Calcium, Vitamin D, Hot Flashes and Menopause Symptoms

Menopause Symptoms and Menopause Relief

Menopause affects every woman at some point. As a woman gets older, there is a gradual decline in the production of estrogen and in the functioning of the ovaries. At about the age of 40, this decline speeds up and there may be some noticeable signs of menopause, including changes in the menstrual cycle, such as a shorter cycle length, skipped periods, and occasionally heavy periods. These changes or menopause symptoms can last for several years before menopause begins. By the time a woman reaches about 50 years of age, menstruation typically has stopped. This is the cycle known as perimenopause which then transitions to menopause, or the cessation of menstrual periods altogether.

Menopause increases a woman’s risk of developing osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) and heart disease. It’s important to talk with your doctor about how you can decrease these risks.

Menopause Weight Gain

Vitamin D and Menopause
Vitamin D and Menopause

Menopause Hot Flashes and Night Sweats

Less weight gain after menopause

Research has shown that women who received calcium and vitamin D supplements can significantly lower postmenopausal weight gain, especially in women who weren’t getting enough calcium to begin with.

The great thing about this study, is that it seems a very easy thing for women to do in order to prevent weight gain or even to lose weight often associated with menopause. Simply keep taking the calcium and vitamin D supplements. This can be the best way to lose belly fat.

As you move into the menopausal years, you also need to start thinking about your bones. Estrogen provides a protective effect on bones and as your estrogen level begins to decrease, the protection it has provided decreases as well and you gradually begin to lose bone strength and density. Most doctors recommend that women over 50 take a calcium supplement that contains vitamin D3; the vitamin D3 helps your body absorb the calcium.

Vitamin D and Menopause

There’s definitely more at stake than just weight gain. Taking calcium and vitamin D supplements can also slow bone loss and reduce a woman’s risk of fracture after menopause, making them extremely important for good bone health.

Most postmenopausal women should already be taking a calcium supplement, and there’s no way you’re going to get your vitamin D needs met by the small amounts added to most dairy foods. But don’t think that simply taking a vitamin D and calcium supplement is some magic weight loss formula. The best way to lose weight is to not gain it in the first place. If you want to prevent weight gain, you will still need to exercise, eat a healthy diet and follow a sensible weight loss program.

Menopause Supplements

Menopause Relief

This dynamic duo of calcium and vitamin D has benefits beyond weight control; it can help prevent other serious health problems as well. As you age, your risk for many chronic or life threatening conditions increases and getting sufficient amounts of vitamin D and calcium can lower these risks. Research has shown that simply getting adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D can help reduce the risks of:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Some types of cancers
  • Depression
  • Weight gain

Since these conditions can all cause health problems and affect your quality of life, it’s exciting to know that simply taking a daily supplement and providing your body with appropriate amounts of vitamin D and calcium can make a huge difference.

So, how much vitamin D and calcium do we need each day? Research and opinions vary; talk with your doctor or health care practitioner for the amount appropriate for you. The Institute of Medicine recommends 200 IU of vitamin D per day for women under the age of 50, 400 IU for women 51 to 70, and 600 IU over the age of 70. There are only about 100 IU of vitamin D in an 8 ounce glass of milk, not to mention the calories. The National Institutes of Health recommend 1000 mg of calcium every day for women up to the age of 51, then 1200 mg a day for those 52 and up. It would be very difficult to get that much calcium without taking a supplement.

Vitamin D Supplement

Some studies are suggesting that pre- and postmenopausal women may greatly benefit from 3000-50000 IU of vitamin D daily. This amount is higher than what many doctors generally recommend, but the amount considered necessary is on the rise. The amount you need will depend on several factors, including age, lifestyle and any underlying health or risk factors. Postmenopausal women are especially at risk to the dangers of vitamin D deficiency because of the vitamin receptors dependency on estrogen, however even pre-menopausal women are at risk due to the fact that sun exposure is on the decline and the use of sunscreen continues to increase.

Vitamin D Supplement

Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D Deficiency

It’s natural for women to worry about developing osteoporosis as they enter menopause, in fact, after menopause, bone loss is almost inevitable. But there are some things you can do to help prevent the effects caused by lowered estrogen levels.

  1. Women over 50 should take Vitamin D and Calcium supplements, the amounts vary widely depending on who you talk to, but in general consider at least 1000 – 1200 mg of Calcium and 400 – 600 IU of Vitamin D.
  2. Calcium and Vitamin D are most effective when taken regularly, so remember to take them every day.
  3. Some simple lifestyle changes can be a tremendous help:
  • Eat a low-fat, high fiber diet
  • Do weight-bearing exercise (walking, climbing stairs). The benefits of exercise do more than help reduce bone loss, women who exercise have better balance and posture and are less likely to fall in the first place. That of course means fewer fractures. An excellent form of weight bearing exercise is the use of a rebounder. This mini trampoline provides a multitude of health benefits while strengthening the bones.

In order to reduce menopause symptoms, women need to become more educated about the different options available to them. Many multi-vitamins that sufficed when we were younger, no longer meet the minimum doses of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and amino acids, we need as we age.

Eat a healthy, low-calorie, low-fat diet with plenty of fiber. Exercise regularly and include weight bearing, resistance training in your routine; and take daily supplements of vitamin D and calcium. See your doctor for more advice on how to help with menopausal symptom.

Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms

The symptoms of vitamin D deficiency can include bone pain as well as muscle weakness. However, the symptoms can be very subtle for many people. Even if there are no symptoms present, having too little vitamin D can pose significant health risks. Having low blood levels for vitamin D has been associated with these risks:

  • An increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease
  • Cognitive impairment, especially in older adults
  • Severe asthma in young children
  • Cancer

Research also suggests that proper blood levels of vitamin D can help in the treatment and prevention of many different health problems, including diabetes (type 1 and type 2), glucose intolerance, hypertension, and multiple sclerosis.

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Comments 28 comments

Lamme profile image

Lamme 4 years ago Author

Thanks for stopping in and reading!

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Liz Walmoth 4 years ago

I like being proactive in my health and I agree that education is the key. I like your statement that it's exciting to know just taking a supplement can improve your health. So easy yet so effective!

Lamme profile image

Lamme 4 years ago Author

You are absolutely right. Diet and exercise are also extremely important. Not just for menopausal women, but for everyone. Thanks for your comment.

christryon profile image

christryon 4 years ago

I agree that adding Vitamin D3 with calcium is good for preventing post-menapausal weight gain. However, your body also NEEDS magnesium to help your body absorb the calcium. Daily exercise is ALSO essential to minimize your risk of having a heart attack. Supplements are alone, are not enough. Adding some weight-training to your work outs will also nourish your bones and help prevent osteoporosis.

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

Thanks Daddy Paul! I appreciate you stopping in to read and comment.

Daddy Paul profile image

Daddy Paul 6 years ago from Michigan

Nice read. Nice pic of Grand Haven pier.

What a nice walk in the summer.

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

Thanks brake12, I'm not sure why your doctor had you taking them separately, but I'm glad you're on track now. Most women need these supplements and they are usually taken together. Thanks for commenting!

brakel2 profile image

brakel2 6 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Hi Lamme - Like your hub, especially about the calcium and vitamin D. I should have been taking them at menopause, but my doctor wanted me to take tums. Finally, another doctor told me what to take. Your info is very helpful and well written.

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

Thanks for the comment thayak. I'm glad it's helping your mom!

thayak profile image

thayak 6 years ago from San Jose, CA

I can confirm this. My mom is going through menopause and she said that taking calcium and vitamin D helps.

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

Hi ge, I think most people need a vitamin D supplement. Good luck to you and I hope it helps your symptoms.

geegee77 profile image

geegee77 6 years ago from The Lone Star State!!

Thanks for that great info, I think im going to get some vitamin D Im 44 now and am going through something I think it is premenopausal symptoms Ive had a hysterectomy when I was 31, maybe it'll help thanks again:) ge

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

breakfastpop, it's good you've been supplementing your calcium and vitamin D, hopefully you'll be able to ward off osteoporosis. Thanks for reading and commenting.

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

Thanks for the useful advice. I have been taking calcium with Vitamin D for a long time now. I still am on the verge of osteoporosos but I don't have it yet. Maybe I can stop it from happening.

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

Hi akirchner, thanks for reading. Glad to hear you're taking your supplements and they're working ;) Always great to have you stop in.

akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

It's true, it's true - I have to take them because of bone loss and also muscle and bone aches and pains - mostly caused by my medical transcription (not to mention hubbing, mushing, etc). It really does work, too!

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

Specialk, it happens much earlier than many of us are prepared for :) thanks for reading and commenting!

Specialk3749 profile image

Specialk3749 6 years ago from Michigan

Menopause isn't that far away for me. I look for any information that will make it easier. You have some great information here, thank you!

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

Hi RTalloni, thanks for the kind comments! Thanks for reading, it's an important topic to me.

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

Thanks travelespresso, I think you made an excellent point. The best way to be sure is a simple blood test, it's alarming the number of people who are deficient in vitamin D and don't even know it. Thanks for stopping in.

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

Good stuff here! Thanks for all the detailed work you put into it. It is well written in a friendly style.

travelespresso profile image

travelespresso 6 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

An interesting hub Lamme on a great topic. It's also important for women to understand that not all bodies absorb the vitamins as they are supposed. Vitamin D can be a particular problem with this absorption so vigilance is key!

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

Thanks bujju, I'm glad you found this useful.

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

Hi soni, thanks for reading and commenting. I think some people are confusing using supplements with overusing supplements. The overuse of calcium has been linked to high blood pressure and even kidney failure. At this time, it is still recommended that postmenopausal women supplement calcium and vitamin D. However, I totally agree with you that IF you can get enough through diet, that is always the best way. Unfortunately, that's not usually a reasonable alternative. Thanks for your perspective, it's always great to have you drop in.

bujju profile image

bujju 6 years ago

So much useful information Thanks for the great article.

soni2006 profile image

soni2006 6 years ago from New Delhi, India

Hi Lamme, your hub is loaded with complete information on this subject. I recently published two hubs on osteoporosis and bone mineral density.

One more thing I think women should take calcium or vitamin D from natural sources as calcium supplements have been linked to increased risk of heart attacks according to a recent study. You can go through this link for evidence:

It's all over the news nowadays.

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

Hi Rockerzz, thanks for reading and commenting. I think women need to educate themselves and know what we can do to benefit our health as we grow older.

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Rockerzz 6 years ago

Thanks for this valuable info ......... i appreciate it

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