Hot flashes driving you mad? Leading you to feel poorly rested, distracted, moody and forgetful? Women often come to us with complaints related to menopause or perimenopause. The symptoms can be varied but can significantly impact your quality of life. People often ask us if there are vitamins that can help with these symptoms. It turns out vitamins can help with these most unpleasant aspects of “the change”.
So what is the reason for this constellation of awfulness many of us experience? Menopause is when your hormones stop cyclic in the way they did previously. As a result your periods stop (though this can be a several year long process) and the withdrawal of estrogen that results from your previous “cycles” leads to hot flashes.
These hot flashes are actually the main reason for many of the other annoying symptoms related to menopause. They disrupt sleep and this sleep deprivation leads to irritability, moodiness, fatigue, loss of memory and even weight gain. If you are in menopause or perimenopause (the years leading up to full menopause) you may be aware of the hot flashes (think sweating, tearing off layers of clothing, waking up in a sweat) or you may not. Hot flashes can occur in an almost microscopic fashion at night so that you do not necessarily awaken from them, yet they disrupt your sleep enough to. never let your body reach deep restorative sleep. This means that you are essentially walking around in a sleep deprived state, whether you are aware of it or not. Your brain is foggy.
So, if we can help fight the hot flashes, we can help rid ourselves of most of the troubling aspects of menopause. How can we do this. What vitamins and supplements can be helpful? It turns out that addressing each woman’s individual nutritional needs can go a long way in helping to improve symptoms related to menopause. It is essential to look at our individual needs based on our own diets, lifestyle and health concerns. This can help determine which nutrients we need and in which amounts.
One nutrient that has been shown to help with the symptoms of menopause and hot flashes is magnesium. Magnesium is an essential element that is known for its important role in muscular function. This includes the muscles that control our blood vessels. We know magnesium to play an important role in sleep and it is not surprising that it might also help hot flashes that disrupt sleep, but relaxing blood vessels.
In addition, Vitamin D has been shown to play a role in menopause. We know it is an important vitamin for many reasons and is especially useful in women in the years surrounding menopause because it helps with bone health, but in addition it may also help with the symptoms of menopause. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with worse hot flashes.
Vitamin E may also have a role in treating postmenopausal hot flashes. In low doses this vitamin can be useful to help with sleep disruption, hot flashes and the resultant issues during the day.
Red clover extract is an herbal substance that has been shown to be very helpful in reducing the hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. Red clover is what is known as a phytoestrogen. Meaning it has properties that can mimic estrogen to help ease the effects estrogen deficiency on your body. However, red clover does not have the exact same profile of a true estrogen and it does not have the potentially harmful effects of taking a hormone. For example, it has been proven to be safe in women with a history of breast cancer and it does not have some of the other risks associated with some actual forms of hormone replacement (blood clots etc).
There may also be a role for certain B vitamins in helping with the signs and symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. B vitamins are known for their role in helping nerves function optimally and many are known to help with energy, focus and attention. In addition B vitamins such as biotin are helpful with healthy hair growth.
When looking to help ease symptoms related to men0pause or perimenopause the challenge is knowing which vitamins to take. As with most situations, the answer is often specific to each person. Each woman has her own diet, lifestyle and other health concerns that will also influence her nutritional needs. Thus, a personalized vitamin is the best way to address each persons needs uniquely. Getting the right blend of your nutrients for your personal requirements for menopausal symptoms and other factors is ideal. Take our vitamin quiz and get an all in one daily personalized vitamin made for you.
Romy Block specializes in Endocrinology and Metabolism and is mother to three active adolescent boys. Arielle Levitan is a Doctor of Internal Medicine with a special interest in Preventive Medicine and Women’s Health. She is a mother of three teenagers. As professional women with active family lives, they recognize that people often neglect their own health needs and are uncertain about what vitamins to take. Each person is different in her diet, exercise and health history, and will benefit from different nutrients. After years of advising their patients about the proper vitamins to take, Drs. Block and Levitan created Vous Vitamin® to provide people everywhere with quality vitamins that are suited to their individual needs. They are authors of the award winning The Vitamin Solution: Two Doctors Clear Confusion About Vitamins and Your Health (She Writes Press, 2015). Take your vitamin quiz now to get exactly the right vitamins for your needs.
The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products offered by Vous Vitamin® are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Nothing contained herein is intended to be a diagnosis or constitute medical advice. The symptoms described in this Blog may be a result of a serious medical condition which requires medical treatment. You should consult with your doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in this Blog and before beginning any vitamin or supplement regimen.