Helping With This Natural Phase for Older Women Menopause is a natural phase in a woman’s life and marks the end of her reproductive years. While it brings significant hormonal changes, it doesn’t have to be a time of discomfort or distress. By incorporating specific vitamins and supplements into their daily routine, women can manage the uncomfortable symptoms that come with menopause. Read on as we discuss the 10 best vitamins and supplements that can support women during this transitional phase. 1. Calcium and Vitamin D During menopause, there is a natural decrease in estrogen levels. This can lead to bone loss and increase the risk of osteoporosis. Calcium and vitamin D are crucial for maintaining good bone health. Calcium supports the formation and maintenance of strong bones, while vitamin D aids in calcium absorption. Dietary sources of calcium include dairy products, leafy greens and fortified foods. Vitamin D can be obtained through sunlight exposure and fortified foods, but supplements may be necessary to meet the recommended daily intake. 2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for overall health, especially during menopause. They have been shown to reduce inflammation, support heart health and improve mood. Additionally, they can alleviate menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and joint pain. Fish, particularly fatty fish like salmon and sardines, is an excellent source of omega-3s. Fish oil supplements are available that can help ensure optimal intake of these fatty acids. 3. B Vitamins B vitamins, including B6, B9 (folate) and B12, are crucial in maintaining energy levels and supporting emotional well-being. They can help combat fatigue, mood swings and memory lapses commonly experienced during menopause. Foods rich in B vitamins include whole grains, legumes, leafy greens, eggs and fortified cereals. Taking a B-complex supplement is also a good way of ensuring adequate intake. 4. Magnesium Magnesium is an essential mineral that supports many biochemical reactions in the body. During menopause, magnesium can alleviate mood swings, reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality. It has also been shown to aid in maintaining bone density and muscle function. Dietary sources of magnesium include nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains and leafy greens. Women who are concerned about a lack of magnesium in their diet can also take supplements to ensure optimal intake. 5. Black Cohosh This herbal supplement has been traditionally used to manage menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats and sleep disturbances. It is believed to mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. While research results are mixed, many women find relief while taking black cohosh. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any herbal supplement, as it may interact with certain medications or have side effects. [youmaylike] 6. Soy Isoflavones These plant compounds have a similar structure to estrogen. They are known as phytoestrogens and can help alleviate menopausal symptoms. Products such as tofu, soy milk and tempeh are rich sources of isoflavones, but there are also supplements available. 7. Vitamin E Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that can help alleviate menopausal symptoms, particularly hot flashes and vaginal dryness. It works by reducing oxidative stress in the body. Good dietary sources of vitamin E include nuts, seeds, spinach and broccoli. There are also supplements available if you are concerned about achieving adequate intake. 8. Probiotics Menopause can sometimes disrupt the balance of gut flora, leading to digestive issues and a weakened immune system. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that support digestive health and immune function. They help to alleviate bloating, gas and constipation and are available in fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi. 9. Evening Primrose Oil Evening primrose oil is derived from the seeds of the evening primrose plant. These seeds are rich in gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), which is an omega-6 fatty acid, and have been found to reduce hot flashes, improve skin elasticity and relieve breast pain associated with menopause. Evening primrose oil is available in capsule form and should be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional. 10. Ginseng Ginseng, particularly the Panax ginseng variety, has been used in traditional medicine to alleviate menopausal symptoms. It may help reduce fatigue, improve cognitive function and enhance overall well-being. It is available as a supplement and should be used with caution as it can interact with certain medications and cause side effects in some individuals. Final Notes It's important to note that while vitamins and supplements can be beneficial during menopause, they should not replace a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. It's always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplements, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications. Incorporating essential vitamins and supplements into their daily routines can provide much-needed support for women during menopause. By understanding their unique needs and consulting with healthcare professionals, women can navigate this transformative stage with greater comfort and vitality.
What Causes Tardive Dyskinesia?
Mental health is something that is very much highlighted nowadays and rightfully so. Thankfully, we now have a variety medication and treatment options to help treat diseases, but sometimes they can have certain side effects. One example of this is a condition called tardive dyskinesia. So, what cause tardive dyskinesia? It may sound very foreign, but it is one of the usual side effects of certain medications for mental or mood disorders. In this article, you will find out what tardive dyskinesia is, what its symptoms are, what causes it and how it is treated.
What is Tardive Dyskinesia?
Tardive dyskinesia is a syndrome that affects the brain and nerves. It is characterized by involuntary movements of the arms, legs, or limbs, as well as involuntary gestures, such as sticking out of the tongue and sudden and repetitive blinking of eyes. Tardive dyskinesia is a side effect of taking antipsychotic medications which are used to treat people with conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and other mental health or mood-related disorders. Cases have been increasing over the past years and around 500,000 people are affected in the U.S. Not everyone who takes antipsychotic medications will experience it, but it can occur in some people.
What Are the Symptoms of Tardive Dyskinesia?
Dyskinesia is a medical term for involuntary movements of the body. People with tardive dyskinesia may experience a sudden stiffness of muscles in portions of their body, causing jerky movements that they cannot control. This can occur in the muscles of the face and mouth. This includes fast blinking of the eyes, uncontrolled sticking out of the tongue, uncontrolled movements of the mouth, such as chewing, puckering the lips, puffing out cheeks and frowning.
Dyskinesia of the limbs can also affect extremities, causing uncontrollable wiggling of the fingers, tapping of the feet on the floor, flapping of arms, thrusting out of the pelvis and swaying from side to side. These movements can be fast or slow, but they can affect daily activities and some affected people will find it hard to work. This condition is hard to diagnose because symptoms may take months or years to appear and can occur even with the discontinuation of medication.
Tardive Dyskinesia Causes
Antipsychotic medications treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, depression and other brain conditions. These are also called neuroleptic drugs. These medications block the neurotransmitter dopamine, a chemical messenger of the body. Having a small amount of dopamine in the body causes jerky and uncontrolled movements seen in this condition.
The antipsychotic drugs or medications that can cause tardive dyskinesia are the following:
This medication is used to treat various and certain mental or mood disorders like schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders. This medication helps you to think clearly, feel less panic and prevents suicidal thoughts in people who are likely to harm themselves. It can also be used to treat Tourette’s syndrome, which also involves uncontrolled movements or twitching.
The side effects of Haloperidol include:
- Difficulty urinating.
- Sleep disturbances.
This is an antipsychotic drug that is used to treat schizophrenia and psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations, delusions and hostility.
Using this medication can cause side effects such as:
- Upset stomach.
- Weakness or tiredness.
- Dry mouth.
- Changes in appetite.
- Skin sensitivity.
If the following symptoms occur, like constipation, difficulty in urinating, excessive sweating, jaw, neck and back muscle spasms, irregular heartbeat and fever, consult a doctor.
Also known as Risperdal, this is used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia as well as episodes of mania, aggression, self-injury and sudden mood changes. This is usually given to teenagers and children aged 5 to 16 years of age who have autism.
Risperidone has side effects such as:
- Dry mouth.
- Stomach pain.
- Dreaming more than usual.
Also known as Zyprexa, this is used to treat schizophrenia in adults and teenagers. It is also used to treat bipolar disorder.
Its side effects include:
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Weight gain.
- Pain in joints.
- Late or missed menstrual periods.
- Decreased libido.
Serious side effects include seizures, changes in vision, swelling of muscles, excess sweating and difficulty in swallowing. If these symptoms occur, consult a doctor.
Proper diagnosis is helpful in order to treat tardive dyskinesia early. The best way to avoid it is not taking any medication that can cause the condition. If the medication cannot be avoided or no alternative medications are available, the medicine can be given by starting with the smallest possible dose.
Natural remedies and adjuncts can also help, but there is no scientific basis that they are beneficial and needed in the treatment of tardive dyskinesia. Natural remedies include ginkgo biloba, melatonin, vitamin B6 and vitamin E.
If prescribing antipsychotic drugs cannot be avoided and symptoms occur, the two FDA-approved medications to treat tardive dyskinesia include Deutetrabenazine and Valbenazine. Both of these medications work in similar ways to regulate the amount of dopamine flow in the brain area in order to control certain movements in the body. Just like management of mood and mental disorders, managing tardive dyskinesia is also done on a case-to-case basis. At the end of the day, your doctor will prescribe what is best for your situation.