great probiotic supplement to take during menopause because it’s formulated with other beneficial, natural ingredients. This includes curcumin and black pepper extract, which work together to balance hormone levels and reduce inflammation. Provitalize contains moringa as well to balance blood sugar and help menopausal women to avoid weight gain and insulin resistance, both of which often occur during perimenopause and menopause.  

Are You Ready to Start Managing Menopausal Symptoms Today?

When it comes to managing hot flashes, mood swings, and all the other most problematic menopausal symptoms, there are a lot of supplements and hormone therapy options women can try. 

Combining the best menopause supplements with a healthy diet and regular exercise routine can often work wonders for your health and quality of life. Keep the tips listed above in mind as you work with your doctor to come up with a plan to tackle your symptoms.

If you’re looking for a supplement that contains the probiotics you need, as well as other ingredients that will help to improve your digestion and balance your hormones, be sure to check out Provitalize

This ground-breaking probiotic supplement will help to support your body and minimize many of the side effects that occur during menopause, including increased cravings and weight gain. Order your first bottle today and try it risk-free. All auto-ship orders come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and all non-auto-ship orders come with a 90-day money-back guarantee.