The 10 Best Vitamins For Menopause Fatigue — And 7 That Need More Research
Come menopause, many women find that their energy and motivation have been zapped. Fatigue sets in, and hot flashes, night sweats, and sleeping difficulties don’t help matters.
But you don’t need to grin and bear menopause fatigue. Plenty of nutrients can support your health, improve your energy levels, and ease your symptoms through this transitional phase. Here are the vitamins, minerals, and botanical ingredients that doctors and nutritionists recommend to help squash menopause fatigue once and for all.
You may experience fatigue before, during, or after your transition to menopause. This transition typically starts between the ages of 45 and 55. However, some people start to experience menopause symptoms as early as age 40. In some cases, menopause symptoms can last up to 14 years (joy!).
Menopause fatigue is an intense feeling of exhaustion that sometimes happens during perimenopause and menopause. It’s caused by a shift in hormones and exacerbated by issues like sleepless nights, hot flashes, and mental health changes. If you’re experiencing menopause fatigue, know that it’s very normal: Up to three out of four menopausal women have it at one point or another.
We’ve gone ahead and compiled experts’ top science-backed picks below and linked to some of our favorite supplements currently on the market. But as always, be sure to consult your health care provider about which supplements might be appropriate for you and what dosage you should take.
In fact, a 2018 review article published in the journal Menopause Review notes that the role of B vitamins such as B2, B6, B9, and B12 in treating the symptoms of menopause fatigue cannot be overstated, as these nutrients are critical to energy-producing metabolic pathways. 7
Vitamin C may also be able to help with menopause fatigue, according to Torrisi-Gorra. Vitamin C10 is involved in energy production at a cellular level, and not getting enough of it can result in weakness, fatigue, and muscle aches. For people who don’t get enough from their diet, taking vitamin C supplements has been shown to improve fatigue levels11 in clinical research.
Getting adequate amounts of vitamin C can also help maintain your bone marrow density12, which often deteriorates during menopause.
Since vitamin D deficiencies are particularly common17 during menopause, taking vitamin D supplements may help combat menopause fatigue. If you have a vitamin D deficiency, supplementation can also help improve your bone mineral density17 and reduce your risk of fractures and osteoporosis.
Ashwagandha, a plant native to India with a long history of medicinal use in Ayurvedic medicine, is another tool to add to your energizing arsenal, says Gilberg-Lenz. It has impressive anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, cardioprotective, and neuroprotective properties32.
Ginseng is an herb that has been used for centuries in East Asian countries, and for good reason. Studies show35 that it may be able to decrease menopause fatigue, reduce hot flashes, relieve osteoarthritis pain, boost sexual function, and improve quality of life for people transitioning to menopause. Ginseng may also be able to help improve mood36, says Talebian.
While these nutrients may be able to help with menopause fatigue, it’s important to remember that it’s possible to get too much of a good thing, says Torrisi-Gorra. Taking some of them in higher doses can have harmful side effects56, so always consult your health care provider before you start any supplementation routine.
Bring a list of your medications and supplements to your next doctor appointment to help your health care provider ensure that the supplements don’t interact with any of the medications you’re already taking, says Gilberg-Lenz.
Some of these supplements (such as dong quai) can also act like estrogen in your body, which could have risks for people with a history of breast or uterine cancer, says Talebian. Therefore, it’s also important to discuss your medical history with your health care provider before you take any supplements.
Furthermore, Talebian explains that while estrogen has many benefits, it can lead to unhealthy growth of the uterine lining if it is not taken in conjunction with progesterone. Your health care provider can assess your hormone and nutrient requirements and make recommendations accordingly.
What else can help?
Of course, no vitamin in the world will cure menopause fatigue on its own. You’ll want to pair it with healthy, energizing lifestyle habits like these:
1. Try to get enough sleep
Although the symptoms of menopause can sometimes make it way easier said than done, getting enough sleep each night is important. Aim for seven to eight and a half-hours of high-quality sleep a night—integrative physician Sarah Gottfried, M.D., recommends using a sleep tracker to measure your deep and REM sleep and make sure those key stages are optimized.
Following a healthy bedtime routine can help promote better sleep, too. Talebian suggests switching off electronic screens close to bedtime and doing something relaxing instead, such as reading, sketching, or spending time with family. Maintaining a cool, dark, and quiet57 sleeping environment can also help improve sleep quality—and keep hot flashes at bay.
Talebian recommends avoiding alcohol and caffeine after a certain time of day, or skipping them altogether, as they can interfere with sleep quality62 in many people. Instead, she suggests sipping on a calming hot beverage such as herbal tea at night.
5. Seek treatment and don’t be afraid to ask for support
If your menopause symptoms are debilitating and interfere with your ability to function, it’s important to seek treatment from a health care provider. Although the preference is to try diet and lifestyle changes first, hormone therapy63 or medications such as oral antidepressants (SSRIs)64 may be needed. If you’re struggling with the symptoms of menopause, don’t hesitate to reach out to loved ones for support. Just having people who you can talk to about it can help more than you realize.
What are the top three vitamins for menopause?
Vitamin B-complex, vitamin D, and vitamin E are among the top three vitamins for menopause. However, everyone’s nutrient needs vary, so you should visit your health care provider to determine which nutrients you need and what dosage is safe and appropriate for you.
What helps with extreme fatigue during menopause?
Prioritizing sleep and practicing good sleep hygiene habits can help you get some rest and reduce your fatigue levels. Eating healthy foods, exercising, and cultivating a strong support network can also be very helpful. However, if you’re experiencing extreme fatigue that’s interfering with your ability to function, you should consult your health care provider. They can diagnose the exact cause of the fatigue and prescribe treatment accordingly.
What is the best way to avoid menopause weight gain?
Oh, the joys of womanhood: Hormonal changes can cause severe fatigue during the menopause transition. Other symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, and insomnia can also contribute to your fatigue, making you feel even more mentally and physically drained.
Addressing any vitamin and mineral deficiencies and ensuring you’re getting enough nutrition to support your needs during this time is critical. The 10 vitamins on this list are great ones to start looking into with your doctor. At the end of the day, remember that menopause fatigue, though incredibly frustrating, is common—and there are lots of tools out there to help you beat it and get back to your energized self.