Tiredness During Menstruation: Causes And Tips
Feeling exhausted when your period arrives? Dont worry, youre not the only one! A lack of energy during menstruation is very common. Many women feel lethargic during this time of the month. To go through this phase of the menstrual cycle more serenely, it is important to understand what is happening in your body to take good care of yourself.
Some Tips To Regain Energy During Your Period And Fight Period Fatigue
It is important to realize that periods are only one phase in our menstrual cycle . You should take some time for yourself and take care of your mind and body.
You should rest and adopt a healthy diet by favouring foods rich in fiber, vitamins and iron . And dont forget to hydrate well throughout the day!
Many women avoid sports or exercise while on their period. However, some sports such as yoga, swimming or walking can be beneficial to reduce period fatigue.
Last but not least remember our periods do not define our menstrual cycle, which is composed of 4 phases, all equally different and important! Have a read of a very beautiful text by Lucy Peach on the Power of the Period and how to become aware of the 4 phases of your cycle to be more attentive to your body and your emotions.
It can also be very soothing to simply accept this phase with less energy and period fatigue. Dedicate this time to relaxing, reading, taking a bath, sipping tea, putting on your Réjeanne menstrual panties before going to bed the next phase of the menstrual cycle will come soon enough. Remember that we will have about 500 periods in a lifetime so learn to enjoy it!
Make Sure You’re Hydrated
It turns out that low levels of estrogen may be contributing to dehydration in your body during your period, and causing a knock-on effect for your energy levels. Estrogen, it seems, is actually associated with the body’s ability to retain water. The lower it is, the less your body holds onto and this fluctuation may result in an increased risk of dehydration. The loss of fluid for women with heavy blood flows may also be sufficient to risk dehydration without any extra contribution from meddling hormones, so when you’re on your period, it’s important to drink a lot of water and keep an eye on your hydration levels.
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Amp Up Your Exercise Routine During The Week Leading Up To Your Period
Exercise is known to be helpful for symptoms related to the menstrual cycle, like severe menstrual cramps and low mood. It also gives you some much needed energy when you’re feeling sleepy. Dr. Dweck says you should make time to move when you’re menstruating. You don’t have to go so hard that you completely wipe yourself out â even the simplest of workouts or a short run will get the job done, increasing energy levels and then helping you sleep at night.
Sleep A Lot But The Right Way
It may seem like a tall order, but you really should get your eight hours of sleep each night when youre on your period. Your body is going through a lot so you need all the rest you can get. Dr. Dweck is quick to remind us, however, that the quality of your sleep is important. Try to get under the covers at the same time every night and avoid caffeine in the last half of the day.
Most importantly, get electronics out of bed just before you go to sleep. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published research proving that light-emitting devices disrupt your internal circadian clock and destroy your sleep cycle. All these waves and lights will make you wake up with a cloudy and foggy head.
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The Solution To Crashing Fatigue In 3 Steps
If youre experiencing crashing fatigue, you want to interrupt that pattern and reestablish your normal sleep-wake cycle. Careful attention to hormones can restore their natural rise-and-fall patterns, and allow them to interact in a healthy way.
1. Let your hormones send the right messages to your body.
Crashing fatigue is linked tightly to fluctuating estrogen levels, especially when the changes are severe or rapid. The correct balance between naturally-declining estrogen and other hormones smooths out the hormonal spikes and crashes that drain energy and disturb sleep. Women in menopause are more vulnerable to the effects of stress and adrenal hormone responses. That means remembering to pace yourself during the day, and allowing for more time-outs as needed.
You can help your body coax its hormones back into balance using herbal extracts. The best formulas contain combinations of phyto-ingredients that have adaptogenic qualities that allow them to continually adjust as necessary. Look for red clover, ashwagandha, and especially black cohosh these shift naturally to the changing hormonal needs of your body, and they function well together.
2. Take snacking seriously.
Eating regularly is important to fuel energy and prevent crashing fatigue. If youre a meal skipper, youll need to change your ways, at least for a while. Eat every 3 to 4 hours throughout the day and keep snacks super simple, healthy and fast but not junky.
Have snacks ready if you can, and choose:
Tiredness Before Your Period
While you might think that 7-days of menstrual fatigue sounds manageable, this tiredness can actually begin several days before your period does. For many women, PMS or PMDD causes fatigue and other negative symptoms in the days or weeks leading up to their period.
- PMS is common, affecting more than 90% of menstruating women. Symptoms include bloating, headaches, moodiness, and fatigue.
- PMDD is a less common and more severe form of PMS, impacting up to 5% of menstruating women.
When you feel tired before your period even begins, what chance do you stand against fatigue? This tiredness can carry through the end of your cycle. It may be especially unmanageable when you do not get the rest and recovery time you need before your period begins.
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Does Menopause Cause Fatigue
Studies on menopausal symptoms show that there is a link between menopause and fatigue. In fact, medical researchers have linked early menopause to a condition called chronic fatigue syndrome , a condition that commonly affects women with menstrual disorders and endometriosis.
Most women don’t experience CFS, but a majority do experience severe fatigue during menopause.
So does menopause cause fatigue? Yes, it does. But how can you tell whether you are experiencing menopausal fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome?
In general, women go through menopause when they are between 45 and 55 years old. Women who experience menopause before age 45 are in early menopause. Some studies showed that women with chronic fatigue syndrome are more likely to have early or premature menopause, as well as other gynecological disorders.
CFS is a serious disorder which can be diagnosed by ruling out other health conditions. It is suspected if the condition lasts more than 4 months. Also, keep in mind that CFS is much more severe than menopausal fatigue.
If you are older than 45, you may notice some changes in your body like absent or irregular periods, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness. These are some indicators that you are approaching menopause.
There are three stages of menopause: perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. During all stages, you may experience menopausal fatigue, which is less severe than CFS.
Drink Green Tea Instead Of Caffeine
You might be hitting the coffee and espresso hard because you’re so tired, but Bartos suggests opting for green tea instead. Higher levels of caffeine can make breast pain or tenderness worseâand you know your boobs can get pretty sore when you’re PMS’ing. This is especially true if you have fibrocystic breasts, when your breasts are tender and lumpy. It’s considered normal but can get worse before your period.
“Go low and slow on the caffeine don’t try to do a Red Bull or a Monster energy drink, but just nice and slow,” Bartos recommends. “Have a green tea in the morning, maybe one around lunch. Just try not to go big balls out.”
“Typically, women don’t know about the fact that their metabolism changes in the second half of the cycle,” explains Alisa Vitti, functional nutritionist, author, and founder of Flo Living. “In the first half of the cycle, your metabolism is slower, so you can live on fewer calories and you have more sustained energy, so you can do an intense workout and you’ll be okay. In the second half of the cycle after ovulation, your calorie needs actually go up, so your metabolism speeds up.” So it might help to eat more during this time to boost your energy levels.
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How To Relieve Pms And Pms Fatigue
Many studies and my clinical experiences have shown that simple lifestyle changes, such as practicing stress-relieving techniques and improving your diet, can go a long way in improving PMS symptoms. For those who need a little more help, adding specific nutrients or herbs can tip the scales toward PMS freedom.
Lets explore a three-pronged approach to overcoming PMS by reducing stress, improving gut health, and balancing hormones.
Get Checked For Anemia
One of the most common reasons for abnormal tiredness during your period? Anemia, or lack of iron. This makes perfect sense a loss of blood represents even more of a blow to your body’s already-depressed iron levels, which can result in deeper fatigue. Fortunately, anemia is relatively easily diagnosed: a doctor will take a sample of your blood to check the number of red blood cells, and also possibly examine their size or shape. Blood loss and its impact on iron levels are a particular risk factor for fatigue if you have a heavy flow.
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How To Feel Less Tired While On Your Period
Theres not much you can do about your bodys natural cycle, but the good news is that your energy levels tend to peak during ovulation, which is generally about two weeks after the start of your period.
There are natural ways of helping your body out when its feeling tired though drinking water, getting at least eight hours sleep and exercising is all useful, general advice. But according to Nicole Telfer, Science Content Producer at period tracking app Clue, there are different ways to overcome your tiredness depending on what’s causing it.
“People who experience premenstrual and menstrual symptoms may report disrupted sleep,” Nicole tells Cosmopolitan. “This can be from pain or from increased fatigue or insomnia. Using pain alleviating medications may help restore sleep quality by relieving pain.”
If you have a premenstrual mood disorder, the expert suggests you’re “more likely to experience sleep disturbances like insomnia, hypersomnia, fatigue, and even disturbing dreams during the luteal phase which could be due to disruption in circadian rhythms.” In order to overcome this, Nicole explains that some researchers suggest using light therapy may help people with severe cases, but more research in the area is needed.
People with PCOS are more likely have sleep disordered breathing like sleep apnea or snoring if they are obese, which in turn impacts sleep quality. “These people would benefit from seeing a healthcare provider specialising in sleep,” advises the expert.
Try To Fix Your Sleep Cycle
Fatigue during your period may actually not be about blood cells it might be related to sleep disturbance due to menstrual needs. Professor of obstetrics and gynecology Lauren Streicher explained to YouBeauty that disturbed sleep may be the culprit in many cases of period-related exhaustion. If you’re waking up to take pain-managing medication, change your menstrual protection, or just waking up because you’re in such agony that you can’t stay asleep, it’s a recipe for more tiredness the next day . If that sounds like you, try to minimize the amount of times you get up in the night, by regulating your pain medication to let you sleep through, or getting thicker night-time pads. This may not be possible, of course but if it is, it may help.
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Can Dehydration Cause Fatigue
If you are feeling fatigued, it could be due to dehydration. Usually, you feel thirsty later than your body senses dehydration, making it hard to catch up on your water intake.
Try these tips to stay hydrated:
- Drink at least two glasses of water an hour before and an hour after vigorous physical activity.
- Sip water during your workout.
Keep An Eye On Your Diet
Along with water, it seems that you need to watch your diet during the more fatiguing parts of your period, to try and counteract the exhaustion. Good sources of iron are particularly useful, to counteract any tiredness-triggering iron loss get yourself some red meat, spinach or sardines. You may also want to stay away from carbohydrates and load up on healthy fats and vitamins, to help you process nutrients and give you maximum energy.
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What Can I Do About Fatigue During Menstruation
Menstruation can be an uncomfortable and sometimes painful time for women, and a common occurrence is the development of fatigue that makes everyday activities seem overwhelming and exhausting. Before this time begins, there are a number of steps an individual can take in order to help overcome feelings of fatigue during menstruation. This includes exercising, increasing vitamin intake, and cutting back on substances like salt and alcohol.
Other symptoms that come along with menstruation can increase the experience of fatigue. Getting several hours of extra exercise a week can help alleviate tension and loosen muscles. Even light exercise like going for a walk every day can help maintain a healthy balance in the body that will continue through the days during menstruation.
Consuming too much of what might seem like a good thing can also wear down the body to the point of suffering extreme fatigue during menstruation. Cutting back on chocolate, coffee, and salt can help build up the body’s resistance to fatigue. Bad habits like smoking and drinking to excess can also make fatigue while menstruating worse, so cutting back or quitting these habits can make the individual healthier overall and better equipped to handle the added stress of the menstrual cycle.
What Causes Fatigue During Period
Like many bodily operations, menstrual fatigue can partly be attributed to hormonal fluctuations.
Your estrogen levels rise before ovulation to support a potential embryo, and then drop when fertilization doesnt occur. Since estrogen can make you feel energetic and alert, this sudden change can leave you feeling tired and weary.
In the case of estrogen dominance, estrogen levels in the body outweigh progesterone. Progesterone is necessary for regulating your period, and keeping symptoms of high estrogen in check. When this delicate hormonal balance is off, you may feel extra fatigued.
Pain is exhausting, theres no doubt about that. If you get period cramps, whether mild to severe, they can leave you feeling extra fatigued.
You can try these natural remedies for period cramps, or reach for ibuprofen if that works for your body.
For people with conditions like endometriosis or PCOS, menstrual symptoms can be that much more intense. Along with potentially irregular periods, intense cramps, and heavy flows, people with reproductive health disorders may experience extreme menstrual fatigue.
Other conditions that could cause menstrual fatigue include thyroid disorders. The thyroid is a tiny gland that helps regulate normal bodily processes, like your metabolism, as well as hormone function.
Symptoms from thyroid disorders can be exacerbated during menstruation.
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Underlying Health Issuesthe Dangerous Side Of Menstrual Fatigue
Unfortunately, period fatigue can be a sign of an underlying issue in your health. This is why menstrual fatigue and other severe symptoms require the attention of a doctor. While a doctor will help you arrive at a specific diagnosis, common culprits include hypothyroidism, iron-deficiency anemia, and anemia-inducing health issues.
Foods To Fill Up On During Your Period
Given how much weve talked about iron, youll probably have guessed that iron-rich foods should be a must-have during your period. However, Kohli also recommends filling up on folic acid and vitamin B12, as these can also help with tiredness when we feel weak or lethargic. Consider adding more red meat and fish to your diet during your period to prevent iron deficiency anaemia and if you are vegetarian or vegan, there are plenty of non-heme iron sources, including fortified cereals, pulses, legumes, leafy green vegetables and nuts and seeds.
To make it more bioavailable, try having these with a dose of vitamin C. That could mean making a zesty salsa to have with a lentil dal, a glass of orange juice with your breakfast cereal or massaging a kale and spinach salad with an olive oil and lemon juice dressing.
Its also important, Kohli says, to have plenty of starchy, complex carbohydrates throughout the day as they release energy slowly. Add brown rice to your dinners, wholegrain bread to your lunches and oats to your breakfasts and puddings. Id also recommend eating protein and fibre-rich snacks to prevent getting too hungry and to keep energy up. The key, she says, is to eat little and often rather than waiting to have a large meal when youre already flagging.
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