Other Mental Symptoms Of Menopause
Forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating are problems reported by some menopausal women. One study found a measurable decline in cognitive ability of others. However, these problems usually reverse when women are post-menopausal.
Emotional problems may not be as easy to see as a broken leg, or as directly diagnosed as heart disease, but they are no less painful, limiting, and potentially devastating.
Fortunately, help is available through counseling, medication, or a combination of treatments.
If menopause mood swings or emotional upheavals are interfering with a persons enjoyment of life, they should see a mental health counselor, or seek a referral from a general practitioner.
Cause Of Menopause Fatigue
Thyroid hormones are responsible for controlling the Basal Metabolic Rate and, thus, the body’s energy levels. Perimenopause and Menopause decrease the levels of reproductive hormones and reduce thyroid and adrenal hormones. Lowthyroid hormone levels can lower your metabolism , making you fatigued and tired throughout your day.
Insomnia And Mood Disorders
Mood changes are common in menopause and include depression, anxiety and irritability.
“Anxiety can make it difficult to get to sleep and depression can be a factor in non-restorative sleep and early morning waking,” says Currie. “Though it has been proposed that menopausal sleep disturbance may actually be the underlying cause of anxiety and depression.”
“There is a greater risk of developing mood changes around the time of the menopause if there is a history of postnatal depression and pre-menstrual syndrome,” adds Savvas.
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Raw Dairy Products Are Good To Go
“If you can get them raw, cheeses, milk, and yogurts are highly beneficial,” says Dr. Forman. “These quality dairy products, unlike their pasteurized cousins, are very digestible and promote healthy bacteria in the gut, which is essential for digestion. They also supply good amounts of calcium for bone health.”
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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How To Get Better Sleep During Menopause
Many women experience sleep disturbances during and after menopause, as well as in the preceding years . We ask the experts about how to treat these issues to improve sleep and boost health and well-being.
Reviewed byDr Sarah Jarvis MBE
21-Jun-21·8 mins read
In 2016, research conducted on behalf of the British Menopause Society revealed that 42% of women surveyed had unexpected menopausal symptoms that were worse or much worse than expected. One of these was sleep disturbance. More than 70% experienced night sweats that disrupted their sleep. Other studies suggest that up to 63% of women will experience insomnia or other sleep problems at menopause. A multi-ethnic study in the USA found that difficulty staying asleep was the most prevalent problem, with sleep maintenance and early morning wakening worsening significantly through late perimenopause.
Supplements And Complementary Therapies
There are various alternatives to HRT to ease the symptoms of menopause.
Interest has been shown in the use of melatonin for sleep disturbance, as the ‘sleep hormone’ is influenced by the decline in oestrogen and progesterone at menopause. However, there is uncertainty around the appropriate dose and possible interactions with medications including antidepressants, anticoagulants, and medicines for diabetes.
“While it’s true that the body produces less melatonin with age,” says Savvas, “the evidence that melatonin actually helps with sleep is poor. It can help with jetlag where the circadian rhythm is out of sync, but there’s little evidence of benefit in supplement form for long-term sleep issues or for women at menopause.”
Yoga, acupuncture, massage and meditation have all been shown to have beneficial effects on well-being and may help with relaxation and sleep. A 2017 study demonstrated that almost half of the menopausal women who took part experienced a decrease in vasomotor symptoms, but noted that more research was needed.
There is limited evidence to show that supplements such as magnolia bark, L-theanine, magnesium, 5-HTP and valerian can help induce better sleep – and black cohosh and red clover are purported to reduce night sweats. Phytoestrogens from plants including soya, tofu, chickpeas and nuts also act like a weaker form of oestrogen in the body.
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What Else Does Crashing Menopause Fatigue Feel Like
You might have other symptoms at the same time:
- Feelings of overwhelm and emotional stress
- Weight gain
Do these describe you? If so, your crashing fatigue is likely due to menopause.
And youre probably asking, How can I deal with this fatigue during menopause?
The first thing to note is that this is different from normal fatigue which a good nights sleep can put right and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which never really lets up.
Its also different from ongoing fatigue that might result from low thyroid levels or low iron levels during perimenopause and menopause.
For this sort of fatigue that doesnt ease, do schedule an appointment to talk it over with us.
But if youre thinking you might be experiencing menopausal crashing fatigue, read on and well discuss
- the causes and
- how you can deal with it.
Treatments For Menopause Fatigue
The main medical treatment for the symptoms of menopause is hormone therapy. This works by replacing lost hormones, which may result in an improvement in fatigue. It may also help someone get better sleep by reducing hot flashes, which could have a positive effect on energy levels.
Hormone therapy is available in oral tablets, or as topical gels or skin patches that a person wears.
Another potential option is nonhormonal medication, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors . Some types of these drugs can improve hot flashes and night sweats, which may improve sleep for those who wake frequently.
However, each of these options has potential side effects. For some people, SSRIs and SNRIs can cause insomnia rather than making it better. It is important for someone to discuss the pros and cons with a doctor who is knowledgeable on menopause before starting treatment.
A number of lifestyle changes and complementary therapies may help tackle menopause-related fatigue.
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Consider Beef And Chicken Liver
This one may be an acquired taste, but hear us out it’s one worth acquiring! Cow and chicken liver offer some of the best sources of trace mineral and B vitamins. When shopping, make sure the cow or chicken liver is of the grass-fed, zero-hormone, natural variety. “Liver is a fantastic source of vitamin C complex, iron, and many of the trace minerals our body relies on. When these are in low supply, symptoms such as those experienced in menopause become more pronounced,” explains Dr. Forman.
Set Yourself Up For Sleep
Women in the menopause life stage get the least amount of sleep than anyone else. Yet, in midlife, sleep is more important than ever. The cumulative long-term effects of sleep loss and sleep disorders have been associated with a wide range of serious health conditions including an increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack, and stroke. Sleep experts agree that the most important change you can make is to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Check out our comprehensive guide on sleep hygiene so that you can clean up your sleep routine to get better rest!
If youve made these lifestyle changes and dont see improvement after a few months, talk to your doctor. You may have an underlying problem that requires diagnosis and treatment.
For more information and support, join us over at Lisa Health and start one of our Journeys to help you recharge!
Grace Goodwin Dwyer, MS, MA, RD, LDN, is a Registered Dietitian specializing in womens health. She helps prenatal, postpartum, and perimenopausal women feel more confident about their health and their bodies through smart food strategies. Grace offers nutrition counseling
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Fuel Yourself With The Right Stuff
Carbohydrates, protein, and fats are the three main macronutrients – and each plays a role in keeping us energized. Carbs provide quick energy to help you feel better right away, whereas protein and fats digest more slowly for sustainable energy until your next meal. Combining all three macronutrients sets you up for the best of both worlds.
Balanced bites to try:
A pear with a side of pistachios
A hearty slice of toast with mashed avocado and white beans
Sliced apple wrapped in prosciutto
A sprinkle of breakfast cereal on top of yogurt
A quick walk in the morning or evening will boost your energy level. A great playlist or audio book are useful tools to keep you moving.
Practicing Good Sleep Hygiene
Strong sleep hygiene involves steps you can take to get better rest and includes:
- A consistent sleep schedule: This means beginning your nighttime routine, going to bed, and waking up around the same time each day.
- A relaxing bedtime routine: Bedtime routines include a bath or shower, unwinding, relaxation techniques, and unplugging from electronics.
- Keeping your bedroom comfortable: Most people sleep better when they keep their bedroom temperature cool with an air conditioner or a fan. It is also helpful to wear lightweight fabrics and have comfortable bedding.
- : Decrease the lighting from electronics in your room. Heavy curtains or a sleep mask can also help block out light.
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A Safe Way Of Treating Fatigue
Implementing Lifestyle Changes:
- Better Health Channel. . Fatigue. Retrieved July 9, 2020 from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/fatigue
- Harvard Health Publishing. . Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Retrieved July 9, 2020 from https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/chronic-fatigue-syndrome-a-to-z
- Medline Plus. . Fatigue. Retrieved July 9, 2020 from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003088.htm
- National Institute on Aging. . Fatigue in Older Adults. Retrieved July 9, 2020 from https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/fatigue-older-adults
- Office on Women’s Health. . Chronic fatigue syndrome. Retrieved July 9, 2020 from https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/chronic-fatigue-syndrome
- The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. . Clinical Dimensions of Fatigue. Retrieved July 9, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC181235/
When To Seek Medical Attention
While menopause is a natural part of life, the symptoms should not be so severe that they interfere with any of the following:
- Ability to work
- Daily activities
- Interactions with your family
For severe menopause symptoms not resolved through rest or lifestyle changes, its best to make an appointment with your healthcare provider. Its also a good idea to see your provider yearly to review your overall health.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Menopause
Menopause brings about plenty of changes in the female body. Signs and symptoms vary from woman to woman, but there are some common features. Some common symptoms of menopause include:
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.
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Take A Meditation Break
Stress can sap your energy and interrupt your sleep. One way to beat stress is meditation. To practice one of the most popular forms, mindfulness meditation, sit in a quiet place and close your eyes. Slowly breathe in and out, clearing your mind while focusing on your breath. When negative thoughts try to enter your mind, steer them gently back out.
If you have trouble sitting still, try yoga or tai chi, which combine exercise with meditation to harness the benefits of both practices.
Avoiding Stimulants And Alcohol
It is tempting to rely on stimulants such as caffeine when energy levels are low. However, too much caffeine may disrupt sleep . This may mean a person feels more tired during the day.
Similarly, while alcohol can help people feel drowsy when they are having difficulty sleeping, it lowers sleep quality overall. For some, it is also a hot flash trigger.
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What Is The Most Effective Treatment For Fatigue During Menopause
Fatigue is a complex, multi-faceted symptom that can plague people at any stage of life. It is impacted by overall physical and mental health, by daily stresses and life events. But one of the most common and, at the same time, most troublesome times to experience fatigue is during menopause and the preceding perimenopause transition. Whats more, it often lasts for years, and its course is different for every woman.
Menopause-related fatigue can be caused by changing estrogen levels, but it is often compounded by common symptoms. Chief among these are vasomotor symptoms, which are experienced by up to 80% of women and include hot flashes and night sweats that can disrupt sleep. Whatever the point of origin, this fatigue can impact both womens personal and professional lives. With the proper support, however, treatment for fatigue during menopause can address the cascade of related symptoms and significantly improve quality of life.
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What Is Crashing Fatigue
Crashing fatigue occurs when someone experiences an abrupt loss of energy. For many women, it can feel like a wave of exhaustion that hits them that seems to appear from out of the blue. They can recall feeling alert and attentive just moments before it hit them, leaving them feeling drained.
This unanticipated loss of alertness can feel alarming, especially for women who also experience sudden weakness in their muscles. Crashing fatigue during menopause can make it hard to keep going about your day because all you want to do is curl into the nearest couch or bed and close your eyes for a bit.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Also Known As Cpap
This is a treatment for women suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea , a condition in which the upper airway is intermittently obstructed by relaxed throat muscles during sleep. Post-menopausal women are 3-6 times more likely to experience OSA than pre-menopausal women.
Because OSA interferes with sleep and hinders the bodys ability to oxygenate the blood, people with OSA can wake up feeling like theyve barely slept a wink. In CPAP therapy, the patient sleeps wearing a mask hooked up to a machine designed to keep airways open through the continuous flow of air.
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Best Foods For Menopause
When you’re going through menopause, diet can help alleviate the symptoms that come with it: Mood swings, hot flashes, weak bones, slower reaction times. While most of us focus our thoughts on what we can’t change, there are actually a number of things that can be done to help us age gracefully and healthfully and work through menopause with ease. One of which is changing up your shopping list!
With that in mind, we reached out to some of the wellness industry’s leading experts and asked them what women should load our plates with to mitigate the symptoms often associated with menopause. And while you’re tweaking your diet, scrap these foods that age you 20 years from your routine, too!