Why you need Magnesium during Menopause
Magnesium and Bone Health
Calcium is the mineral which we all think of when it comes to bone health, as its essential for our bodies to help maintain bone density and prevent Osteoporosis. During and after the menopause reduction of Oestrogen results in a rapid decrease in bone density so extra care needs to be taken and we need more Calcium than before.
However, the latest research shows that Magnesium deficiency has been found in 84% of postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. Magnesium is therefore now considered of equal importance in maintaining and strengthening bone density, as is it stimulates the hormone Calcitonin which helps deposit Calcium in the right place - your bones - to help preserve bone structure.
Concerningly, if you don’t have sufficient Magnesium for menopause then the Calcium becomes deposited in the wrong place - your soft tissue - instead of your bones. This not only can prevent the Calcium supporting bone density, but can actually lead to painful conditions such as Osteoarthritis and kidney stones.
Unlike minerals such as Calcium, which is easily absorbed, stored and recycled, Magnesium is used up very quickly and is hard for the body to absorb, so it needs constant replenishment.
Magnesium, Sleep and Mood
Serotonin (the ‘happy’ hormone) is a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood. The decline of Oestrogen and Progesterone in Perimenopause affects the production of Serotonin, causing levels to fluctuate and fall. This is linked to symptoms such as mood swings, irritability, low mood, fatigue, anxiety and depression. Studies suggest that Magnesium deficiency can also be linked with reduced Serotonin levels as Magnesium supports Serotonin regulation in the body.
In addition to this, Cortisol (the ‘stress’ hormone) which is triggered during the ‘fight or flight’ response, becomes more of an issue during the menopause. Progesterone helps buffer the effects of Cortisol, reducing the harmful impact it has on the body, but as Progesterone levels drop, so does this cushioning effect. Magnesium supplementation has been shown to help decrease Cortisol levels, which could be especially beneficial during the later stages of the menopause.
The amount of Melatonin (the ‘sleep’ hormone) produced naturally by the body starts to fall during the Perimenopause and continues to drop further during the Menopause, which can lead to trouble sleeping and disturbed nights. Magnesium supports the processes of the Pineal Gland, which is essential for maintaining the optimum production and regulation of Melatonin and support better sleep. Magnesium also helps convert glucose into energy, which can help combat extreme tiredness and fatigue – another common symptom which is noticed significantly in Perimenopause.
Magnesium and Testosterone
Women’s testosterone levels reduce slowly with age, but as women only produce around a tenth of the testosterone that men do, this reduction can cause noticeable effects to some women during Perimenopause and Menopause. The effects of low Testosterone can not only affect bone health, but also cause lack of energy, mood swings and low libido. Magnesium deficiency is linked to reduced Testosterone levels, and supplementation has been shown to improve Testosterone balance, which is extra important at this stage in life.
Magnesium and Dry Skin
As Oestrogen levels drop, dry and itchy skin can become more of an issue. Oestrogen is responsible for supporting the production of skin oils and collagen and the ability to retain optimum moisture in the skin.
Magnesium deficiency has a similar effect, as Magnesium helps with the regulation of fatty acids and the production and bonding of Collagen and Elastin, which give skin it’s elasticity and bounce. Magnesium is also essential for cell regeneration and the production of anti-oxidants, as well as supporting skin hydration.
Magnesium bathing not only replenishes the skin with this essential mineral, but also has a soothing effect on dry, itchy skin by softening the water, reducing irritation and helping to protect the skin barrier.
You may also want to read our article for you want some easy and simple ways to boost your Magnesium levels.
Bath Salts with Magnesium for Perimenopause and Menopause
NB: The general advice for bathing during menopause and perimenopause is to keep the bath temperature warm, but not too hot if you’re prone to hot flashes.
These contain Magnesium Chloride which is the most efficiently absorbed form of transdermal Magnesium. It’s the same ingredient used in Magnesium oils, but using it in a bath can be a more comfortable experience as oils can sting when applied directly to the skin.
Just add 2-4 cups to a warm bath and relax for around 30 minutes to allow time for optimum absorption.
Ideally do this 2-3 times a week, but at times of stress or intense exercise you may want to increase it as your body will be more depleted.
These contain Magnesium Sulphate, which is not so readily retained by the body as Magnesium Chloride, but does still give a decent boost of magnesium for menopause. This product is great to use in the evening if you are looking at ways for how to sleep better as it also contains sleep favourites - Lavender, Jasmine and Valerian.
Our recommendation would be to add 1-2 cups of sleep salts, or mix 1 cup sleep salts with 2 cups of magnesium flakes for the ultimate sleep soak.
Dead Sea Salts are around 33% Magnesium Chloride, but also include many other skin-loving minerals such as Potassium, Sodium and Calcium. Add these to your bath to nourish and hydrate dry, lacklustre skin. They’re also extremely soothing if you’re prone to itchiness and help keep skin smooth by protecting the skin barrier.
Just add 2-4 cups of Dead Sea Salts to a warm bath and relax for at least 20 minutes. You can also add them alongside Magnesium Flakes or Sleep Salts if you want to give your skin some extra nourishment.
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