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Two women laugh while discussing the symptoms of menopause.

Let’s be real: Menopause symptoms and supplements

Hot flashes, night sweats and other menopause symptoms got you down? There are ways to help ease them!

July 21, 2023

Two women laugh while discussing the symptoms of menopause.

Let’s be real: Menopause symptoms and supplements

Hot flashes, night sweats and other menopause symptoms got you down? There are ways to help ease them!

July 21, 2023

Two women laugh while discussing the symptoms of menopause.

Let’s be real: Menopause symptoms and supplements

Hot flashes, night sweats and other menopause symptoms got you down? There are ways to help ease them!

July 21, 2023

Let’s talk about menopause

Menopause isn't a walk in the park. Whether you're preparing for it, going through it, or care about someone going through it, knowledge about the signs of menopause and the wide range of accompanying symptoms is the first step to feeling your best.

“Let’s be real, menopause shouldn’t be an intimidating topic,” said Holiday Durham Zanetti, PhD, MD, RD, a senior research scientist working on Nutrilite™ supplements to ease menopause symptoms. “It’s a new chapter in life, one that women should experience together and embrace—especially considering 1.2 billion women globally will be menopausal or post-menopausal by 2030.”

That’s a lot of women in the prime of their lives dealing with frustrating symptoms that can affect their sleep, work and other quality of life issues. But what is menopause? What are the signs of menopause? When does it start? Are there menopause treatments or menopause supplements?

What is menopause?

Menopause is a transition. Just like when young girls go through puberty and begin menstruating, menopause is when women stop menstruating.

“Menopause is a transition all women go through when the ovaries no longer produce high levels of estrogen and other hormones and eventually stop releasing eggs, ending menstruation,” Zanetti said. “For many women, the hormone fluctuations bring uncomfortable menopause symptoms like hot flashes, natural mood swings, night sweats and changes in sexual libido.”

When does menopause start?

Menopause typically occurs between a woman’s mid 40s and late 50s, with 52 being the average globally. In general, a woman reaches menopause after she does not have her period for one year. The years leading up to menopause are called perimenopause, typically during a woman’s 30s and 40s.

That’s when estrogen levels begin to fluctuate, which can affect her menstrual cycle or begin triggering some menopause symptoms. The time after that one year mark is called post-menopause. The whole pre- and post-menopause phase usually lasts about seven years but can last as long as 14 years for some women. (That’s a lot of hot flashes!)

Menopause symptoms and other signs of menopause

Let’s talk about those menopause symptoms and what can be done about them. Some symptoms are more common than others, but they all can be frustrating. “It’s important to remember that each woman’s experience can be different,” Zanetti said.

Menopause and hot flashes

Hot flashes during menopause are one of the more common and obvious signs of menopause. They can also be one of the more exasperating if women don’t feel comfortable talking about them with the people around them. They come on fast (hence the term “flash”) and can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes or longer.

“The technical term is a vasomotor symptom, meaning a form of temperature dysfunction due to hormonal changes,” Zanetti said.

Their frequency varies for each person and can change as menopause progresses. Some people have several each day, others only a few times a month. For those unfamiliar, you can compare it to the heat associated with a deep blush that comes with feeling embarrassed – times 1000.

Fans are essential for weathering hot flashes. Get a mini fan to keep at your work station. A stylish folding hand fan is way more fun than grabbing the menu or closest magazine to fan your face. You can also get small, rechargeable handheld fans that fit easily into purses or backpacks or try a hands-free neck fan. Or go even smaller with cell phone fans that plug into the power port on your phone for a power source.

Menopause and night sweats

Night sweats are hot flashes that happen – wait for it – at night! Sometimes night sweats during menopause can be so quick and extreme, pajamas and/or sheets can get damp with sweat, interfering with sleep. These will have women flipping the covers on and off as their body temperature fluctuates. (If you share a bed with someone experiencing these, chances are you are already intimately familiar with the phenomenon!)

Again, fans can be a lifesaver for quick relief when night sweats hit. You can also investigate special sheets that focus on cooling and moisture wicking.

Menopause and natural mood swings

Hormonal changes that happen during perimenopause and post-menopause can affect a woman’s mood and emotions. Dealing with all the frustrating signs of menopause can also affect your mood and emotions, especially if you’re not getting enough sleep due to night sweats.

In addition, the 40s and 50s can be an extremely stressful time for women who may be juggling the care of their own children along with their aging parents while trying to advance in their career. All that can easily lead to natural mood swings during menopause.

Some women compare those natural mood swings that happen during menopause to PMS, or premenstrual syndrome: irritability, low energy and being moody or teary. The difference is that these feelings, termed perimenopausal mood instability, can occur randomly and are unconnected to a monthly cycle.

There are plenty of strategies for naturally boosting your mood or managing stress, including getting outside for a dose of nature and vitamin D, getting some exercise or a practicing a little self-care.

Menopause: Osteoporosis and bone health

One of the transitions associated with menopause is rapid loss of bone mass and strength, which happens during the three year window surrounding a woman’s last menstrual period.

Some bone loss after age 35 is common for both men and women, but menopause causes women to lose bone more rapidly, putting them at an increased risk for osteoporosis and therefore broken bones.

Regular physical activity that includes weight-bearing exercises like walking or resistance bands, strength training and balance is a great way to strengthen your bones. So is making sure your diet includes the recommended amount of vitamins and minerals that support bone health, like vitamins K and D, calcium and magnesium. That means plenty of leafy greens, nuts, seeds, whole grains and dairy products. (And don’t forget to get some sun for your vitamin D!)

Menopause: Sex drive and libido

The same decreasing estrogen that triggers other menopause symptoms can often cause menopause-related libido changes, which can be just as frustrating as the other signs of menopause.

Open communication with your partner about strategies and treatment options is key in maneuvering this menopause symptom.

Menopause supplements and treatment

We’ve only hit on a few of the common signs of menopause and some of the ways to try to alleviate them or at least manage them more effectively. Menopause symptoms are varied and many and have an impact on those who suffer from them.

In one recent survey, more than half of the women indicated that menopause has had at least a slight negative impact on their work life, citing things like lack of sleep, physical health or even career progression. In another, 84 percent of respondents said their menopause symptoms interfered with their life.

Thankfully, in addition to the strategies mentioned above, there are menopause supplements that can also offer support to those who are experiencing symptoms.

“With the goal of empowering women to live every day to the fullest, our team of Nutrilite scientists has spent the last three years developing a small daily tablet to supplement a healthy diet and help support women who experience the common signs of menopause,” Zanetti said.

“We developed a formula that includes a clinically studied botanical, vitamins and a mineral to help alleviate symptoms so women can spend less time managing symptoms and more time enjoying their lives.”

The result is Nutrilite Complete Menopause Support. The main plant ingredient is Siberian rhubarb, but it also contains vitamin K, vitamin D and magnesium to support bone health.

Siberian rhubarb for menopause

Siberian rhubarb, or Rheum rhaponticum L., is not the same type as the edible garden rhubarb used in your favorite pie (Reum rhabarbarum), although they look similar. And Siberian rhubarb for menopause symptoms is not new.

“Siberian rhubarb is a functional plant-based ingredient that has been clinically studied to ease menopause symptoms for over 20 years and extensively studied for safety,” Zanetti said. “It’s been clinically proven to help alleviate some of the symptoms.

“The root extract is rich in phytochemicals, or bioactive compounds in plants, that help relieve hot flashes, night sweats, natural mood swings and supports a healthy sexual libido—all common menopause symptoms.”

A 12-week consumer perceptual research study conducted by Nutrilite scientists and a third party showed that those who took Nutrilite Complete Menopause Support as directed reported relief from common symptoms with 12 weeks of continued use†*:

  • Up to 49% reduction in severity of hot flashes.
  • 89% of women said they feel better taking the product.
  • 94% of women reported experiencing a reduction in natural symptoms commonly associated with menopause.
  • Symptom relief began in 17 to 28 days and improved with continued use.

“As a scientist, I feel privileged to work with a team that’s truly dedicated to redefining menopause and helping answer the many questions that come along with it,” Zanetti said. “Not only through scientific product development, but through something much bigger – how a woman experiences menopause and the conversations around it.”

†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

* Results based on Amway-conducted, 12-week Consumer Perceptual Research Study using the validated Menopause Rating Scale (MRS).