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Start of Menopause - what supplements to use?

(21 Posts)
CalicoBlue Sat 06-Feb-16 17:10:03

I am 50, still have my period every 28 days. Though I am now 2 weeks late. I am exhausted and ready to sleep at 8pm every night, horrid cyst spots on my chin.

I have done a pregnancy test and it is negative, so I guess this is the start for me.

What supplements should I take? I have been taking normal multivits. There are so many to choose from, do I need more iron now?

positivo Sat 06-Feb-16 17:24:26

Hi CalicoBlue

I'm the other side of it (48 now) - I tried all sorts - HRT (felt ill) and eventually changed my diet and increased exercise. Cut down MASSIVELY on alcohol. I now take Vit B complex (essential), zinc (immune), magnesium - helps restless legs, muscles and aids sleep, and Vit C. I subsrcibe to a blogger called Kate Codrington who seems to talk sense. For me I felt that we get HRT shoved in our face because the drug companies seem to have created a 'disease' that needs 'curing' with the menopause but in fact we can handle it pretty much on our own with sensible choices. I've had the lot - loss of libido and dryness, hot flushes like you wouldn't believe, insomnia and all back in balance with the above supplements. Good luck!

PollyPerky Sat 06-Feb-16 20:42:01

You don't actually need any supplements during menopause. You do though need to eat healthily as anyone does in middle age- so cut out sugar, booze and increase fruit & veg etc. If you have heavy bleeding then you may become anaemic and should see your GP for treatment- not iron, but drugs to control the bleeding.

Many women find they do need HRT despite doing all of the 'good' stuff! To be 'on the other side' by 48 is pretty marvellous really! The average age of menopause is 52 and many women find their worst symptoms only start once their periods stop- and can carry on for 10 or 20 years. Supplements do not help vaginal dryness, bladder issues, osteoporosis and longer term serious issues linked to low levels of oestrogen.

I did everything I could in terms of diet and lifestyle, to no avail, but have used HRT for several years now and feel brilliant on it.

Keep an open mind! No one uses HRt just for the fun of it- all the women I know who do use it have tried everything else first!

CalicoBlue Sun 07-Feb-16 14:18:08

Thank you Positivo and Polly

I will try the menopause multivitamin. I do feel I need something, I am exhausted, I feel the same as I do at the start of my pregnancies.

I imagine I am a way off needing to think about HRT, as this is the first period that has been late in 7 years (last time I was pg).

PollyPerky Sun 07-Feb-16 16:01:23

TBH Calico, we should get all the vitamins we need from a healthy diet. Vitamins don't give you energy and if your diet is deficient then food is the answer.
Something like Menopace has some other ingredients which some women find helpful, but the vitamin industry is a huge money-making industry which creates a need, based on misunderstandings ( ie that we need to supplement.)

You may find your peri meno is short. I only missed a few cycles at almost 53 and went onto HRT pretty quickly afterwards. I had no peri symptoms at all (due, my dr said, to a very healthy lifestyle) but once my periods stopped I had hourly hot flushes and insomnia. Everyone is different!

jayjayg Tue 09-Feb-16 13:13:04

We should get all the vitamins from our diet but actually due to the fact that the food industry manufactures based on making millions of pounds and not on nutrition our soil and the crops that we get are not up to the state that there were say 50 - 60 years ago. Unfortunately there is a need to supplement and during peri- menopause and menopause is a time to do that if not before. I agree with you that some vitamin industries are money making but there are those that are not and that are ethical and are for the customer and for making sure that supplementation is to the benefit of the consumer.

HRT is not the answer for everyone and there are ways of ensuring that you get the right nutrients by going by optimal daily intake and not recommended daily intake which actually came about for prisoners of war to make sure that they gain enough nutrition from the food that they were eating.

A healthy intake of specific foods that will help with menopausal symptoms is crucial but also making sure that the body is working effectively in order for the correct supplementation to do its job

PollyPerky Tue 09-Feb-16 15:47:15

Perhaps it would be helpful Jay to list the nutrients that are missing in our diets due to a more industrialised type of farming? I understand that selenium is one mineral that's possibly reduced but this can be obtained by eating 2-3 brazil nuts daily.

I'd love to know which companies producing vitamins are not doing so as a commercial industry. No business can exist unless they are commercially viable.

There are no vitamins or supplements that can reproduce estrogen or its effects. Lots of people waste a huge amount of money on supplements / vitamins which they honestly don't need. My view is that if anyone wants to supplement they have to do it in a very scientific way- first by assessing what they are deficient in (which is highly unlikely in a westernised society due to the variety of foods we eat) and then choosing the right foods to overcome that.

This feature from the Guardian says a lot Vitamins are a waste of money say scientists.

jayjayg Tue 09-Feb-16 16:53:21

Well we all have our opinions on things I was just stating mine not to say that anyone else opinions is wrong.

hippospot Tue 09-Feb-16 16:58:37

I'd recommend a book called Your Change, Your Choice.

Weighs up the pros and cons of HRT and makes dietary and lifestyle suggestions.

jayjayg Tue 09-Feb-16 16:58:51

Oh sorry you did ask me a question. We are generally more trace mineral deficient more than we are vitamin deficient.
Getting trace minerals through our diet is difficult these days simple because the soils are not farmed the ways that they had been previously and now farming is done for speed of manufacture so there is little trace minerals in the soil. We are not getting the right nutrition in that menopause appears to be getting worse and worse as a result. Making the decision to eat more foods we are still not getting the trace minerals that the body needs for menopause to come under control. We need to ensure that we get the correct amount of trace minerals and vitamins to nourish the whole of the glandular system.

jayjayg Tue 09-Feb-16 17:03:32

Sounds like a very appropriate book title love it!

PollyPerky Tue 09-Feb-16 18:04:02

Have that book Hippo! Great dr, great book.

Jay- you can help yourself with this by buying organically farmed fruit and veg and not washing all the dirt off the veggies! A little bit of dirt is good for us and this has been known for ages. That's something that has changed too over the years- supermarkets washing veg to within an inch of their lives .

jayjayg Wed 10-Feb-16 19:13:07

Great article in nursing practice

4happyhours Tue 16-Feb-16 10:33:12

I took Evening primrose on prescription when i was weepy and emotional in my early 20s ... think I might need to get something again now I'm 20 years down the line, two kids later, a very understanding husband (who I'm not always as understanding towards, even if I think I am at the time) but emotional and tearful and paranoid/jealous all over again ... Can't work out if it is the hormones or me just being silly cos the kids are older and nobody seems to need me in the same way anymore!

jayjayg Tue 16-Feb-16 10:44:21

Oh 4happyhours sorry to hear that about you feeling weepy again. How long has this been going on for?

4happyhours Tue 16-Feb-16 10:46:33

Thanks Jayjayg - I had about in the summer of accusing him of all sorts of things and again this weekend ... completely unreasonable and irrational, and once he reassures me I'm fine. We are completely together and in love, I;m just a bit crackers!

PollyPerky Tue 16-Feb-16 11:17:41

4 Evening primrose does not work for menopause, sadly.

This is a very helpful piece from the RCOG and if you scroll down to Treatments that don't work (3) you will see EP listed.

4happyhours Tue 16-Feb-16 11:32:23

Ooh - thank you! Periods still very regular, just heavier than normal and more back pain than I've had for years (Basically my child bearing and rearing days were a doddle and it's the years before and after that are a biatch!).

jayjayg Wed 17-Feb-16 20:21:16

Try some pilates to strengthen the core support the back and development of pelvic floor

jayjayg Wed 17-Feb-16 20:22:46


Vitamin B and magnesium is a good start

4happyhours Thu 18-Feb-16 08:46:52

Thank you!

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