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How To Combat Fatigue During Menopause

The Complexity And Durability Of Menopause

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Though a frequent complaint for middle-aged women in general, fatigue is especially common in those who are postmenopausal. Menopause, the point at which a womans menstrual cycles have been absent for twelve consecutive months, brings a range of common symptoms that includes hot flashes, mood swings, low sex drive, vaginal atrophy, and sleep disturbances. Though fatigue may be a primary symptom related to changing hormone levels, it is also influenced secondarily by other common symptoms such as night sweats, poor sleep quality, and changes in body composition.

While menopause symptoms are short-lived in some women, for others they are enduring, causing discomfort and distress that lasts for years. The Study of Womens Health Across the Nation found that among the 44% of women who reported frequent menopausal symptoms, more than half of these lasted 7 years or more. The average duration of symptoms ranged from 10.1 years for African-American women to 4.8 years for Japanese women, with other ethnicities falling somewhere in between. These numbers indicate that the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause may disrupt womens lives for a significant period of time and should be addressed as soon as possible to preserve long-term health and quality of life.

Get The Sleep You Need

In addition to fatigue, night sweats and hot flashes are also common and can interfere with your sleep. Plenty of sleep is essential during menopause so that youre not extra tired during the day.

If youre having trouble sleeping due to hot flashes, consider installing a ceiling fan or using a large box fan at night. Wear lighter clothes to bed and make sure the room is dark and cool. Try to go to bed at the same time every night including on the weekends to get your body in a rhythm.

Minimize The Alcohol And Caffeine Consumption

When your energy levels are already low, alcohol and caffeine can make it worse. Though you might enjoy an immediate rush of energy, it will soon wear off leaving you feeling more drained than you were before.

Plus, substantial alcohol and caffeine, especially toward the end of the day, can interfere with a good nights sleep, and sleep is essential to fighting menopause fatigue.

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Crashing Fatigue In Menopause Causes Its Own Problems

Along with deep tiredness, crashing fatigue has its own symptoms:

  • Lack of motivation
  • Feeling overwhelmed or emotionally stressed

Conventional doctors may be familiar with crashing fatigue, but still tend to offer only prescription drugs like antidepressants, which may not even relieve the problem of extreme tiredness. And theres no way that kind of medication can resolve the source of the issue.

If youre being laid low by crashing fatigue in menopause, you can find your way back to feeling energetic and active with a few simple steps. But you have to know what causes crashing fatigue in the first place.

Understanding Perimenopause And Menopause

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Perimenopause refers to the time of transitional before menopause begins. Your periods may become irregular, and your flow may become heavier or lighter.

Production of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone usually begins to slow when a woman reaches her 40s. That happens as a woman enters the perimenopausal period. The full transition to menopause can take 4 to 12 years.

Menopause is the time of life when your periods stop, estrogen and progesterone production ends, and you can no longer become pregnant.

During perimenopause, you might start experiencing symptoms such as hot flashes, insomnia, and fatigue. Youll officially be in menopause when you havent had a period for 12 months.

Fatigue can be one sign that youre in a menopause transition. Here are a few of the other symptoms that are common during perimenopause:

  • hot flashes
  • mood changes, such as feeling sad or more irritable than usual
  • night sweats
  • vaginal dryness
  • weight gain

Talk to your doctor if these symptoms or any others bother you. You can work together to find the best treatment options for your symptoms.

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Keep A Diary And Note Your Sleeping Habits

Keep a diary or journal to log your thoughts and emotions. You may have a lot of different changes going on in your life and it can be very helpful to write to yourself about them as a way of getting perspective and charting change.

Some of your fatigue may be associated with poor sleep/Insomnia or Night Sweat or Hot Flushes .Try to create good routines for yourself including a regular bedtime and rising time. A good night time routine will ensure better sleep. Is your phone and tablet etc out of the bedroom?

What Causes Crashing Fatigue During Menopause

Theres not really one cause of crashing fatigueits a combination of the way your hormones make you feel during the day and the way other menopause symptoms can keep you up at night. But the simple answer is that your body is going through some huge changes, and that can be exhausting.

As women age, their bodies begin to produce less estrogen and progesterone. This can affect your mood, leading to higher levels of stress and decreased motivation. Your body reacts to this sudden fluctuation in hormone levels by jumping into fight or flight mode, releasing both cortisol and adrenaline into your body. This can leave you feeling exhausted, but it can also disrupt your sleep cycle.

Producing less estrogen and progesterone also makes you more likely to have sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that causes you to momentarily stop breathing and disrupt your sleep as you wake up to resume your breathing. Other symptoms of menopause, like hot flashes, night sweats, heartburn, or restless legs, can also disturb your sleep at night.

Crashing fatigue during menopause can feel like youre burning the candle at both endsyou arent getting enough rest to fully recharge your batteries, and youre draining your battery at a faster rate. If your menopause fatigue is leaving you feeling exhausted, there are steps you can take to help your body adjust to its new chemistry and boost your energy levels.

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Perimenopause And Extreme Fatigue

During perimenopause, your body is going through some pretty intense hormonal changes as your ovaries begin to shut the doors on their reproductive years. Coupled with other symptoms that accompany the perimenopausal period including night sweats, insomnia, and hot flashes, it can feel impossible to get a good nights rest.

In perimenopause, you experience fluctuating hormone levels. Estrogen and progesterone tend to decline as you go through menopause. However, there are receptors for estrogen and progesterone all over your body. Thus, changes in your ovaries affect your whole body.

Tips To Help Fight Fatigue During Menopause

How to beat menopause fatigue

I want to get out of this black hole once and for all and step into the light. The fatigue is unbearable. Susie D

Tired, irritable, hot flushes, night sweats and weight gain are all common complaints for women entering the menopause.

Fatigue is one issue that slips below the radar.

Fatigue can be defined as an ongoing and persistent feeling of weakness, tiredness, and lowered energy levels as opposed to sleepiness.

Fatigue involves a lack of energy rather than sleepiness, hence having a nap during the day does nothing to alleviate any fatigue.

You may feel a lag in energy levels that lasts all day, or experience shorter bursts of fatigue intermittently.

Fatigue is particularly frustrating as it has a duel effect on both mind and body, making you feel despondent and frustrated.

The most likely cause of fatigue during the menopause phase of a woman’s life is the fluctuation of hormones that occurs naturally during this time.

Your hormones are responsible for controlling energy, thus, when levels of estrogen and progesterone decrease, so do energy levels.

Here are my four top tips to help you overcome fatigue and have more energy in your day.

1. Stop “dieting” and start enjoying your food.

As women enter the menopause, weight gain can be an issue. They then begin the diet trap and rather than lose weight, they lose energy and find themselves fighting fatigue.

A diet should not have a time limit on it, nor make you feel deprived.

  • 2. Exercise daily.
  • 4. Make life simple.
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    Firstly Why Do We Need Sleep

    Our bodies require a long period of sleep for optimal health and wellbeing. During sleep, our bodies consolidate memories and experiences, restore and rejuvenate, repair tissues, grow muscle, and synthesize hormones. When we do not get enough consecutive hours of sleep, our bodies are not able to complete all of these necessary tasks in order to perform at our best.

    Interestingly, our bodies regulate sleep similarly to the way we regulate breathing, eating, and drinking. Therefore, while scientists are still exploring theories for why we sleep, there is consensus that sleep serves a critical role in our health and well-being. Unfortunately, when we are in perimenopause, there are a number of symptoms that prevent women from getting enough sleep. Consequently, fatigue during perimenopause further aggravates an already stressed body.

    Constantly Feeling Tired Is A Common Complaint For Many Menopausal Women

    Fatigue is a common menopause complaint, especially in the early stages of menopause, as your body adjusts to its new chemistry.

    In fact approximately 55 to 75% menopausal females report some degree of insomnia or sleep difficulty. There are several reasons that may lead to sleep difficulty due to menopause and in turn increased fatigue.

    Here are a few things you can do to increase energy during menopause.

  • Exercise. Its difficult to think of exercising if you are already drained of energy. But if you keep moving its amazing how much better you will feel with even short bursts of exercise. Once you start you will feel more energized and will want to naturally increase the time you exercise. A simple walk in the morning to get you started or a walk after dinner. Dont push yourself, just aim for 10 minutes a day as a starting point and increase to at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Stay Hydrated. With the high amount of tea and coffee being consumed we often do not think that perhaps the reason for our fatigue is due to dehydration. Tea and coffee are both diuretics which increase the rate at which fluid is lost from your body. Make sure you are staying hydrated. It is so important to get plenty of water every single day!
  • Increase Nutritional Supplements. You may be eating a good diet, but the foods you are eating may not contain the nutrients you need to meet your deficiencies. Be sure you are getting a multi-vitamin and enough iron, magnesium, zinc and calcium.
  • Self Care.
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    Talk With An Experienced Menopause Doctor

    Hormonal changes often cause a range of symptoms including hot flushes and night sweats which will also have an impact on your energy levels, making you feel more tired during the day.

    If fatigue or any other symptoms of menopause are affecting your quality of life, help is never far away. Contact our team here at the Australian Menopause Centre, and they will take the time to discuss your symptoms and feelings, helping you to understand your current health concerns.

    Our knowledgeable team will review your medical history and depending on your suitability prescribe a menopause treatment program.

    Call us today on 1300 883 405 and let one of our doctors help start you on a path.

    The Relationship Between Melatonin And Perimenopause Fatigue

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    Melatonin, the sleep hormone, has also been found to change profoundly during perimenopause. In the journal Sleep Science, a comprehensive study was conducted to evaluate the links between sleep, melatonin, and menopause. The research demonstrated that melatonin levels decrease during the perimenopausal period. However, melatonin levels decline more slowly compared to estrogen and progesterone. Furthermore, the study found that exogenous melatonin can improve sleep quality in perimenopausal women.

    Research has further suggested that a decrease in melatonin may be linked to the onset of perimenopause. While a decline in melatonin has been linked between perimenopause and extreme fatigue, it is important to note that men also experience a decline in sleep quality around the same time as women. Along with a decrease in melatonin secretion in both men and women, aging also leads to impairments in your circadian system. Therefore, changes in sleep quality are a part of the normal aging process in both women and men.

    Despite knowing that your sleep changes as you age, it still doesnt make living with fatigue any easier. Many women in perimenopause find their fatigue extremely debilitating. For example, fatigue can cause depression, poor concentration, and an overall decrease in quality of life. Fortunately, there are many ways to improve fatigue during menopause.

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    Choose A Healthy Diet

    During menopause, stick to a healthy balanced diet. Doctors recommend eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, vitamins D and B, and fiber.

    You can create a dietary plan that includes healthy foods that you enjoy eating and plenty of fruits and vegetables.

    Dairy products may also help ease your symptoms and boost bone health. However, if you are lactose intolerant, you can get your vitamins and minerals from other food sources.

    Menopause is a significant period in a womans life. Although it marks the end of your fertility period, it is also a major milestone and worthy of celebration. These tips can help you combat menopausal fatigue and live your best, healthiest life.

    Tips For Sleeping Better With Menopause

    If you are experiencing sleep issues related to menopause, consult your doctor. They know your personal medical history and can recommend appropriate treatment options, including medications and lifestyle changes that may improve your sleep. The following sleep tips may also help.

    Sleep issues are a common experience of menopause, but there are many options for relieving them. If your sleep issues persist, seek out a therapist trained in CBT who has experience working with menopausal women.

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    Psychological Or Social Conditions

    Numerous psychological and social theories have been proffered to explain why women may become depressed during perimenopause. Some of these are related to the following factors:

    • Change in the childbearing role

    • Loss of fertility, which may be associated with a loss of an essential meaning of life

    • Empty nest syndrome

    • The societal value of youth .

    Why Is Fatigue A Common Symptom Of Menopause

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    As you enter the perimenopausal period, your hormone levels rise and fall in unpredictable ways. Eventually, your female hormone levels will decrease until your body stops making them completely.

    The same hormonal changes that cause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats can also affect your mood and energy levels, leading to fatigue. Those hormone variations can also make it harder for you to sleep at night, which can leave you feeling tired during the day.

    Even if youre in your 40s or 50s, fatigue isnt necessarily due to perimenopause or menopause. All of the following can cause fatigue:

    • alcohol and drug use

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    A Transition From Perimenopause To Menopause

    You don’t start getting menopause symptoms all of a sudden. It happens in a gradual transition from Perimenopause to Menopause.

    Perimenopausestarts a few years before menopause ensues. It slowly transitions your body’s hormonal levels towards menopause. It causes a decline in the hormone estrogen . There are irregular menstrual cycles and symptoms similar to Menopause. The signs and symptoms include mood swings, trouble sleeping, decreased sex drive, and perimenopausal fatigue.

    It may last for a few months to a few years but eventually leads to Menopause. So, perimenopause symptoms like fatigue and irregular menses mean that menopause is around the corner.

    How Prevalent Is Menopausal Fatigue

    Fatigue and its associated cluster of symptoms are common during the menopause transition. A 2017 study identified fatigue as the most frequent symptom experienced by perimenopausal and menopausal women. However, fatigue is not a simple, straightforward symptom. Rather, it is an experience interwoven into many aspects of life and can manifest as low energy levels, lack of motivation, and even physical weakness. The impact on functionality and quality of life can be so significant that it has been identified as a top symptom relief priority for women negotiating the menopausal transition.

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    Know Your Metabolic Biomarkers

    The following labs give you a baseline of your metabolic health. Any doctor can do these labs. The normal range is pretty wide so be aware of the optimal range. You could have a fasting glucose of 99 and be told you are within normal range. One point higher than that and you are prediabetic so the conversation and awareness needs to begin as soon as you fall outside the optimal range.

    • Fasting glucose: normal ranges are 65-99mg/dL. Optimal 65-87mg/dL
    • Fasting insulin: normal 3-25 uIU/mL. Optimal < 5
    • Fasting triglycerides: normal < 150 mg/dL, optimal < 100
    • HsCRP measures inflammation. Normal < 3mg/L, optimal < 1
    • HgA1C normal < 5.7, optimal < 5.5
    • Uric Acid normal range 3.1-7.9mg/dL, optimal < 5.5
    • TSH normal range 0.35-5.50 uUI/mL, optimal 1-2.

    Crashing Fatigue Menopause: How Do I Know If I Have It

    5 Steps to Fight Against Menopausal Fatigue Symptoms ...

      Crash! Bang! Boom! Did menopause catch you off-guard? What was your first hint? Night sweats? Hot flashes? Loss of concentration?

      For each woman, its different, but one of the first signs of perimenopause can also be crashing fatigue.

      Whats crashing fatigue? If youve got it, you know it. Its that horrible moment when a rush of exhaustion pours down on you, and you are gripped by suddenly feeling fatigued. You may also experience a sudden onset muscle weakness that might frighten you at first.

      The worst part is that you can be feeling fine one moment, and the next, you feel like you need to lay your head down on the desk and sleep. Or you may feel drained, and your brain might become so foggy that you get concerned that you wont be able to follow through with your daily routine.

      The symptoms of crashing fatigue might surprise you. Its not just feeling sleepy. When it happens during menopause, you can also experience these common symptoms:

      • Anxiety
      • Feelings of overwhelm and emotional stress
      • Weight gain

      Conventional doctors tend to offer prescription drugs like antidepressants for the symptoms of crashing fatigue, but even these wont relieve the problem of extreme exhaustion. When it comes to crashing fatigue, medication isnt always the answer. You do have other choices that can get you back to feeling energetic and more active.

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