Menopause is a normal part of a woman’s life, but it does not mean it’s easy to go through. During menopause, your body experiences several changes. There will be extreme shifts in your hormone levels and you can feel different symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings. These changes in your body can lead to fear, anxiety, and even depression.
It’s normal and understandable to feel some sense of grief as you might view menopause as a loss of youth and a transition to the uncertainty of ageing. But understanding what menopause is can help you embrace this period in your life. Extra measures to alleviate ageing and menopause symptoms such as taking collagen can also make the transition easier. How does collagen help with menopause symptoms? First, you must know what happens during menopause.
What Happens During Menopause
Menopause is the point in time twelve months after your last menstrual cycle. The age it happens at can vary between different women, but it usually occurs in your late 40s or early 50s. Several changes happen in your body throughout the three stages of menopause:
Perimenopause can start as early as your mid-thirties. It is the period leading up to menopause. Your hormones begin to decline, resulting in erratic and irregular menstrual cycles. You can also start experiencing hot flashes and vaginal dryness. You may notice an increase in skin sagging, fine lines, and brittle hair and nails.
You are officially in menopause when you have gone without a period for twelve consecutive months. Your body has stopped producing the hormones that cause your menstrual period. Perimenopause symptoms will worsen during this stage. You may also experience fatigue, weight gain, and mood swings.
You are in postmenopause for the rest of your life after you have gone through menopause. Symptoms from menopause may become milder but they may also linger for up to a decade after menopause. At this stage, the risk for certain health conditions such as osteoporosis and heart disease increases.
Collagen, Menopause, and Skin Health
When the ovaries produce estrogen, this hormone binds to receptors in the skin which signals the skin to produce collagen. During the three stages of menopause, your body undergoes several changes because the production of estrogen and progesterone in your ovaries decreases. Collagen and menopause are intertwined because when your ovaries produce less estrogen, collagen production will also be reduced. As early as your 20s, collagen already begins to decline so by the time you reach 50, your collagen production has been halved.
Collagen is an essential part of your skin, bones, joints, cartilage, gut, and more. So when collagen production is slowed down, you can experience dull and dry skin that is more prone to lines and wrinkles, joint pain and stiffness, hair loss or flattening, and less elasticity of your ligaments and tendons.
While the decline of estrogen production is inevitable, you can help alleviate your symptoms and delay the onset of ageing by taking collagen supplements for menopause.
How Does Collagen Help with Menopause
While increasing collagen intake will not increase the production of your estrogen levels, it can help alleviate perimenopause and menopause symptoms caused by the decline in estrogen production. Here are some menopause symptoms collagen can help with:
1. Skin Ageing
Because of the decline in estrogen and collagen production during menopause, your skin becomes dull, dry, and starts to sag. Taking collagen supplements can help combat skin ageing as collagen can help keep your skin plump and hydrated, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
2. Hair Weakening and Greying
Due to the changes in hormones, women also experience hair loss during menopause. The cells that produce melanin begin to die as you age as well. As melanin is the pigment that gives your hair its colour, losing it as you age leads to hair greying. But taking collagen helps strengthen hair and slow greying.
As collagen makes up 70% of your dermis or the middle layer of the skin that contains hair follicles, it promotes hair elasticity and strength. Collagen also has potent antioxidant properties and the ability to fight oxidative stress, slowing the process of hair greying.
3. Joint Pain and Bone Loss
The decline in collagen levels can reduce bone density and increases the risk of osteoporosis. Taking collagen supplements can alleviate joint pain and reverse bone loss. The increase in collagen levels can help lubricate your joints and prevent bone abrasion.
4. Thigh Cellulite
Collagen supplements may help improve thigh cellulite. Collagen can help reduce the appearance of cellulite and skin waviness in the thigh area by reversing the decrease in collagen synthesis brought about by ageing.
5. Muscle Weakness and Muscle Mass Loss
You naturally lose muscle mass as you age. An increase in collagen intake can promote the synthesis of muscle proteins such as creatine. Taking collagen supplements along with resistance training boosts muscle strength and mass.
6. Brittle Nails
Collagen not only supports your hair and skin health, but it may also improve the quality of your nails. Collagen supplements can help promote nail growth, decrease the frequency of broken nails, and improve overall nail appearance.
7. Weight Gain
It becomes harder to lose weight as you age; you may gain weight during and after menopause. Collagen supplements can aid in weight loss as they can act as a natural appetite suppressant and promotes the feeling of fullness.
So is collagen good for menopause? Collagen may not prevent the decline in estrogen production caused by menopause, but increasing collagen intake through supplements may help the reduction in collagen levels.
When to Take Collagen for Menopause
Get a head start by taking collagen supplements before perimenopause to help keep your skin youthful. The age at which perimenopause begins can vary between women; it can happen between your late 30s and early 40s, so you can get the best results by increasing your collagen intake as early as your 20s.
Having feelings of anxiousness, fear, and grief over menopause and the changes it brings is normal and understandable. But understanding menopause may change your view and help you embrace this transition. Taking collagen supplements can help make ageing and menopause symptoms a bit more tolerable. With proper support and a positive outlook, menopause can be an enjoyable part of your life.
The best collagen for menopause is one you can sustain and enjoy regularly. Flavourless and colourless collagen powders are great because you can mix them in any food or beverage.