How to Help Reduce Menopause Symptoms

How to Help Reduce Menopause Symptoms

Menopause can bring a host of symptoms, due to changing hormone levels, including:

  • Hot flushes
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Anxiety 
  • Headaches 

Amongst many others.

Symptoms can vary and can range from mild to severe, and can be worsened by stress levels, diet and body fat. Managing stress, eating real whole food and increasing intake of phytoestrogens may help(found in beans, seeds and legumes) and many women find that specific supplements can ease symptoms including sage, black cohosh, passion flower and adaptogenic herbs.

What exactly is menopause?

Menopause is the time when a woman permanently stops menstruating and is no longer fertile. It's diagnosed one year after the last menstrual period.

The time when most women experience ‘menopause symptoms’ is actually a phase called perimenopause. This can last for a few years before menstrual periods stop completely.

Menopause usually occurs anywhere from the mid-40s to mid-50s. Occasionally a woman may experience premature or early menopause (before age 40). Premature menopause occurs for a number of reasons, including genetics, a history of eating disorders, and other health conditions such as low thyroid function.

The sometimes unpleasant symptoms associated with the menopause are due to changes in hormone levels, and the body adjusting to these changes. Typical menopause symptoms may include:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Low moods 
  • Irritability
  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Dry mouth, eyes and vagina
  • Discomfort during intercourse
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Reduced libido
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Palpitations
  • Joint stiffness
  • Reduced muscle mass
  • Increased urinary tract infections
  • Changes in skin, such as dry, loose and thin skin

What can make menopause symptoms worse? 

Some women will experience few or only mild menopause symptoms. Other women will have more severe symptoms. This could be for several reasons, including: 

Chronic Stress

The body’s stress hormones and the sex hormones including oestrogen are made from the same ‘precursor’ hormones. As women approach menopause, their natural production of oestrogen declines. If more of those precursor hormones are being used to make stress hormones, then this can result in even less oestrogen being produced, making symptoms worse.

Blood sugar imbalances

 Dips and peaks in blood sugar may worsen symptoms. One reason for this is that they actually increase the body’s production of stress hormones, again diverting resources away from producing the sex hormones.

Low body fat

Our fat cells also produce a small amount of oestrogen. Although this is not enough to meet all our needs, it can be helpful in reducing some of the perimenopause symptoms. However, obesity comes with its own health problems, so a healthy weight (neither under nor overweight) is recommended, if you’re assessing how to reduce menopause symptoms.

How can you manage menopause symptoms? 

Manage Stress

Look for ways to manage your stress levels, through exercise, meditation and potentially lifestyle changes

Consider Diet

Consider food, alcohol and caffeine intakes, all of which can have an affect on the skin and body. Eat 'real' (whole) foods and balance your blood sugar to reduce menopause symptoms. By eating whole or ‘real’ foods and avoiding processed foods that are bad for your skin and body, you’re naturally providing yourself with more of what it needs to balance your blood sugar, balance hormones and manage stress. Make sure your meals and snacks include some protein (meat, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, beans and lentils) and complex carbohydrates (e.g. whole grains, vegetables).

Foods containing phytoestrogens may help. Phytoestrogens are substances in plant foods that can act like a weak oestrogen in the body. Foods that contain good amounts of phytoestrogens include beans, chickpeas and lentils, peas, green beans, flaxseeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. Phytoestrogens are also found in lower amounts in many vegetables. Aim to include two servings a day of these high phytoestrogen foods to help manage symptoms.

Oily fish and other foods high in Omega 3 can help with menopause-related symptoms, as they can improve bone mineral density which often declines after menopause. 

What vitamins help with menopause?

The following supplements and vitamins may be helpful for support during the (peri)menopause:

A Multivitamin for women will contain nutrients to support overall health and wellbeing, as well as to support hormone balance and manage stress. Beauty & Vitality’s Radiant Skincare supplement is a good example of this, formulated to counter the effects of menopause and nourish the body from the outside in.

Fish Oil is another way of getting those beneficial omega3 fats

Black Cohoshis a herb that’s traditionally used to help manage symptoms associated with the menopause. Studies support the effectiveness of black cohosh in reducing menopausal symptoms 

Sage is a herb that’s traditionally used to help relieve excessive sweating and hot flushes in menopause. When it comes to choosing between different herbal remedies, sage can be worth trying first of all if sweating (including night sweats) or hot flushes are your main symptoms.

Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is essential to bone health which makes it a great vitamin to help with menopause. As bone density tends to decrease after menopause, it’s particularly important to look after our bones at this time.

Magnesium is another essential nutrient for bone health. Ideally, our magnesium intake should be half of our calcium intake. In modern diets, however, this ratio can be out of balance and we may not get as much magnesium as we should. Magnesium is also required for the nervous system and may therefore help to manage stress and support relaxation.

Passionflower is a herb that may be beneficial to women who are particularly stressed or suffer from anxiety as a menopausal symptom. Passionflower may also be useful to help with sleep.

Siberian Ginseng ,ashwagandha and rhodiola are herbs that may help to balance stress and support energy and mood in women before, during and after menopause.

healthy food to reduce menopause symptoms

A bone health combination supplement can be a good choice for women who are concerned about protecting their bones after menopause. A good bone supplement will contain not only calcium, but also magnesium, vitamin D, and potentially also vitamin k, zinc, copper, manganese, boron, silica and/or vitamin C. We need all these nutrients to build and maintain strong bones.

Reducing the effect of menopause-related skin conditions with Beauty & Vitality

Our Radiant skin range has been formulated to nourish the microbiome from the inside-out. With a science-backed dual skincare kit, our pre and probiotics have been carefully designed to soothe the skin and strengthen its resilience. If you’d like to try this skin-loving combination, browse our Radiant range. Or find out more about the science around your skin microbiome, and how protecting this is vital as you go through menopause.