The best natural vitamins for perimenopause are those found in foods. Certain vitamins provide more benefit than others as women enter perimenopause, and certain herbs may also offset some of the symptoms of decreased estrogen.
Perimenopause consists of the years during which a woman's body transitions fully into menopause, or the cessation of ovulation and menstruation. Most women start perimenopause when they reach their mid to late forties, although it may begin as early as age 40 or as late as age 50. Some women experience no symptoms at all and sail right through menopause with barely a flicker, while others find the hot flashes, mood swings and weight gain a miserable consequence of decreased estrogen. Vitamins, herbal supplements, and simple self-care tips can offset some of the worst symptoms, but if perimenopause or menopause symptoms are making your life miserable, talk to your doctor.
Best Natural Vitamins for Perimenopause
During perimenopause, the body begins shutting down estrogen production. In approximately 20 to 30 percent of women, estrogen production doesn't cease entirely; some estrogen may be produced by the adrenal glands and other cells, which decreases the side effects of menopause. Even among these women, menstruation and ovulation stops, and they can no longer conceive and bear children.
As women age, their bodies naturally produce less estrogen. In some women this is gradual and causes almost no symptoms. In others, it produces the standard symptoms of menopause: hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness, changes in sexual desire, weight gain, infrequent or scant menstruation, and other symptoms.
Vitamins for Perimenopause
The key to using vitamins to offset perimenopause symptoms is to select vitamins that balance the hormonal system. These include:
- Vitamin C
- B-complex vitamins
- Vitamin E
You'll notice these vitamins include nervous system and stress support vitamins. Others such as C, E and zinc offer antioxidant support. All support the adrenal glands, which produce multiple hormones, as well as other areas of the body that produce the many hormones that regulate all aspects of health. Zinc is also thought to balance the body's supply of estrogen.
A good multivitamin is a great place to start, and B complex and C vitamins may be added on. Talk to a nutritionist for the proper dose of other vitamins. These are determined based on your symptoms and overall health and diet profile.
A natural vitamin may not be any better for your health than a synthetic one. In fact, there's not much of a difference between pills marked as 'natural' and those marked as plain old vitamin pills. The best sources of natural vitamins are foods, which supply abundant vitamins for the body's nutritional needs. Women starting menopause may also wish to change their caloric intake to prevent weight gain.Foods rich in vitamin C include fruits and vegetables. Green, leafy vegetables provide ample amounts of vitamin C, zinc, magnesium and other vitamins and minerals. Whole grains provide vitamin E and B-complex vitamins.
If you're really concerned about taking natural vitamins over synthetic ones, try a natural liquid vitamin. Many are made from food source extracts.
Many nutritionists recommend two supplements for women during perimenopause: flaxseed oil and evening primrose oil. Flaxseed oil is rich in lignans, which help balance hormones. Evening primrose oil is often recommended for breast swelling and tenderness, two potential side effects of perimenopause. Check the dosage instructions on the label to ensure adequate amounts. You may also purchase flaxseed oil at the health food store and use it in lieu of olive oil as a salad dressing. It has a pleasant taste. It should be stored in a dark container in the refrigerator to maintain freshness.
Other Self Care Options
In addition to the best natural vitamins for perimenopause, without a doubt getting proper exercise and sleep helps many women combat the mood swings and associated symptoms. Gentle exercise such as walking and yoga provides both a good workout and stress relief. And never overlook the power of a good night's sleep, which improves anyone's mood!