Calcium & other vitamins in menopause

When women reach a particular age, they stop menstruating.

When women reach a particular age, they stop menstruating.

This marks the end of the reproductive stage of a woman's life.

There are a lot of hormonal changes occurring in a woman's body during menopause. It gives rise to a lot of symptoms such as night sweats, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, insomnia, mood swings, change in libido, etc. While some women experience minor symptoms, some women may experience the same symptoms more gravely. Some vitamins may help alleviate these menopausal symptoms while also enhancing the overall quality of life.  

The hormonal fluctuations taking place in the body mainly hamper the estrogen and progesterone levels. An imbalance in these hormones causes problems such as osteoporosis, urinary incontinence, and heart disease. Some vitamins prove to help alleviate the issues arising out of low estrogen levels. Some of those vitamins are:

 

  • Calcium: Calcium is an essential vitamin to prevent bone loss. As the hormone levels drop during menopause, bone health starts to deteriorate. Thus, it is essential to ensure a steady intake of calcium through diet and supplements prescribed by a doctor.
  • Vitamin A:  Vitamin A comprises of a group of compounds called retinoids. Vitamin A, when pre-formed, is known as retinol and is stored in the liver. Retinol is produced when one consumes animal products, fruits, and vegetables rich in beta-carotene or Vitamin A supplements. Vitamin A is an excellent supplement for healthy bones; however, an excess amount is also believed to increase the risk of fractures in menopausal women. 
  • Vitamin B-12: This water-soluble vitamin is commonly found in many foods and is essential for creating red blood cells, DNA production, neurological function, and bone health. A deficiency of Vitamin B-12 may give rise to symptoms like depression, confusion, dementia, fatigue, constipation, and loss of appetite. Especially for menopausal women, to keep these problems at bay, doctors very commonly prescribe Vitamin B-12 supplements.
  • Vitamin B-6: This vitamin plays a vital role in generating serotonin that helps in transmitting brain signals. Fluctuating serotonin levels are responsible for causing depression and loss of energy in menopausal women. Doctors thus prescribe supplements for the same. 

  • Vitamin D: The primary source of Vitamin D is sunlight. A deficiency of Vitamin D increases the risk of bone fractures, resulting in softening of the bones and cause pain. While it is possible to get an adequate supply through sunlight and diet, doctors also commonly prescribe supplements.
  • Vitamin E: This vitamin helps in preventing cell damage in the body. It also helps reduce inflammation and stress and alleviates the risks of weight gain, heart disease, and depression. In the case of menopausal women, 15mg of the vitamin daily is advised.

While most of these vitamins are essential for the proper functioning of the body during menopause, an excess amount of these vitamins may also cause specific problems. Hence, you must consult a trained medical professional and follow his/her advice regarding the vitamins your body requires and the amount in which you should consume them.

Special Thanks to Dr. Sheela HS (MD (OBGyn) ) for the expert advice.

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