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.
Is Menopause Fatigue Normal
Its normal for everyone to feel overtired or overworked from time to time. Such instances usually come and go and people are usually able to recover well.
Unrelenting exhaustion, on the other hand, lasts longer, is more severe, and isn’t cured with rest. Its a feeling of constantly feeling drained, zapping your energy and motivation, and causing issues with concentration and your overall quality of life. Fatigue at this level impacts your emotional and psychological well-being, too.
Many women experience symptoms like these while theyre going through menopause. The lack of sleep and constant battle to get consistent quality sleep might catch them off guard. After all, menopause fatigue is not something that is talked about much.
What Are The Adrenal Glands And What Do They Do
The adrenal glands are two walnut sized endocrine organs located just above the kidneys. Comprised of the inner-medulla and the outer-cortex, the adrenals work in tandem, playing a key role in our bodys response to stress by releasing three hormones: adrenaline, also called norepinephrine, cortosol, and DHEA.
Commonly known as the fight or flight hormone, adrenaline is released by the inner-medulla gland when there is a perceived threat or danger. To prepare us for either a fight or flight response, our body releases quick shots of adrenaline.
The adrenaline increases our heart rate, causes blood to rush to our organs and large muscle groups, dilates our pupils, sharpens our mental alertness, and increases our tolerance for pain.
The fight or flight response is engaged many times throughout our day by simple actions such as, swerving to avoid a potential fender bender, or from the anxiety one may feel by getting pulled over by a traffic cop. Ordinary, day to day to day encounters at a stressful job can also engage the fight or flight response as well.
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You Dont Have To Be Frustrated With How You Feel
Theres no doubt that your body goes through a lot of changes in menopause. But I firmly believe that all of the symptoms above as well as others youve heard about arent inevitable. Whats more, there are effective natural options that can help resolve the root cause of all your symptoms, not just the well-known ones!
|If youre feeling frustrated with how you feel, or you want to learn more about your symptoms, take our Menopause & Perimenopause Quiz to find out more.|
Symptoms Of Perimenopause: Crashing Fatigue
September 12, 2018 by Magnolia
A common complaint among women in perimenopause is an overwhelming sense of fatigue and exhaustion. Often described as crashing fatigue.
While many women might chalk it up as the result of sleepless nights associated with night sweats and insomnia, the real culprit is likely adrenal fatigue.
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An Introduction To Fatigue And Menopause
Fatigue is a feeling of extreme exhaustion and complete lack of energy. Menopausal fatigue, or crashing fatigue, is when this feeling suddenly overwhelms a person. While fatigue is often exacerbated after physical or mental exercise, for menopausal women it can come at any time, without good reason, even after a good nights sleep. In fact, often with this symptom, the woman is not sleepy or longing for bed, but completely lacking in energy and unable to continue with their normal activities.
At this time of life, low thyroid function and low iron levels can also appear, causing similar symptoms. If you are feeling fatigued on a regular basis, it is best to get checked out in case it is down to one of these underlying health issues.
It is important not to confuse episodes of menopausal fatigue with a more serious condition such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or anaemia, when you will feel prolonged periods of exhaustion which do not go away with sleep or rest.
Signs And Symptoms Of Menopause Fatigue
People with menopause-related fatigue may feel they have less energy than usual. This may need to take more breaks while doing tasks, find activities such as walking upstairs more exerting, or take longer to recover from exercise.
Fatigue can affect people mentally, too. People with mental fatigue can have more difficulty thinking, concentrating, remembering, or making decisions.
However, it is worth noting that the signs of menopause-related fatigue can also be symptoms of physical or mental illnesses. It is a good idea to speak with a doctor so that they can determine if menopause is the likely cause.
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Can A Change In Hormones Cause Menopausal Fatigue
The main cause of menopausal fatigue is the change in hormone levels. Oestrogen, progesterone, thyroid and adrenal hormones are all involved in regulating cellular energy in the body which when compromised can lead to fatigue.
Physical menopausal symptoms like night sweats and insomnia contribute to fatigue. Many women find themselves suffering from a chronic lack of sleep and this is a contributory factor in fatigue during the day. Fatigue exacerbates menopausal symptoms such as anxiety, poor concentration, and a lack of confidence. You can easily find yourself in a spiralling, vicious circle.
The Relationship Between Melatonin And Perimenopause Fatigue
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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Can Menopause Affect My Sex Drive
Yes, menopause can affect your sex drive but it doesnt mean your sex life is over.
Dealing with the physical and emotional symptoms of menopause can make you feel less sexual desire. The symptoms can also affect your sleep and lower your energy which might make you not so into sex. Vaginal dryness and decreased sensation can also feel like a turn-off. Its also normal to feel a range of emotions, including anxiety, sadness, or loss while going through menopause.
If you lose interest in sex during this time, itll probably come back when your symptoms stop.
A pretty common symptom that can affect your sexual desire is vaginal dryness, which can make sex uncomfortable or even painful.
For symptoms that affect your sex life, trying one or more of these things can help:
Use water- or silicone-based lube when you have sex. You can buy lube at most drugstores or online.
Give your yourself more time to feel aroused. Moisture from being aroused protects sensitive tissues.
Have sex and/or masturbate more often. This increases blood flow to your vagina, which helps keep your vaginal tissue healthy.
Some people may actually find that they want to have sex MORE after menopause, because they dont have to worry about getting pregnant. This may give you a sense of freedom to enjoy a renewed and exciting sex life.
Menopause is a natural biological process. And while it marks the end of your ability to get pregnant, it definitely doesnt have to be the end of your sexuality.
The Cause Of Crashing Fatigue Menopause
Its menopause, so your first suspicion about the cause may be imbalanced hormone levels. Yes! As with almost all menopause symptoms, crashing fatigue is caused by a hormonal imbalance.
You probably already know that estrogen levels decrease during menopause, but do you know why?
During perimenopause and menopause, your ovaries stop being as responsive to your pituitary glands messages telling them that they need to increase estrogen production. Sometimes the ovaries are really productive. Other times they produce nothing at all. No wonder youre all over the place!
Extreme fluctuations in estrogen also affect your stress hormones. If you have an adrenaline flood, youll get a rush to start with but a serious crash after. If youre still menstruating, you probably experience crashing fatigue right before your period starts.
All this has a strange and very inconvenient and frustrating side effect. You can be exhausted, but you cant sleep a wink! Why?
During perimenopause, estrogen rises and falls unpredictably. Your body experiences this fluctuation as a hormonal emergency. Your body reacts by jumping into a fight-or-flight response, releasing cortisol and adrenaline. When that happens, your sleep cycle becomes disrupted, and its hard to get to sleep.
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How To Improve Fatigue In Menopause
Like so much else in perimenopause, fatigue is likely temporary, but that temporary can be years long. Here are some ways to feel more energized in the meantime.
Get moving. Its probably the last thing that you want to do, so start with just a simple walk. Being physically active raises your energy levels and helps you sleep better . It can also boost the feel-good hormones that may be in short supply at this time. And you dont have do a body-drenching workout. Yoga and tai chi have been found to help with menopausal fatigue, according to research in the journal Maturitas.
Hydrate. Even low levels of dehydration can leave you feeling drained. I slam two big glasses of water in the afternoon to fight fatigue, says Laura Boulay of One Million Women Walking. And then, not surprisingly, she goes for a walk. Water is your best choice for hydrating. In addition, eating more fruits and veggiesmany are over 80 percent watercan add some serious fluids along with important nutrients.
Rediscover naps. Maybe you havent napped since your mom made you, but now might be the time to reinstitute nap time. While you should still take steps to get enough sleep, during this time when a good nights rest may be elusive, a quick snooze during lunch may be the pick-me-up you need. Research shows that naps can improve your energy and mood and increase alertness and performance. Just keep them to under 30 minutes so youll be less groggy when you wake up.
What About Conventional Medicine
If you have found that home or herbal remedies are not working for you, then it may be worth speaking to a pharmacist or doctor. There are some conventional treatments available to ease your symptoms of fatigue. However, as your fatigue is likely to be caused by the menopause, you may be asked to consider a hormone treatment such as HRT to tackle the root of the problem.
If you are worried about your condition, have experienced persistent episodes of severe fatigue, or are experiencing fatigue even when you are getting enough sleep, then seeking medical advice is also advised. This is particularly important if you are also experiencing heavy periods as you could be anaemic, or worried about other symptoms such as the condition of your hair which may be an indication of an underactive thyroid gland.
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Improve Your Sleep Habits
Focus on getting better sleep. Adopting certain new habits, like regular exercise and meditation, can help you sleep better at night. You should also avoid doing anything that can alter your sleep cycle, like taking a long nap during the day or drinking caffeine in the evenings.
Before you go to bed, turn off the screens and let your body unwind. Make sure your bedroom is calm, quiet, and dark so you can get a good nights sleep.
Here Are 7 Of The More Common Symptoms:
This is a common symptom, with women reporting everything from a flushed face to intense perspiration, lasting a few seconds to a few minutes. Nighttime hot flashes, or night sweats, can be especially uncomfortable and can interfere with sleep quality.
As your ovaries gradually decrease production of estrogen and the sleep-promoting hormone progesterone, you may notice that it becomes more difficult to fall asleep. Hot flashes and mood swings, two other perimenopause symptoms, can also contribute to a poor nights sleep.
Often one of the earliest signs of perimenopause, mood swings associated with hormonal changes can range from anxiety to despair to rage. Women may be at a higher risk of depression during the transition to menopause so it is important to be aware of these changes and to seek help when necessary.
Sometimes referred to as crashing fatigue, some perimenopausal women may experience a sudden and overwhelming sense of weakness, exhaustion and reduced energy levels. This may be due to hormonal imbalance, but lack of sleep caused by night sweats and insomnia may also play a role.
Lowering levels of estrogen in your body can cause the tissue in your vaginal area to lose lubrication, causing discomfort during intercourse and leaving you more vulnerable to urinary or vaginal infections.
Forgetfulness or brain fog
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The 34 Symptoms Of Menopause
The average age of menopause is 51. Menopause refers to a period in a womans life when she stops having a menstrual period. Many people think that a woman stops having her period overnight when in reality, menopause is a process that can last for years.
The period leading up to menopause is known as perimenopause. Most women begin perimenopause in their 40s. Some women may experience so few symptoms that they do not realize they have entered perimenopause . However, for others, symptoms can be severe and life-altering.
There are a total of 34 symptoms that can signify the arrival of menopause, which range from mild to disabling in nature.
How To Relieve Adrenal Fatigue
One of the first and most obvious helps to relieve your body of adrenal fatigue is to rest. Western culture is likely the most sleep-deprived culture in the world, and chronic exhaustion associated with adrenal fatigue is one of the by-products of poor sleep habits. Eight to ten hours sleep per day is necessary to help your body recover from adrenal fatigue. A diet rich in low-glycemic index foods is also an excellent remedy for adrenal fatigue, as they help stabilize blood sugar.
Vitamin C is recommended as a supplement along, with B-complex vitamins, zinc and magnesium for at least three months. Moderate exercise and exposure to sunlight is also helpful in restoring healthy, adrenal function. Dr. Christiane Northrup addresses adrenal fatigue, among many other symptoms of perimenopause in her best-selling book The Wisdom of Menopause.
It is an excellent reference book which covers in great detail, but also very easy to read, all you need to know about the experience of perimenopause and menopause. She also gives great tips and advice on how to recover from adrenal fatigue naturally. It is not a cheap book, but worth the expense to have in your personal library.
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Treatment For Menopausal Fatigue
In order to treat menopausal fatigue, a woman can take medicinal alternatives like hormone replacement therapy and other alternative medicines in order to restore the hormonal imbalances in her body.
However, this treatment alone may not be effective for menopausal symptoms, and a woman will have to change her lifestyle in order to find a lasting solution.
This includes eating healthy, including eating smaller meals for supper. A regular exercise program will also improve fatigue, especially if the exercise happens earlier in the day.
Why Am I So Tired During The Menopause
Your hormones play an important role in regulating your energy production . As your hormones fluctuate in the perimenopause, so too will your energy levels. In this, fatigue and lethargy become more pronounced when oestrogen drops sharply.The additional effects of low oestrogen, including night sweats, insomnia, and frequent urination, can also lead to fragmented sleep and increased fatigue.
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Turn Down The Thermostat At Night
The last thing you need is an overheated bedroom when youre already dealing with hot flashes and night sweats from menopause. Keeping your bedroom cool accommodates your bodys natural temperature fluctuations during the night. Experts say the ideal temperature for a good nights sleep is around 65F .
Menopause Fatigue What Causes It And 4 Ways To Deal
Tired all the time? Here’s what can help.
Menopause fatigue is one of the many frustrating symptoms we can experience once it comes time for the change. On top of all the other physical things youre going through, feeling tired all the time when youre trying to go about your life can be really taxing. If youre sluggish and just dont feel like yourself, youre not alone. Luckily, there are simple changes you can make that can help you gain your energy back.
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