These include fatigue, depression, weight gain, osteoporosis, reduced sex drive, vaginal dryness and hot flushes. While optimum nutrition often helps relieve these, many women respond to small amounts of natural progesterone used as a cream. This is available on prescription from your doctor (see also Useful Addresses, page 000). Supplementing vitamin C with vitamin E and bioflavonoids may help reduce hot flushes. Also important for this and other symptoms, including vaginal dryness, is sufficient essential fatty acids, which make the prostaglandins that help to balance hormone levels. For prostaglandins to work, sufficient vitamin B6, zinc and mag¬nesium are required.
Cramps are most commonly due to calcium/magnesium imbalances and are corrected by supplementing 500mg of calcium and 300mg of magnesium. Despite popular belief, the condition is very rarely due to a lack of salt. In fact it is best to avoid added salt and to keep fluid intake high. Fruit is naturally rich in potassium and water, and contains sufficient sodium for the body’s needs. Muscle aches can occur for the same reason, or when muscle cells are not able to make energy efficiently from glucose. Magnesium, particularly in the form of magnesium malate, helps here too, as do B vitamins. Aches can also occur due to inflammation (see page 000).