Dietary Supplements and Menopause
Many women are taking dietary supplements by the time they reach midlife, however, most are not telling their doctor. Supplements can interact with prescription medications, so it’s important to share which vitamins and herbals you take with your doctor. Avoid taking supplements in place of, or in combination with, prescription medications without first consulting with your healthcare provider.
Weight loss, sexual enhancement or bodybuilding supplements can contain ingredients that may not be safe or approved by the FDA. Also, most supplements have not been tested in pregnant or breastfeeding women. Even those products with seals of approval on quality testing, manufacturing, and ingredients from organizations like U.S. Pharmacopeia, ConsumerLab.com, or NSF International do NOT guarantee safety.
When using supplements, more isn’t necessarily better! Care should be taken to avoid taking high doses that aren’t healthy.
Here are some great questions to ask yourself prior to starting a supplement:
- What are the potential benefits of taking this product for me?
- Does this product have any safety risks?
- How much is the proper dose?
- How, when, and how long should I take it?
- How will I know if the supplement is helping me?