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 is Vitiligo?
Especially in recent years, where media is striving for representation, you may have noticed a few actors or models with contrasting skin pigmentation. Many individuals with these discolored patches of skin have vitiligo. While this condition has only recently been receiving more acknowledgment and visibility, people all over the world have had vitiligo for many years.
Symptoms of Vitiligo
Individuals with this condition exhibit patchy skin color. Many are often born with a monotone skin pigment, and symptoms manifest over the years. Every person suffers from the condition differently, involving a wide range of severity and affected areas. Different types can affect different parts of the body:
- Universal vitiligo: nearly all of your body
- Generalized vitiligo: many parts of your body (often symmetrically)
- Segmental vitiligo: only one side of your body
- Localized (focal) vitiligo: affects just a few targeted spots on the body
- Acrofacial vitiligo: affects just the hands
While the loss of skin color can appear anywhere, some areas of the body are often affected first. These areas include the hands, face, and parts of the body surrounded by openings (such as the genitals).
It may also manifest as the premature loss of color in the hair. Although graying hair is expected with age, vitiligo may cause this to happen much earlier, such as in adolescence or teen years.
Some people may only exhibit symptoms when they are older; however, a vast majority of cases appear before the age of 30. Sometimes, the skin will regain its color over time with treatment. In other cases, the condition progresses. It’s difficult to gauge how vitiligo will impact a person.
Although the disease itself is not life-threatening, there are certain complications individuals suffering from this condition should keep in mind. Vitiligo increases the risk of sunburn, hearing problems, and eye problems. Additionally, the social stigma surrounding the condition sometimes forces individuals to endure social and psychological stress.
What Causes Vitiligo?
On a microscopic level, vitiligo refers to the death of melanocytes. Melanocytes are pigment-producing cells that give skin, eyes, and hair their natural color. When these cells die, the skin is left incredibly pale in appearance. Researchers are not sure of the exact cause of this cell death; however, there are several different theories why one would suffer from the disease.
Some experts speculate that immune system disorders are responsible for abnormal behavior. The immune system is responsible for keeping the body safe and healthy. Some believe that when the body’s defense accidentally attacks healthy tissue, it can cause some damage. If the immune system happens to target melanocytes, this theoretically results in loss of pigmented tissue.
Researchers found a connection between heredity and this condition. It’s possible that an inheritable genetic mutation is responsible for symptoms.
A traumatic triggering event may cause it. Triggering events can include stressful situations such as severe sunburns or contact with an incredibly corrosive chemical.
How to Get Diagnosed
Diagnosis of vitiligo involves a medical examination. A trained physician can assess your case. If you notice patchy pigmentation abnormalities appearing in your skin, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor. Although there is no cure for vitiligo, there are several treatments that may help with symptoms.
Treatments for Vitiligo
There are no treatments that stop vitiligo; however, some treatments may get color back in some cases. Depending on the medical assessment you receive, a doctor may suggest anti-inflammatory medication, light therapy, photochemotherapy, or depigmentation. However, these may have side effects to consider and are not guaranteed to be effective.
Above all when answering, it’s important to remember that vitiligo’s symptoms are more superficial than anything. Treatments are available to offer patients desired solutions, but vitiligo is not a dangerous condition that requires much treatment. Aside from taking extra care when the skin is exposed to the sun, if you are comfortable with your condition, there is no need to seek treatment.
If you are unhappy with the appearance of patchy spots, using makeup can help blend your skin colors together. Many individuals found happiness and success from embracing their vitiligo versus struggling to cover it up and blend in.