By Lara Briden
There are so many ways to feel better during the turbulent years of perimenopause or second puberty. Exercise, reducing stress, and quitting alcohol are my frontline recommendations. Beyond that, hormone therapy can also be helpful, especially progesterone (Prometrium) which can relieve insomnia, nights sweats, and heavy periods.
Supplements are another good option. Here are my top picks.
Dose: Unless you have pre-existing kidney disease, magnesium is safe to try and take long-term. Some forms (magnesium chloride) can cause diarrhea, but gentler chelated forms (magnesium glycinate) are usually fine. The therapeutic dose is 300 mg with the evening meal, and please read the label to make sure you’re getting 300 mg of elemental magnesium, which often equates to one scoop of powder or three capsules. Magnesium glycinate or bisglycinate (magnesium joined to the amino acid glycine) provides the added benefit of glycine — my second favourite supplement for sleep.
Dose: Glycine can be taken as part of magnesium glycinate plus an additional 3 grams of glycine powder at bedtime. It’s safe with no known side effects.
Dose: The therapeutic dose is 3000 mg (3 grams). Products that contain both taurine (3 grams) and magnesium (300 mg) include Ethical Nutrients Mega Magnesium powder, Metagenics CardioX or CalmX powder, Orthoplex White MagTaur Xcell or Alkamin Calm. You may need to speak to a pharmacist or naturopath to obtain Metagenics or Orthoplex brands. Of all my patients who try magnesium plus taurine for hot flushes, approximately half find it’s all the treatment they need.
If you have breast pain or a breast lump, see your doctor who will likely do an examination and refer you for an imaging study. From that information, you will be provided with a diagnosis, which could be fibrocystic breast disease (lumpy breasts).
Dose: The therapeutic dose is 1000-3000 mcg (1-3 mg), preferably as molecular iodine (I2), which is available as the brand Violet® — unfortunately, not yet available in Australia. If you have any form of thyroid disease, especially autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto’s disease), do not take iodine.
Lara Briden is a naturopathic doctor with consulting rooms in Christchurch, New Zealand. She is the author of the new book Hormone Repair Manual: Every Woman’s Guide to Healthy Hormones After 40.
Find out more on her blog LaraBriden.com
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