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Necessary Supplements When You're Using Estrogen During Menopause

From the Menopause and Hormones Articles List

Necessary Supplements When You're Using Estrogen During Menopause Despite your hormone replacement therapy (HRT), you may not feel as well as you’d like. There may be a good reason for that. Some of your symptoms may be from a deficiency of four nutrients: zinc, vitamin B6, folic acid, and magnesium. And yes, there’s a connection to menopause and your HRT.

Your liver uses those four nutrients when processing estrogen, particularly oral estrogen, so you can be left lacking when using HRT during menopause. If you supplement them, it may help prevent the symptoms of deficiency you may be experiencing.

Before choosing to use supplements, there are a few things to keep in mind. Just because they are available over-the-counter does not mean they are safe or without side effects. They are unregulated, so they may not contain what they are supposed to. They can also interact with other supplements or prescription medications you are taking. If you believe supplementing with these four nutrients is right for you, talk to your doctor about the correct dosage for your situation.


Symptoms of zinc deficiency which mimic those of menopause include acne, hair and skin changes, joint pain, infections, eye concerns, lack of energy, brain fog, and depression. It’s important to note that your liver needs zinc to detoxify alcohol, so if drinking alcohol is a regular part of your diet it’s especially important that you have adequate zinc. Be careful when supplementing, however, because too much zinc can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, inability to coordinate muscles, lethargy, drowsiness, and dizziness.

Zinc plays a role in a number of your body’s functions and is present in all of your tissues. It aids in digestion, immunity, vitamin regulation, healthy cell division, wound healing, inflammation, skin health, and more. It also helps with common colds and may be therapeutic for chronic diseases.

The recommended daily dose of zinc is 10-50 mg. It can be found in peas, beans, eggs, seafood (especially oysters and herring), and red meat. It’s also found in whole grains, but use caution. Eaten in large quantities, whole grains may decrease your ability to absorb the zinc. You can also add zinc to your diet by cooking in galvanized cookware. Supplements of zinc are available in tablets or capsules. You can also find some forms of zinc in creams and lozenges.

Vitamin B6

There are a number of symptoms you may experience if you are deficient in vitamin B6: anemia, lethargy, depression, irritability, sleeping problems, stomach upset, and weakened immune system. Similar to zinc, if alcohol is a significant part of your diet it could lead to a B6 deficiency. It can also worsen PMS which can be an issue if you still have your ovaries. Symptoms of too much B6 include decreased muscle coordination, stumbling, and tingling of the hands and feet.

Vitamin B6 is used in the production of neurotransmitters, allowing your nerve cells and brain to communicate. It also helps with energy production, formation of hemoglobin, growth of red blood cells, metabolic processes, nerve compression injuries, and mood.

The recommended daily allowance of vitamin B6 can be as little as 1.5 mg. In some cases, a doctor may recommend higher doses to treat specific concerns. It can be found in organ meats (such as liver), fish, legumes, peanuts, potatoes and other starchy veggies, bananas and non-citrus fruit, whole grains, wheat germ, and poultry. It may also be added to malted drinks and breakfast cereals. As a supplement, it comes in many forms, including tablet, capsule, spray, liquid, and powder. It can also be found in multi-vitamins and a B complex vitamin. When reading labels, you may see pyridoxine, its chemical name, or pyridoxol, the form of vitamin B6 found in food.

Folic Acid

Without enough folic acid, you may experience headaches, insomnia, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, hair loss, or anemia. It can also cause cervical dysplasia which could be a problem if you’ve retained your cervix following a partial hysterectomy. Although essentially nontoxic, too much folic acid can mask a vitamin B12 deficiency which can cause nerve damage.

Folic acid is believed to protect against some types of cancer and heart disease, is essential for healthy red and white blood cells, and helps your body make new cells. It may also help prevent depression and macular degeneration.

Recommended daily doses of folic acid range from 250 to 1000 mcg. It’s found in fruits and juices, especially citrus; dark green veggies; dried beans, peas, and nuts; and enriched cereals, breads, and other grain products. Folic acid can be lost when boiling foods, so try steaming, stir-fry, and other cooking options when possible. As a supplement, folic acid comes in tablets, capsules, liquid, and sprays. When reading labels, it helps to know that folic acid is the synthetic form of vitamin B9 and folate is the form found naturally in foods.


Symptoms of magnesium deficiency that mimic menopause include osteoporosis, insomnia, irritability, anxiety, depression, brain fog, fatigue, muscle cramps, and high blood pressure. Too much magnesium, on the other hand, can cause diarrhea.

Magnesium plays a role in many parts of the body. It helps with healthy teeth and bones, temperature regulation, muscular activity, and energy production. It’s also critical for heart function and is vital for nervous and muscular tissues.

Recommended daily dose of magnesium is 400-1000 mg per day. Magnesium can be found in green leafy veggies, legumes, cereal grains, and nuts. As a supplement, it comes in capsule, tablet, liquid, powder, or spray forms. As a bonus, magnesium helps your body use calcium supplements better.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

10-19-2017 - 07:31 PM


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