Hormone Mimicking Supplements Should Be Used By Nearly All Women Over 35!

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When a woman gets to a certain age, her menstrual cycle is brought to an end when menopause kicks in. A whole year free from a period is good confirmation that menopause has arrived and marks the end of fertility as well as the end of the functionality of the ovaries. Oestrogen levels at this point decline massively, however the onset of menopause does not occur abruptly, but the female sex hormone production declines over a period of time, which is often referred to as the perimenopause or pre-menopause. It is important to understand how long the transition lasts between perimenopause and menopause, but each woman will have a unique and variable experience.

What is perimenopause?

Put simply, perimenopause is the time before menopause when the ovaries begin to stop producing both oestrogen and progesterone. It is generally accepted that this occurs roughly eight years prior to menopause, which is normally between the ages of 45 and 55. As a result, many women going through the perimenopause experience a whole array of symptoms attributed to the declining female hormones and the relative imbalance between these hormones. The symptoms of low progesterone are different to those of low oestrogen and the relative amounts of these two hormones will determine the symptoms experienced. Progesterone levels normally decline well before oestrogen does resulting in what is termed ‘oestrogen dominance’ with its own array of symptoms. The impact of these low female hormones is very widespread affecting virtually all other body systems. It is for this reason that the symptoms of perimenopause, which are identical to those experienced during menopause, can be very widespread and include hot flashes, stress, fatigue, mental fog, hair thinning and hair loss, unwanted hair growth, gradual loss of elasticity of skin, vaginal dryness, lack of sex drive, sleep disturbances and even recurring urinary tract infections. Unfortunately, the decline in both hormones is slow and erratic leaving many women with feelings of confusion and despair.

To summarise, common and unusual signs of perimenopause include:

Erratic periods and change in monthly flow: A change in the monthly cycle is the most common indicator of perimenopause. The duration of your period may also change and your monthly flow can change from light to heavy or even the other way round.

Hot flushes and sweats: Another common sign of perimenopause; hot flushing is experienced as a wave of heat often originating in the chest and neck moving upward into the face and scalp. Unlike menopause where these hot flushes are usually regular and numerous, hot flushes during the perimenopause are usually infrequent and rather abrupt.

Stress and anxiety: As mentioned above, virtually every single hormonal gland is affected, the most common being the adrenals, which are responsible for stress management and energy enhancement. Female hormonal imbalance leads to an over-production of cortisol which blocks the uptake of the nerve calming and mood elevating hormone, serotonin. If these symptoms arise without undue known stressors, then you may be going through the perimenopause.

Sleep disturbances: An over-production of cortisol by the adrenals as a result of female hormonal imbalances leads to a reduction in serotonin uptake by the brain. Serotonin is converted into melatonin, the sleep hormone, at night time thus serotonin deficiency invariably leads to problems associated both with sleep induction, quality of sleep and the duration of sleep.

Urinary tract infections: Some women going through the perimenopause experience urinary tract infections for the first time and will often experience recurring episodes. This is because the tube that connects to the bladder, the urethra, is oestrogen sensitive. When oestrogen levels are low, the lining of this tube becomes inflamed and infected. Recurring urinary tract infections may be indicative of perimenopause.

Joint and muscle pain: If you are experiencing joint pain for the first time and this is not associated with the wear and tear of joint tissues then this may be yet another sign of perimenopause.

If you have any suspicion that you may be going through the perimenopause then you should take action immediately. Often women are left confused with feelings of despair, searching for remedies that treat the symptoms they are experiencing rather than addressing the causal factor, the lowering of female hormone levels. I am a firm believer of using phytoestrogens for the vast majority of women who experience some of the symptoms mentioned above assuming that they are within the age range mentioned.

What are phytoestrogens and how do they work?

‘Phytoestrogens’ is a scientific word for naturally occurring plant compounds that are chemically similar to oestrogen and thus mimic oestrogen, often without side effects. They really are miraculous in that they have a balancing effect on the body by binding to oestrogen receptors in cellular activity.

Phytoestrogens were discovered as early as 1926, but it was not until much later that they gained popularity. Farmers noticed that sheep eating red clover, which is rich in phytoestrogens, had higher fertility rates. Extensive research to date has pointed to the multiple activities of phytoestrogens, which include maintaining bone density, maintaining lower cholesterol levels (especially during the menopause), cardiovascular protective properties and even brain health.

Phytoestrogens consist of more than 20 compounds and can be found in more than 300 plants such as herbs, grains and fruits. The three main classes of phytoestrogens include:

  • Isoflavones (genistein and daidzein) which are primarily found in soya beans, soya products, chickpeas and other legumes.
  • Lignans (enterolactone and enterodiol) primarily found in flaxseeds, cereal bran and legumes.
  • Coumestans (coumestrol) found in alfalfa and clover.

Most food sources contain a combination of isoflavones in varying degrees and including these in the diet would be a good idea, although I believe there is no substitute for a herbal supplement such as Sage Complex by VH, which contains the right amounts of varied phytoestrogens to achieve hormonal balance.

Most women going through the perimenopause experience some of the concerns mentioned above and yet never seem to fully understand why. They often treat the symptoms rather than the causal factor and hence I often recommend the use of phytoestrogens as part of a holistic approach. In my opinion nearly every woman over the age of 35, with a few exceptions, should consider the use of phytoestrogenic supplementation on an ongoing basis.

This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner.

Hormones, Shabir Daya | , , , , , , , , ,
  • Sarah H

    Hi Shabir, I am taking 3 Sage Complex capsules per day, is it ok to take all 3 together or should they be spread throughout the day? Also is there anything that you can recommend for my preteen daughter to help balance hormones? She is 10. Many thanks for all your advice!

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Sarah, it would be better to divide the dose if you can. For your daughter, magnesium is a mineral that is required for the production of hormones and is deficient in many young women so worth considering a liquid magnesium supplement as per link below.
    https://www.victoriahealth.com/product/Floradix-Magnesium-Liquid-Formula/5067
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Sarah H

    Thanks so much Shabir. I really appreciate your response and advice. One more question if I may – is Sage Complex the best thing to help with brain fog?

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Sarah, Sage Complex will help to tackle brain fog over a period of time as it takes effect however you can use specific supplements such as Neubria’s Edge for clarity of thought and concentration.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Sarah H

    Ok great thank you. I will try it!

  • sue p

    Hi Shabir, I’m 51 with a history of severe endometriosis and ovarian cysts, and have a Mirena that is 4 years old. I haven’t had a period for 2 years and have started to have hot flushes, dry and sensitive skin, flaky nails, joint pain, irritability, low libido and ‘brain fog’. My GP suggested Premarin but I developed breast cysts and PMS when I took 0.3mg each day, but now I take just 1 tablet a week so that controls the flushes. I’m cautious about oestrogen, but would Sage complex be helpful, or not advisable because of the oestrogen aspect? I’d welcome any advice!

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Sue, if you have found that one tablet a week of the Premarin is controlling the flushes then I would recommend that you continue to use this as this sort of dosage is not going to be detrimental to the body.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Carroll, what remains clear is that countless people who have been prescribed serotonin enhancing medications do get relief from the symptoms of anxiety and depression even if there may be other side effects associated with these drugs. Trying to achieve female hormonal balance through the use of herbs that mimic the female sex hormones is in my opinion a good route to consider if this happens to be the cause. Obviously there are herbs such as Magnolia which are known to help reduce stress hormone levels and they may well be worth a consideration. Until this is proven otherwise, we still have to go by this theory.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Vanessa, it is the imbalance between the female sex hormones that may result in a variety of concerns. Certainly when women give up the pill, spots and skin flare ups are a common concern which gradually normalises over time though this can take in some cases several months. Certainly cortisol is an inflammatory hormone that also disturbs the female sex hormones which further compounds to some of these concerns. May I suggest that you consider the use of Sage Complex to try and achieve hormonal balance since phytoestrogens work to mimic the female hormones and so when there is a deficiency this mimicking action is of benefit and also when there is an abundance (which can cause problems) these compounds lock onto the same receptor sites so as to prevent oestrogen dominance.
    You might also wish to consider the use of Waterfall D-Mannose tablets which work to both prevent and treat any infections whilst also working to reduce inflammation making them useful for interstitial cystitis too.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Vanessa

    Thank you for your detailed response, Shabir. I have used D-Mannose in the past with success – they work better than the medications my GP prescribes! :) I will give the Sage Complex a try.

    Best wishes,
    Vanessa

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Vanessa, glad to hear the positive feedback on D-Mannose. Please keep us informed as to the outcome of introducing Sage Complex into your regimen if you can.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Vanessa

    Will do, just waiting for it to arrive! :)

  • Gabrielle

    Hi Shabir, really interesting article and I was hoping for some advice. I’m 38 and my husband and I are currently trying for our first child. I’m currently taking a prenatal, vitamin d and fish oils – Is sage complex something that you would recommend taking alongside my other supplements and is it safe to use during pregnancy?

    I’ve also noticed over the last 3 months that just before my period and during my period itself – I sometimes get sweaty right above my collarbones but only when I’m sleeping, and was wondering if this could be hormone related? Thanks so much for your help.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Gabrielle, Sage Complex can be used to mimic the female sex hormones and this can be taken alongside your other supplements however you do need to stop using this as soon as you conceive. It is often the hypothalamus that gets affected due to the variation between the sex hormones that causes the body to heat up or sweaty.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Rachel, PMT, PMDD and heavy periods are normally associated with low progesterone levels in comparison to oestrogen often termed oestrogen dominance. HRT can only be prescribed by your GP or you may wish to try Sage Complex which is worth a consideration.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Tracey

    Hi Shabir, I’m 48 and haven’t had a period for over 2 years. My GP said it’s likely I have gone through the Menopause. I haven’t experienced many of the usual signs of menopause, hot flushes etc but I am now experiencing fatigue, recurring UTI’s and anxiety. My GP has prescribed HRT which I have taken for a couple of weeks but it has given me all of the symptoms of the menopause that I didn’t have before – night sweats, disturbed sleep, hot flushes, breast tenderness and period pains. I am thinking of trying something more natural but I am not sure where to begin, any advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Tracey.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Tracey, Sage Complex is the most comprehensive hormone mimicking supplement – phytoestrogens are chemically similar but not the same as conventional hormone replacement therapies and are usually without side effects. Fatigue and anxiety are associated with adrenals stress because an imbalance in hormones causes the adrenals to over-produce cortisol, the stress hormone. Whilst the adrenals are busy producing cortisol, they do not produce sufficient energising hormones resulting in fatigue. UTI’s occur because again the imbalance between the two sex hormones can affect the pH of the mucosa lining the vagina making the bacteria more able to thrive.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Joanne, Sage Leaf extract within the formulation may only have traces of thujones which are generally recognised as safe in these amounts. Sage complex contains phytoestrogens which mimic oestrogen and have one thousandth of the activity so they lock onto the same receptor sites as oestrogen does. Since they are chemically similar but not identical they are not thought to increase the risks but obviously they would not be recommended for someone who has a history of cell mutation. Generally speaking, the supplement needs to be taken for between three and five years since the average age of the onset of menopause is 51 years.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Toni, it may simply be a case that the 3 capsules of Sage Complex are still not sufficient. The reason is that female hormonal levels vary in each individual (which is why HRT is often found in several strengths) and it may be that increasing the intake to two capsules three times a day for a couple of weeks may be of benefit.
    Another option which is worth trying initially is to simply support the liver using a milk thistle supplement. The liver has a major role in the body but primarily from the female hormones point of view these are sent to the liver after they have done their job. If your liver in under-par or simply not working efficiently then you can end up with fluctuating hormones circulating in the bloodstream which can result in the symptoms of heat.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Jackie

    Hi Shabir,
    I’ve been taking Sage Complex along with a few other supplements from Victoria Health – Ionicell, Superior Hair, Omega 7 .
    I just wondered if there is anything in the Sage Complex that could possibly cause
    Allergic Contact Stomatitis. My mouth has been quite inflamed & sore for over a week & I’m just trying to rule things out.
    Thanks in advance for your help.
    Kind regards,
    Jackie

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Jackie, there is nothing that I am aware of in Sage Complex that would cause this allergy. It might be associated with the toothpaste you use or perhaps even some food. To be absolutely sure, stop the Sage Complex for a couple of weeks and then reintroduce to see if this recurs.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Dear Ann Marie, Bio-identicals certainly help numerous women but again are not always without side effects. The fatigue and brain fog may be associated with adrenal stress which arises as a result of female hormonal imbalances causing the release of excess cortisol. When the adrenals are busy producing cortisol, they do not produce sufficient of their energising hormones and enzymes. As long as you do not have uncontrolled high blood pressure, please consider incorporating Sibergin into your regimen. Sibergin contains the highest strength of Siberian ginseng which helps normalise adrenal function and should be of benefit in cognitive function too.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Hazel

    Hi Shabir
    I am 58 and post-menopausal now. My GP commented about 5 years ago, on seeing the latest blood test, “you don’t have a gram of oestrogen in your body”. So would it be too late to start taking these phytoestrogens now? Would it confuse my body more? I still get hot flushes, especially at night.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Hazel, it is never too late to use phytoestrogens – remember that the increased risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular concerns is linked to a decline in oestrogen and so at the very least these phytoestrogens may help to protect the body. Also by mimicking the hormones, some of the other post menopausal concerns may be alleviated including hot flushes, anxiety and fatigue.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • lucy Holleron

    Is it suggested this supplement would be useful even prior to any menopausal symptoms? I am interested in balancing hormones. My sister (45) has just been diagnosed with breast cancer they say it is due to a hormone imbalance.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Lucy, Sage Complex can be used before menopause since this phase is called the perimenopause. Your sister should not take Sage Complex since it contains hormone mimicking compounds which display some oestrogen activity.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Julie R

    Hi Shabir, I am 49 and have been suffering from perimenopausal symptoms for around 4 years. I had a Mirena coil fitted 3 years ago which controlled the symptoms for a while, but they returned a few months ago. My GP has advised using 25mg HRT patches as well, which are having some effect but are not eradicating the symptoms completely. Would Sage Complex be suitable for me to use in these circumstances? Many thanks, Julie.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Julie, many women choose to use Sage Complex when the HRT does not alleviate all the symptoms but it is better to confirm this with your GP for their approval.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir