Women experience a natural biological process called menopause when menstrual periods no longer occur (in most cases). Menopause happens the moment you reach your 40s or 50s; however, it varies for every woman. You are likely to feel different physical symptoms, such as ringing in the ears, mood swings, low energy, hot flushes and extreme tiredness or known as fatigue.
Given that your body is adjusting to its new hormonal condition, it’s somehow common to feel tiredness and fatigue during the menopausal stage. Having to deal with such burnout can disrupt your daily activities and can be immensely draining.
To understand fully the correlation between fatigue and menopause, we’ve laid out explanations and solutions that will help you with extreme tiredness.
Is It Normal to Experience Menopause Fatigue?
Occasionally feeling overworked and tired is normal for us. This often comes and goes, and we are usually able to recuperate. On the contrary, relentless exhaustion is more severe, can’t be cured with rest and lasts longer. It is as if you’re always feeling drained which sucks out your entire energy, causes concentration problems and affects your quality of life. This level of fatigue greatly affects your psychological and emotional well-being.
More women are experiencing these symptoms while bearing the brunt of menopause. Sleep deficiency and constant battle to get good sleep quality may have caught them unwary. Besides, menopause fatigue is not something that is often discussed.
What Causes Menopause Fatigue?
Menopausal fatigue, just like the other symptoms occurs because of hormonal changes. The estrogen and progesterone levels are shifting all at once rapidly and these impact the endocrine hormones that are connected with energy from the thyroid and adrenal glands. This unbalanced process can be difficult for your body and can lead to extreme fatigue.
Your brain contains tons of estrogen receptors. The moment your estrogen deteriorates, some of the regulation that it provides also declines. For example, cortisol (the stress hormone) regulation is estrogen’s job. When this is debilitated stress response increases, resulting in crushing fatigue.
Feeling weak and tired goes together with another typical perimenopausal symptom – insomnia. When you have trouble falling asleep or frequently waking up at night, you’ll wake up the following day feeling exhausted.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Menopausal Fatigue?
Women who are experiencing menopausal fatigue may have less energy than usual. The need to take more breaks while doing tasks, longer time to recover from exercise or when daily activities like walking can be more exerting are signs of menopause fatigue.
Never underestimate fatigue as it can affect mentally, too. Women with such conditions may experience difficulty thinking, remembering, making decisions and concentrating.
How to Lessen Menopause-Related Fatigue
Fatigue is temporary, but women who are experiencing menopause may have it for quite a while. To help you reduce fatigue and make you feel a bit better, here are some effective ways.
Keeping yourself hydrated can help you feel less drained. Water is the best choice for proper hydration. Additionally, snack up more veggies and fruits since they contain more than 80% of water. You will be more hydrated and nourished too.
Be Physically Active
Being active physically helps raise your energy levels and boosts your sleep quality. It can also increase your feel good hormone dopamine. No need to do any body drenching workout, a simple walk, yoga or tai chi can help with menopausal fatigue.
Maintain an Even Sugar Level
You probably start nibbling on a doughnut or sip a sugar-loaded coffee drink when you’re feeling drained. Unconsciously, you are upsetting your energy and blood sugar levels. Sugar and refined carbohydrates cause a sudden increase in blood sugar that leads to a spike of energy which is often short lived making you feel worse.
For you to maintain your blood sugar on an even level, eat plenty of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, healthy fat and lean protein. No dessert!
Don’t Underestimate Naps
You might probably take naps for granted, but now is the right time to invest in nap times. While it’s important to have a good amount of sleep during this time when sleep can be elusive, a quick nap during breaks may be what you need. Naps can enhance your mood and energy, as well as boost performance and alertness.
During perimenopause and postmenopause, fatigue is a common feeling. There are plenty of reasons for it to occur including sleep disruption and a change of hormone levels. Women who undergo menopause may feel either mentally or physically exhausted or both.
Staying active, avoiding alcohol and stimulants and practicing good sleep hygiene can help improve fatigue related to menopause.
Whenever you feel unexplained fatigue or other symptoms, it’s best to consult your doctor or naturopath. They can further explain whether you’re experiencing menopause or there are other serious conditions that need to be taken care of.