Every woman's menstrual cycle is different. Some women are prone to severe symptoms, while others may only experience moderate ones. Your body loses key vitamins during menstruation. Extra vitamins can help replenish what you've lost during your cycle, lessen your symptoms and keep you feeling your best while menstruating. Before you begin taking a supplement or extra vitamins, consult your physician for advice on how to meet your specific needs.
If you experience cravings while menstruating, it could because of a vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C is also important for the absorption of iron, another nutrient lost during menstruation. If you take an iron supplement while menstruating, try drinking it down with a glass of orange juice. Other vitamin C-rich foods include fruits and vegetables.
Typically, the symptoms that occur the week before a woman begins menstruation are known as premenstrual syndrome, or PMS. Some of these symptoms, like moodiness, irritability, water retention, fatigue and menstrual pain, may be treated with vitamin E, according to the MacLeod Laboratory, which specializes in fertility. Taking about 400 IUs may help alleviate symptoms.
Both B12 and B6 can be used to treat some of the symptoms associated with PMS. In particular, a vitamin B12 deficiency is often linked to fatigue. Vitamin B12 is found in meat, poultry, dairy products and eggs. Consuming more of these foods the week before your period can help you avoid feeling fatigued.
Vitamin B6 can help with bloating and depression. However, use caution when taking a B6 supplement. Consuming more than 100 mg per day can cause side effects such as neurological damage, digestive issues and dry or itchy skin. Vitamin B6 supplements can also interact with any medication you may be taking, so consult your doctor. Natural sources of B6 include nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs and meat.
To ensure overall reproductive health, you should incorporate vitamin A into your diet. Vitamin A promotes normal growth and development of your teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, and aids in the growth of skin membranes. Vitamin A helps protect your uterus and its lining. Vitamin A can be found in animal sources and green leafy vegetables.