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Vegan Supplements for Perimenopause

Menopause is often spoken about, and usually perimenopause is mentioned too as it affects approximately 13 million people in the UK currently.

Perimenopause is considered to be the first stage of menopause and it has many symptoms similar to menopause, but periods have not yet stopped.

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What is the perimenopause?

Part of the perimenopausal experience can see monthly cycles begin to slow down, leading to irregular bleeding as the ovaries gradually stop working and producing eggs to be fertilised. If you’re going through perimenopause then you might find that you have irregular periods meaning you miss your usual monthly cycle, or have unusually light or heavy periods. The frequency of your periods can be disrupted, meaning you may have one every two or three weeks, or you may not have one for months at a time.

This can be a confusing and overwhelming time as the body changes, but perimenopause is a natural process that female bodies go through as part of their ageing. It causes physical and emotional symptoms, and whilst it does not need treatment, it can help to lessen symptoms. Treatment for perimenopause includes hormones, antidepressants and lifestyle changes to alleviate the symptoms.

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What are the symptoms of perimenopause?

Menopause and perimenopause is often defined by how it makes you feel, as the symptoms can be difficult to manage and feel overwhelming at times. Perimenopause is seen to end and menopause begins when you have not had a period for 12 months.

Perimenopausal symptoms can begin as early as in our 20s and last for years before the body enters menopause, as well as continuing during that life stage too. Some women report seeing some of these symptoms as early as in their 20s, but not experiencing full menopause until much later in life so it doesn’t necessarily mean that menopause will be imminent and the symptoms are part of the body’s natural evolution and nothing to be ashamed or scared of.

The symptoms of perimenopause can hugely vary from person to person and there is no ‘one size fits all’ list, but symptoms can include:

● Irregular periods.
● Vaginal dryness.
● Hot flashes.
● Chills.
● Night sweats.

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● Sleep problems.
● Mood changes.
● Weight gain and slowed metabolism.
● Thinning hair and dry skin.
● Loss of breast fullness.
● Problems with memory, otherwise known as ‘brain fog’.
● Joint stiffness, aches and pains.
● Reduced sex drive and libido.
● Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs), such as cystitis.

If you are concerned about any of these symptoms, then seek help or advice from your doctor. Your doctor can advise on treatments and any support you might need during perimenopause and menopause.

How can I stay healthy during perimenopause?

Staying healthy during perimenopause isn’t just about what you eat or the vitamins you get, and in fact means leading a balanced and healthy lifestyle overall.

Whilst taking supplements, eating well and looking after yourself can help, there are also clear ways to keep the body healthy during the perimenopause:

  • Choose a balanced diet
    Consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats to ensure a balanced and enriched diet. Adequate calcium and vitamin D are important for bone health, which can be helpful for menopause and its effects on the body in later life.
    You can also consider taking supplements to help ensure you’re getting enough vitamins and nutrients, and we recommend our Vegan Menopause Supplements for the perimenopause stage.
  • Stay hydrated
    Drinking plenty of water is important to stay hydrated, as hormonal changes during perimenopause can sometimes lead to increased thirst. The guidance is that most adults need about 2 to 2.5 litres of fluid a day, which is around 8 glasses.
  • Stay active and mobile with regular exercise
    Engaging in regular physical activity keeps the body fit and active, and exercise can help to manage weight, improve mood as well as supporting bone density.
  • Manage your stress levels
    High levels of stress can see heightened cortisol, which can have a damaging effect on the body and our health; especially long term. Chronic stress can exacerbate symptoms and negatively impact overall wellbeing.
    Practicing stress management techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga or mindfulness can all help to reduce the feelings of stress and anxiety.
  • Get enough sleep
    Getting enough beauty sleep works wonders on the body and our health, as it’s the perfect time for our bodies to recharge and rest. Not having enough can see our mood and energy levels affected, as well as an impact on our brain and cognitive function too.
    You can make sure your body is getting enough by creating a relaxing bedtime routine, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule and creating a comfortable place to switch off and fall asleep.
  • Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake
    Reducing our consumption of caffeine and alcohol can also be good for our health and wellbeing, as they can both contribute to sleep disturbances and exacerbate perimenopausal symptoms like hot flashes.
  • Quit smoking
    If you smoke, quitting can be one of the most beneficial things you can do for your body. Smoking is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular issues and cancers, and saying goodbye to cigarettes can have positive effects on your overall health.

It’s important to remember that every woman's experience of perimenopause is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. So it’s essential to listen to your body, seek professional guidance and make adjustments to your lifestyle based on your needs and what works for you.

What supplements should I take during perimenopause?

During perimenopause, which is the transitional phase leading to menopause, hormonal changes can bring about various symptoms. It's important to note that individual needs can vary, and it's always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate supplements for your specific situation.

Here are some supplements that are commonly considered during perimenopause:

  • Calcium and Vitamin D Getting enough calcium and vitamin D is important for our bone health, especially during perimenopause when there is an increased risk of bone density loss. These nutrients are essential for maintaining strong and healthy bones, which is the foundation of our skeleton and body.
  • Magnesium Magnesium can help alleviate symptoms like mood swings, anxiety and insomnia that may occur during perimenopause. It’s also essential in supporting bone health and muscle function.
  • Vitamin K2 Vitamin K2 works with calcium and vitamin D to support bone health, as well as the teeth and overall health. It helps ensure that calcium is deposited in the bones and teeth where it can strengthen and protect.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids Omega-3 Fatty Acids, found in fish oil supplements as well as vegan alternatives, may help reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms such as joint pain and mood swings.
  • B Vitamins Taking B vitamins, particularly B6 and B12, can help to support energy levels, mood and the brain’s cognitive function during perimenopause. They also play a role in managing stress, which can have damaging effects on the body.
  • Vitamin E Vitamin E may help manage symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats, but it also has antioxidant properties that can benefit our overall health.
  • Soy Isoflavones Soy isoflavones, found in soy products and supplements, may have a mild oestrogen-like effect that can help to manage symptoms like hot flashes. Often it's combined with botanicals to help the body as it transitions through perimenopause and menopause.
  • Probiotics Taking regular probiotics can support the body’s gut health, which is essential for overall wellbeing. They can also help manage symptoms such as bloating and digestive issues that can occur during perimenopause and cause discomfort.