• Dr. Annmarie Waite

Menopause: Stress & Nutrient Burn

Let’s take a break from the coronavirus and look at menopause.

This is a significant transition for women – as they enter what can be the best years of their lives. However, for some, this time brings challenges and stress can make things worse. It is important to know why, but more importantly – what do you do about it, and what can you do to feel better?

In women, stress increases their need for B vitamins and magnesium. Stress comes in all forms and high stress increases the production and break down of stress hormones – cortisol and epinephrine through the liver which ultimately requires an increase in specific nutrients as co-factors in the metabolic processes.

This is known as the “nutrient burn rate,” a concept introduced by Dr. Carolyn Dean (www.rnareset.com), a renowned expert on magnesium. Some things that can increase one’s “burn rate” ……and we’ll bet you’ve been impacted by one or more of them:


Physical. Lack of sleep, travel (especially across time zones), lack of sunlight.


Chemical. Alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, marijuana, drugs, pollutants such as cleaning chemicals and pesticides.


Mental. Worry, anxiety, perfectionism, long work hours, difficult family members or work colleagues.


Emotional. Anger, guilt, loneliness, sadness, fear, and helplessness.


Nutritional. Food allergies, vitamin & mineral deficiency.


Traumatic. Injuries, illness, surgery, infections.


Psycho-spiritual. Troubled relationships, financial / career pressures, unhappiness.


Do any of those apply to you? We need to recognize our stressors and go to work on them. So, what is your “burn rate” and how do you deal with it?


Ø Add some additional B complex to your daily regimen. It should contain highly absorbable B12, B6, and Folic Acid (as Quatrefolic®). For most women this is enough, but you want to add even more depending on your stressors and how you feel.


Ø Get more magnesium which is deficient in most women. There are many kinds of magnesium supplements available (most need 800 – 1000 mg per day). Add Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) to your bathwater and soak for 20 minutes 3 times a week.


Ø Get an optimal level of vitamin D. Optimal levels of vitamin D are associated with an enhanced mood and sense of wellbeing, as well as benefits of a marked decrease in the risk for a number of diseases. Aim for 5,000IU per day as a supplement and get out in the sun when you can.


Addressing your stress and your nutrient burn rate should make you feel better during this very important time in your life.

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Disclaimer: Dr. Waite is a certified health coach trained by the Health Coach Institute who works to achieve “habit change” (adoption of health-enhancing practices) via coaching. As a health coach, she does not diagnose or treat disease, prescribe medication, or perform the functions of clinical occupations. For those things, she recommends that you consult your healthcare provider. We are happy to work with your healthcare provider’s professional guidance to best support your wellbeing.