Menopause Essential Nutrients.
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HRT medications are primarily
broken up into two categories: those with estrogen, and those with a
combination of estrogen and progesterone. It is important to remember
that the link between HRT and nutrient deficiencies arises from the
use of estrogen. Below are some common names of HRT medications:
Why do I need hormone replacement during menopause?
The main reason for your doctor to prescribe hormone
replacement medicines during menopause is to treat symptoms such as
hot flashes and vaginal dryness, and to help prevent osteoporosis. A
doctor might also prescribe these medicines if a woman has had a
hysterectomy (removal of the uterus). If taken long term, HRT can
increase the risk of breast cancer, heart attack, and stroke so it is
important to talk with your doctor regarding your personal risks. Some
side effects of HRT include bloating, cramps, appetite changes, and
breast tenderness. HRT can prevent caffeine breakdown therefore it is
important to try and avoid caffeine containing foods and beverages
while taking HRT. As stated above, hormone replacement therapy has
been shown to deplete vitamin C, vitamin B-2, vitamin B-6, folic acid,
vitamin B-12, magnesium, and zinc.
What do these essential nutrients do?
* Vitamin C deficiency is related to an increased
incidence of heart disease, high cholesterol, muscle and joint pain,
cataracts, and osteoporosis.
* Inadequate levels of vitamin B-2
are associated with fatigue, cataracts, migraines, and thyroid
* Low levels of vitamin B-6 are
associated with carpal tunnel syndrome, migraine headaches, diabetes,
cardiovascular disease, and asthma.
* Marginal folic acid and vitamin
B-12 levels have been shown to cause high levels of a chemical called
homocysteine (an amino acid metabolite). When elevated, homocysteine
is a risk factor for osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and
Alzheimer's. In addition, low levels of folic acid and vitamin B-12
are related to fatigue, anemia, and depression.
* Magnesium plays a role in more
than 300 chemical reactions in the body. Some of the conditions
related to inadequate levels are osteoporosis, high cholesterol,
diabetes, depression, muscle and joint pain, heart arrhythmias, and
* Zinc is responsible for more than
200 chemical reactions in the body. Low levels of zinc are related to
osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, psoriasis, and
acid-base balance disorders.
The nutrient depleting side effects
of hormone replacement therapy are not common knowledge. Ask your
doctor today about these potential side effects, and if you are taking
one of these medications make sure you are also taking menopause
supplements so that you can get the most from your medicine and
minimize nutrient losses.
In summary, hormone replacement
therapy prescribed by your doctor is necessary to treat your
condition; however, you should also be aware that the long term
potential nutritional side effects can negatively affect your
health. Put the odds in your favor and maintain your health with
menopause essential nutrients.
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