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.

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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.

Shabir Daya | , , , , , , , , ,
  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Caron, you may wish to leave three or fours hours between taking Sage Complex and Magnolia Rhodiola and see if this makes a difference.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Caron Gresty

    I shall do that, thanks so much for your help and replying to me, Much Appreciated. Caron x

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

    You are welcome and please keep us posted Caron.

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

    Hi Elsie, Sage Complex will be of benefit because phytoestrogens may help to achieve balance since PCOS is generally associated with excess male hormone production by the ovaries.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • DEIRDRE OWENS

    Hi shabir i am currently taking veridian female complex which is fab for hot flushes and night sweats but i am experiencing very bad joint and muscle pain to the point I can barely move mostly when i wake and then in the evening. Its all over even my thumbs. What can i take to compliment the female complex. This is all very confusing now.

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

    Hi Deirdre, Viridian Female Complex is a very good supplement for alleviating most of the common menopausal concerns but it does not contain a comprehensive blend of phytoestrogens found in Sage Complex. Since you have found this to be effective, please take, in addition, Superior Joints to help alleviate joint and muscle pain that accompany low female hormone levels.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

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

    Hi Joanne, Rising FSH levels would indicate that the ovaries have ceased production of the female sex hormones which is why the pituitary is trying to stimulate the ovaries. However one cannot look at one level in isolation because this may be a transitional period. I would recommend that you consider the use of Sage Complex to try and mimic the female hormones since the decline in these is responsible for numerous concerns. What occurs is that the decline causes the release of extra cortisol which is the stress hormone responsible for all the symptoms of anxiety, low mood etc. The weight gain arises because cortisol encourages extra production of insulin which is the fat depositing hormone of the body. Though Sage Complex will take several weeks to work effectively, it is the best approach. For the short term, please use Magnolia Rhodiola Complex to tackle the concerns of stress rapidly.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Joanne Powell-Beckett

    Thank you your reply. Very much appreciate it.
    Regards

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

    You are welcome Joanne.

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

    Hi Amanda, certainly the combination of Sage Complex, Magnolia Rhodiola Complex and Omega 7 should be to tackle the concerns you have highlighted. Sage Complex would normally be deemed to be safe with Factor 5 Leiden however it is best to check with your GP or consultant just to be prudent. The omega 3’s of course like the omega 7 may help to prevent blood clots.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

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

    Hi, I am so glad that you and your friends have experienced the benefits of Sage Complex capsules. The low mood and aching joints suggest that you still require the use of Sage Complex because low oestrogen levels affect the joints and also affects the adrenal glands responsible for the stress response and for energy production. I would recommend that you start using Sage Complex alongside the Ashwagandha and gauge how the body reacts to these over the next coming month or two.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • ToniF

    Thanks for getting back to me Shabir! I started it up again – and the pain in my fingers is almost gone! Such great news. However, I just went to order more and I see it’s on back order – could you recommend something else in the meantime (as I will definitely run out before the order can be fulfilled). I don’t want to take 100% sage as it made drinking alcohol particularly potent. What about DIM? Thank you in advance for your assistance. Toni

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

    Hi, Great news about the pain. DIM is thought to protect the body from the metabolism of oestrogen through the detrimental pathway – there are two pathways in the body for oestrogen metabolism and using DIM is thought to shift the pathway to one with less side effects however I do not think that this is the route for you because you need to consider using phytoestrogens such as those found in Sage Complex. I would recommend using Natural Estrogen by Life Extension until the Sage Complex is back in stock.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Louise

    Hi shabir,
    I’m 46 and I suffer really bad with anxiety, mood swings, also hair thinning,what would you recommend.thw only thing I take is a probiotic

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

    Hi Louise, the two concerns that you have indicated here are classic symptoms during peri-menopause and menopause because any hormonal disturbance affects the adrenals causing the release of extra cortisol which is the stress hormone which blocks the uptake of the mood elevating chemical in the brain called serotonin. So my recommendations would be Magnolia Rhodiola Complex to takcle the anxiety and mood swings. Magnolia extracts physically relax muscles and nerves and at the same time may help reduce cortisol levels in the body; Rhodiola works to enhance serotonin uptake by the brain and enhance energy whilst theanine, derived from green tea and found in the formulation, works to increase alpha wave production by the brain. Alpha waves relax the mind.

    For hormonal hair loss, please use Superior Hair capsules.

    Best wishes,

    Shabir

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

    Hi Alison, from what you are describing, the symptoms appear to point to perimenopause stage. The average age a woman experiences menopause is 51 but between 5 and 10 years before this, the hormone levels start to decline at a greater pace resulting in a variety of concerns such as period changes, sore breasts, increased probability of UTI’s and mood changes being the most common ones.

    I believe that the introduction of Sage Complex will help to alleviate most of the symptoms, some a lot quicker than others. In the interim period, please use Waterfall D-Mannose tablets at a dose of one tablet two or three times a day to try and reduce the frequency of UTI’s. Mannose is a long chain carbohydrate molecule that is completely insoluble in the body helping to attract the infection causing bacteria onto its sites and then removing them from the urinary tract.

    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Alison

    Thanks Shabir,
    To help balance my hormones do you think I should also take Vitex and Magnolia Rhodiola as my stress levels are through the roof along with seeming to always be in “bad form”.
    Alison

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

    Hi Alison, I don’t think you need Vitex in addition to Sage Complex which already contains this herb often referred to as agnus cactus or chaste berry. I would certainly recommend Magnolia Rhodiola Complex alongside Sage Complex if stress levels are high.

    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Alison

    Thank you. I’ll get those asap.
    Alison

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

    You are welcome Alison and please keep us informed.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

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

    Hi Karen, I completely understand the anxiety and subsequent effects on mood this has had. If you are not currently taking any antidepressants then please consider the use of Magnolia Rhodiola Complex capsules. Magnolia extracts work to physically relax muscles and nerves and also help to reduce high levels of cortisol, the stress inducing hormone produced by the adrenals. Rhodiola extracts work to enhance the uptake of the mood elevating and nerve calming neuronutrient in the brain called serotonin. The feedback is very good from users taking Magnolia Rhodiola Complex.
    If you are taking medications, and if these are not providing the full benefits, you can use Florassist Mood alongside these. This supplement contains specific probiotic strains that are known to help reduce cortisol levels.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Karen Panayi

    Thank you so much for your fast response

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

    You are welcome Karen.

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

    Hi Jacquie, there are two schools of thought regarding the use of phytoestrogen supplements like Sage Complex for those who have a history of breast cancer in their family. One is that their use will actually displace any oestrogen from the body and are deemed to be safe the other states that though they are not chemically identical to oestrogen, they may nevertheless have the same effect and their use would not be recommended. It is therefore a personal decision as to their use.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Jacquie Shepherd

    Thank you Shabir, that confirms the different opinions I have been reading..
    I’m worried about using an oestrogen without the protection of a progesterone alongside it.. But thank you for all the information on your site,
    Regards,
    Jacquie

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

    You are welcome Jacquie.

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

    Hi Jana, what many women don’t realise is the the uterus and the ovaries share the same blood supply and once the uterus is removed, there may be female hormonal imbalances. Please take Sage Complex for the next few months and I am confident that the majority of the symptoms you mention will be alleviated if not eliminated.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Jackie

    Dear Shabir
    I have written to you many times before and appreciated your wonderful advice .
    Circumstances as you know can regularly change regarding hormonal health and I guess I am guilty of blaming everything on lack of hormones!!!
    My problem is that I have taken Amitriptyline for about 3 months to help relax muscles actually restless legs, I am now weaning myself off it down to 5mg. It has helped very well with sleep. I have for quite a while now suffered with really low energy lack of motivation and irritability and been unable to sleep before the Amitriptyline.
    I keep thinking its because of lack of hormones I am 63 and been post menopause for about 8 years so would Sage Complex still be of help and would Magnolia Rhodiola help my anxiousness low libido, low enegy and lack of sleep, and I am very irritable.
    Had all my bloods done they come back good, but I just feel sad and low.
    Thank you so much Shabir, sorry must add I take Superior Hair does this affect my hormones detrimentaly….? Thank you Regards Jackie

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

    Hi Jackie, thank you for your kind words. The decline in female hormones even after the menopause may have an impact on the adrenal glands which are the body’s stress modulating and energising glands. When this occurs, and it is not just restricted to low female hormones but also an ageing issue, the extra cortisol produced causes a host of concerns including sleep disturbances, low energy, low mood and a plethora of other related symptoms. I know that many women take Sage Complex post menopause because it simply helps achieve balance within the body aside from energising and protecting their skin and joints. Magnolia Rhodiola Complex would be a great addition to tackle low mood, low energy and irritability. Incidentally, Superior Hair works to prevent the conversion of testosterone, responsible for libido, into DHT and so this would not be detrimental at all because it will allow more free circulating testosterone.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Jackie

    Thanks so Much Shabir will start Magnolia when I have finished Amitriptyline and start Sage Complex asap .
    I have to say what a wonderful site and your comittment is outstanding Thank you again fondest regards Jackie

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

    Thank you Jackie and please keep me informed if you can.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Jennifer

    Hi Shabir, I started taking Sage Complex in June this year. I am 44 and felt that my hormones needed a balancing helping hand! My weight was creeping up steadily in a way that was not reflective of my lifestyle (heathy eating and exercise 5 days a week). This month I experienced an excruciating pain (no more than 10 minutes) followed by days of severe abdominal discomfort. Following a doctor’s examination, she is confident that what I experienced was a ruptured ovarian cyst. My question is: should I continue to take the Sage Complex supplement? I am worried that perhaps it was the cause of the cyst as this is the first time I have experienced this?

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

    Hi Jennifer, an ovarian cyst is normally associated with either the follicle surrounding the egg not shrinking causing the formation of a cyst or it may also be linked to other hormonal concerns such as endometriosis or PCOS. Whatever the cause, I do not believe that Sage Complex would be responsible purely because most of these concerns are associated with oestrogen dominance which the herbs in Sage Complex help to tackle. Nevertheless I would at this point stop taking Sage Complex and see what is prescribed.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Jennifer

    Thanks so much, Shabir. I appreciate your advice. I wasn’t prescribed anything and was advised that the fluid from the cyst would simply have to be reabsorbed into my system. It’s taken 10 days but I am starting to feel normal again. When do you think it would be prudent to resume taking the Sage Complex supplement as I truly think it’s made a positive difference to me? Kind regards, Jennifer

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

    Hi Jennifer, I would be inclined to use Sage Complex perhaps 6-8 weeks down the line allowing the body to fully recover.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • clarabell55

    Hi
    I would appreciate some advice please.
    I am 41, have PCOS and have a Mirena coil for the past year. In the past have had hair thinning/weight problems etc.. due to the PCOS, but since having the mirena my hair has improved a little and i can feel the effects of the Progesterone (i have always been sensitive to Progesterone).
    Although the mirena is working as it should, i now have significant loss of libido and joint aches. I have mood swings and the very occassional hot flash.

    I wonder should i be taking an oestrogen supplement to balance the progesterone from the Mirena? Would anything you mention here help with my issues?

    Many thanks

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

    Hi Clara, PCOS is a complex concern and we still do not fully understand all the hormonal interplay that occurs within the body. What we do know is that usually there is a dominance of androgens and of oestrogen which is why progesterone is often recommended to help achieve hormonal balance. The joint aches seem to suggest oestrogen insufficiency in comparison to progesterone levels but I would not be inclined to use phytoestrogens without consulting your GP or consultant. For mood I would recommend that you try Magnolia Rhodiola Complex which works to reduce levels of stress hormones within the body.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

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

    Hi Sarah, certainly the two concerns are linked to oestrogen dominance or a lack of progesterone. Bio-identical hormone treatment is a good option since levels of the female sex hormones are checked and a formulation compounded for you specifically however since these symptoms are mild, you may wish to consider Sage Complex which does help many women with the symptoms you describe.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir