Perimenopause Supplements & Natural Treatments

What is Perimenopause?

Perimenopause refers to the transitional phase leading up to menopause, typically occurring in the 40s or early 50s, although it may begin at an earlier age for some people. During perimenopause, hormone levels, particularly estrogen and progesterone, fluctuate, leading to various symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep disturbances. Perimenopause marks the gradual decline in ovarian function and fertility, ultimately culminating in menopause. It can last for several years and varies in duration and intensity among individuals. 1 Everyone has a unique experience of perimenopause, since different hormonal ripples and fluctuations can occur and affect bodies in varied ways. Be aware that your experience is likely to differ from others’, but here is a list of some common symptoms that affect many people during perimenopause.

Common Perimenopause Symptoms

  • Irregular periods
  • Unusually heavy or light periods
  • More severe PMS than normal
  • Tender breasts
  • Muscle aches
  • Heart palpitations
  • Decreased  libido
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Weight gain
  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty focussing 2 

 

Supplements for Perimenopause

The following supplements may be beneficial to some people experiencing perimenopause. Note that FDA regulations on supplements are very limited, so it is important to be aware of this and search out quality products from trusted brands. A naturopathic doctor (ND) can assist you in identifying high quality supplements and determining the best dosage for you. NDs also work to identify the root cause and if lifestyle or supplement changes are the best course of treatment. Your ND can also help determine whether hormone replacement to aid in blunting the effect of hormonal imbalance may be an effective treatment for you.

Magnesium

During perimenopause, declining estrogen can accelerate bone loss and lead to weakened, porous bones. 3  Magnesium deficiency exacerbates osteoporosis as it plays a critical role in bone matrix calcification and strength, while also affecting parathyroid hormone and vitamin D activity, essential for bone development. Taking magnesium supplements may support bone health through perimenopause and menopause. 4 Magnesium also activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which can help you feel more relaxed and sleep better. 5 

There are different forms of magnesium, it is wise to check with your doctor or ND for the best form for your needs.

Melatonin

Melatonin, a hormone regulating sleep-wake cycles, may decrease during perimenopause, potentially resulting in poor sleep quality 6 If you are struggling to sleep well, taking melatonin supplements may help rebalance this deficiency and improve sleep patterns.

Black Cohosh

Black cohosh root is a very popular supplement taken for menopause and perimenopause. More research is needed because current evidence as to black cohosh’s efficacy is conflicting, but some studies suggest that this supplement may help alleviate symptoms associated with perimenopause. 7 

Vitamin D

During perimenopause and menopause, your ovaries produce less and less estrogen, leaving you at a higher risk for osteoporosis. 8 Vitamin D can strengthen your bones and reduce your risk of osteoporosis, so getting in the habit of consistently taking this supplement during perimenopause is recommended. 9 

Note of caution: Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and can be toxic in high concentrations. Prior to starting a Vitamin D regimen, it is recommended to test blood levels, and at regular intervals while on supplementation. 

 

Other Natural Treatments for Perimenopause

Yoga

Practicing yoga has been shown to boost mood and improve sleep in menopausal and perimenopausal people. 10 11 Try developing a regular yoga practice as you enter perimenopause. It may help alleviate symptoms, and if you get into the routine of doing it now, your yoga practice will already be a habit that you can easily continue into menopause when your symptoms are likely to become more pronounced. Start simple with an easy ten-minute practice every morning or evening. There are many free guided yoga videos available online, or you may want to join a local yoga class. Yoga may help some who struggle with joint pain during perimenopause and menopause.

Eat a Nutritious Diet

Eating a nutritious diet of whole foods is important during perimenopause. As you go through perimenopause and menopause, your risk of developing various health issues such as cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and obesity increases. 12 A nutritional diet with plenty of vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables may help minimize these risks and reduce perimenopause symptoms. 13 There is no right diet for everyone, so it is a good idea to work with a naturopathic doctor to come up with a perimenopause dietary plan tailored to your individual symptoms and requirements.

 

 

 

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