Symptoms of perimenopause
One of the first signs that menopause is on its way is menstrual irregularity. Periods may become less regular and blood flow gets lighter. It is not rare that a woman in menopause skips a period.
It is during this time that annoying hot flashes and sleep problems start, as well as mood changes, depression and irritability.
Bladder problems, vaginal problems, changes in sexual arousal and desire and bone loss may also start in this period.
Cosmetic changes also start, like dry hair and skin, as well as some weight gain.
This is also the time to start checking more regularly the cholesterol levels because some changes in LDL and HDL levels are to be expected.
Supplements for perimenopause
There are many supplements that can help a women go through this period with less problems.
Women who are entering perimenopause should consider taking a quality multivitamin and multimineral. The most important vitamins are A, C, E, B complex vitamins, and vitamin D.
It is recommended to take additional vitamin D along with multivitamins, because in perimenopause the need for this vitamin increases, because it promotes absorption of calcium, important for bone health.
Omega-3 essential fatty acid is also very important. It is recommended to take 100 mg every day. Omega-3 protects brain, heart and eyes.
There are several herbal remedies and formulations that can be very beneficial in perimenopause. One of them is Dong quai, a herb which contains vitamins B12, A and E and also phytoestrogens, which mimic the estrogen action in the body and thus prevent symptoms of perimenopause.
Dong quai can be taken as a tea, dipped in hot water, or as a supplement.
Maca root is a plant from South America which helps balance hormonal levels in the body. Like Dong quai, it can be prepared as a tea or taken in form of herbal supplements.
Black cohosh is a North American plant which, just like Dong quai, contains phytoestrogens. This makes it an excellent remedy for problems with anxiety, depression and hot flashes, and promotes lubrication during intercourse.
Soy reduces hot flashes and night sweating, improves heart function, prevents bone loss and regulates insulin levels. Soy can be added very simply in the daily diet, given that today soy products are widely available in any supermarket.