Getting older is rough – on your bones, memory, and especially on your hormones! There is a little known time before menopause called “peri-menopause.” It’s that time when your hormones are dwindling and start wreaking havoc on your “normal” cycles – causing all sorts of new symptoms. Peri-menopause can last for up to 10 years before menopause. Menopause is generally defined as one year with no periods.
I knew I was entering this several years ago, even though I didn’t know the name for it at the time when my cycles started changing. They can change in length, type of flow, days between periods – pretty much any change you can imagine! Once I started working as a pharmacist at Malley’s – I realized there might be some supplements I could take to help regulate my hormones a little before taking hormones. I read a couple of books, did some poking around online, and found a list of options. I did a hormone and cortisol test through ZRT Labs (we have the store’s test kits). My hormones were a little wonky but not terrible, and my cortisol was high in the morning. I was surprised to see the high cortisol, but – I’m a pharmacist, a working mom of two teenage boys, and a wife- so I shouldn’t have been surprised!
I decided to take supplements and saw some improvement in my moods and PMS symptoms. I started three main things, including Vitamin C, Magnesium Glycinate, and Ashwagandha. I’ll list some of the effects of these three that helped put them on my list of daily supplements:
- Vitamin C – Immune, estrogen, and adrenal (cortisol) support
- Magnesium glycinate – hormone production, sleep, PMS, cramps
- Ashwagandha – an adaptogen – helpful with adrenal, stress, anxiety, hormone balance
Several of the supplements turned out to be even better choices for my health once 2020 rolled in with Covid!
That being said – it’s been a year and a half since I last tested my hormone levels and started Vitamin C, Magnesium, and Ashwagandha. I’m getting even closer to menopause, so I’ve started thinking about retesting my hormones to see where I’m at now. Hormones are always adjusting – so it’s probably time to make some adjustments again – I’ll keep you posted! -Pharmacist Patty