January 24, 2023

Using Supplements in Perimenopause

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The symptoms of perimenopause can be disruptive and uncomfortable. Natural supplements can help manage these symptoms. 

Natural Supplements to Consider for Perimenopause

  1. Phytoestrogens
    1. Derived from plants 
    2. Have estrogen-like properties
    3. Can help reduce hot flashes, promote cardiovascular health, and maintain bone health
    4. Rich in foods like nuts, strawberries, cranberries, soybeans, tofu, olive oil, and coffee
  2. Calcium
    1. Promote bone health
    2. Help with maintaining calcium levels which are crucial for slowing down the loss of bone density present in osteoporosis
    3. Should target 1200mg of calcium per day in perimenopausal women
    4. Rich in foods like dairy products, leafy greens, beans, tofu, and whey protein
  3. Vitamin D
    1. Supplemented with calcium
    2. Helps with calcium absorption in the gut
    3. Is absorbed from the sun
  4. Omega-3 fatty acids
    1. Decrease risk of depression, osteoporosis, heart disease

Managing symptoms with Natural Therapies

Pharmaceutical hormonal therapies are more regulated and standardized than bioidentical hormonal supplements. Be sure to discuss with your doctor prior to starting any herbal supplements. In addition, studies have not shown that natural supplements are better tolerated or better for symptomatic management than the conventional hormone replacement therapies. Some women, however, prefer natural therapies only, so let’s discuss some of the common natural supplements. 

  1. Black cohosh
    1. Helps with reducing night sweats and hot flashes
    2. Don’t use with history of liver disease
    3. Can cause nausea and skin rashes
  2. Red clover
    1. Can help with hot flashes, night sweats, and bone loss
    2. Shouldn’t take for more than a year
    3. No safety data available 
    4. Not safe in kids, pregnancy or breastfeeding, breast cancer, or hormone-sensitive cancer
  3. Dong quai
    1. Used in Chinese medicine for PMS symptoms
    2. Can increase sun sensitivity
    3. Has a blood-thinning effect > caution with anticoagulation use
  4. Maca
    1. Used in folk medicine to treat hormonal imbalances, diminished sex drive, and vaginal dryness
    2. No safety data 
    3. Unknown interactions with common medications
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It’sFetch is a community that provides a safe space for members to discuss health and wellness topics. We provide access to archived health related content, note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content shared, regardless of date should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

-Written by Paavana Varanasi

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