Going Through Early Menopause? You Should Try These Supplements

Is Aunt Flo gone for good?

Don’t pop that champagne bottle just yet because you only dealt with part of your troubles in the peri-menopausal stage.

Do you know that a famous woman singer sang a song about menopause?

It goes something like this:

“I don’t even like myself, but it’s something I can’t help,

I got those God almighty, slap somebody PMS blues.

Most times I’m easy going, some say I’m good as gold

But when I’m PMS I tell ya, I turn mean and cold.”

Dolly Parton surely hit the nail right on the head!

It’s a messy business, but it is what truly makes us women. So let’s talk about menopause:

When It All Begins

The average age of women going through menopause is between 50 and 54. Some celebrate it, while others are tortured by the ups and downs it brings.

What Is Menopause?

Well, we would say that “dreadful” might be the best word to describe what menopause is.

The process begins when you stop ovulating and your body goes through a change where you don’t have a period for 12 months.

This is called the menopause stage. That’s not the only stage you go through!

There are basically three stages: peri-menopause, menopause, and post-menopause. This process usually states: you are aging.

Since perimenopause is the 1st stage, let’s talk about it:

This stage lasts for 12 months and is the hardest to handle.

The symptoms sneak on you anytime and anywhere, which makes it quite difficult for some women to step foot outside the house.

Symptoms of Perimenopause

  • Worse premenstrual syndrome
  • Lower sex drive
  • Hot flashes
  • Fatigue
  • Breast tenderness
  • Irregular periods
  • Discomfort during sex
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Urine leakage when sneezing or coughing
  • Mood swings
  • Urinary urgency
  • Trouble sleeping

Symptoms of Menopause

Menopause is the 2nd stage, which marks the end of your period cycle.

The following are some of its symptoms:

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Irregular periods
  • Hot flashes
  • Sleep problems
  • Chills
  • Night sweats
  • Mood changes
  • Slow metabolism that results in weight gain
  • Dry skin
  • Thinning hair
  • Sagging breasts

Post-Menopause

Post-menopause is the 3rd and final stage.

At this point in your life, the hormone levels in your body drop and the possibility of becoming pregnant finishes.

The first 2 stages bring various symptoms with them, but during the post-menopause stage, your body becomes weak and fails to absorb a few important nutrients.

This puts you at risk of developing the following problems:

Hot Flashes – What Menopause Brings with It

When you are going through menopause, the one symptom that is felt often is hot flashes. It’s this spike in your body temperature that takes over your upper half of the body.

Some people might think that you have a bad case of blushes or food allergies. Your skin turns blotchy and red and you get hit with this rush of heat palpitation, dizziness, and sweating.

These symptoms happen during the perimenopause stage and don’t pass until you have entered the 2nd stage.

The worst part is that they make an appearance when you least expect them to.

You might be chatting with your colleagues at a party, when all of a sudden your face turns red and sweat begins dropping from your temples.  

The good news is that they can be controlled. There are certain triggers that induce them, which include:

  • Spicy food
  • Being somewhere hot
  • Consuming too much alcohol or caffeine
  • Stressing over something to the point of that you feel a headache approaching

The 1st and 2nd stage usually last for 2 years or more.

Is there any way to stop them?

No there isn’t! You can reduce their frequency by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

Now that you know about the 3 stages of menopause, let’s talk about the minerals that your body has a hard time absorbing due to the hormonal change.

The Hormonal Stage

At the early menopause stage, your body goes through some major changes that affect your hormone levels.

Since your diet gets constricted in the post-menopausal stage, it’s important to watch what you eat. The combined effects of the post-menopausal stage and a woman’s age put her at risk of osteoporosis the most.

According to a study published in Menopause: the Journal of the North American Menopause Society, calcium and vitamin D have been shown to reduce and even halt bone loss in post-menopausal women who have fractures, especially in those who are 5 years into the 2nd stage.

The report even provides the daily recommended intake of calcium and vitamin D for menopausal women.

Daily Recommended Intake of Calcium

Institute of Medicine

  • Aged (31 to 50): 1,000 mg
  • Aged (51 and older): 1,200 mg

National Institutes of Health

  • Premenopausal Women (aged 25 to 50): 1,000 mg
  • Postmenopausal Women (younger than 65 using estrogen therapy): 1,000 mg  
  • Postmenopausal Women (not using estrogen therapy): 1,500 mg
  • All women (aged 65 and older): 1,500 mg

Menopausal Women: 1,500 mg

Daily Recommended Intake of Vitamin D

  • Age (51 to 70): 400 IU/day
  • Women at Risk of Deficiency: 800 IU/day

Since vitamin D helps in absorbing calcium, it is important to consume rich sources of the nutrient.

Lack of Vitamin D

Following are a few symptoms that you might experience during the 3 stages of menopause when your body is low on Vitamin D:

  • Low immunity
  • Fatigue
  • Frequently occurring infections
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Sleep problems
  • Weight gain
  • Impaired cognitive function

Lack of Calcium

When the body does not receive enough calcium, the following parts are affected:

  • Heart
  • Nervous system (gets weaker with time)
  • Bone density

This leads to the following symptoms:

  • Low estrogen level
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Slow muscle contraction

The Relation between Calcium and Vitamin D

We already know that vitamin D deficiency can lead to loss of bone density. This deficiency can also lead to low level of calcium in the body, which is important for bone strength.

All this happens due to the hormonal changes in the post-menopausal stage. Did you know that vitamin D is not truly a vitamin?

It is produced by sunlight when the rays fall on the skin. For this reason, vitamin D is considered more of a hormone replacement therapy.

Intakes of vitamin D (900 IU/day) and calcium (1200 mg/day) reduce non-vertebral fractures and increase bone density.

Your obvious answer to “where to get vitamin D from” is probably going to be sunlight.

Don’t forget that too much of the UV rays can cause skin cancer and no… applying loads of sunscreen will not protect you.

Since your skin is slowly aging, it won’t be able to absorb much vitamin D. So the obvious answer lies in food.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, dairy sources can help peri-menopausal women get their daily recommended intake of vitamin D and calcium.

The study was conducted on women going through early menopause and those who were just about to enter this stage.

Their food intake was measured for 4 years, and then they were checked for a few conditions such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and more.

It was revealed that women who consumed the highest amount of dairy products experienced less symptoms and their early menopause was delayed.

Food Sources of Vitamin D

  • Beef liver
  • Egg yolks
  • Cheese
  • Vitamin D-fortified milk
  • Fatty fish
  • Orange juice
  • Salmon
  • Mushroom

Food Sources of Calcium

*Calcium supplements offer a convenient alternative if you are unable to consume enough calcium from diet alone.

The early menopause stage can even hit women at the age of 31.

While the average age is between 50 and 54, an unhealthy diet and lifestyle can lead to perimenopause earlier.

You will immediately start to feel the changes in your body and most of them will create havoc in your life.

Aunt Flo might seem like a nuisance now, but her departure means you are aging.

While this new chapter of your life may be full of challenges, it has its perks as well.

If you want to know more about healthy food items and their benefits, then check out our blogs at Health and Fitness Promoter.