Mix Up Your Caffeine Source
Coffee has its health benefits, including anti-inflammatory antioxidants and maybe even a connection to longer life spans. However, coffee can also boost levels of epinephrine and cortisol, two chemicals involved in the bodys stress response. Drinking lots of coffee leads to increased alertness and heart rate that feels energizing for a few hours but might have you feeling drained later that day.
Some of us are fast caffeine metabolizers and clear caffeine much faster, while slow metabolizers take longer to clear it from their body. Genetic tests like 23andMe can tell you which group you fall into. People with normal sensitivity to caffeine can usually have 200-400 mg of caffeine daily without any adverse reactions so long as they consume it early enough in the day.
Given the potential connection between stress and fatigue, avoiding the stress response that coffee brings might help with both symptoms. If you want to stick with coffee, try staying below 1 or 2 cups and consuming them before 12pm to ensure the caffeine doesnt interfere with sleep. Alternatively, hot tea can offer the same antioxidants and satisfying sipping ritual but with less stress-inducing caffeine.
Working On Your Sleep Is Crucial
I appreciate this is a lot harder said than done around Menopause or Perimenopause. Focussing on yourself to ensure you get enough sleep is very important. You need between seven and a half to nine hours every night to feel optimum.
- Try to go to bed at the same time every night, even at weekends
- Keep your bedroom cool
- Make sure your room is really dark or even wear an eye mask to cut out the light
What Can Cause Menopausal Fatigue
As a woman enters perimenopause, her hormone levels fluctuate dramatically, which can cause chronically disrupted sleep. Also, lower levels of estrogen and progesterone can make some women short-tempered and less able to relax. So actually getting to sleep, or just taking a moment to unwind, can be difficult.
The decrease in these hormones can lead to throwing off cortisol , and thyroid hormone levels. When you’re stressed, you will produce more cortisol leading to a cycle of even more stress. 3With high levels of cortisol and thyroid hormones, and a drop in estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, can lead to a huge variety of ways that rest is disrupted. Hereâs a few of the major ways hormones impacts rest:
When you have sleep apnea you actually have oxygen deprivation which may cause you to awaken several times a night.
Cancer-Related energy imbalances
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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:
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Night Sweats And Fatigue
Night sweats refer to hot flushes that happen at night. These episodes can interrupt your sleep and contribute to tiredness the next day, especially if they happen multiple times throughout the night.Declining levels of oestrogen cause problems with temperature regulation in the body and lead to overheating. This, in turn, prompts your blood vessels to dilate to release the excess heat from the body, triggering the characteristic sweating.While night sweats may not necessarily affect the overall amount of sleep you get, they can affect your quality of sleep, and this is what can contribute to fatigue.
What Are Risk Factors For Fatigue
The causes of menopause fatigue are different from normal fatigue that occurs due to physical exertion. Aside from that, the risk factors of fatigue are the same as normal fatigue, which can be identified as physical and mental exhaustion. Fatigue can boost the risk of personal injury, is a crucial cause of accidents, and can have devastating effects. Some other risk factors are
- 1. Fatigue can reduce decision-making ability or cognitive processing due to the mental stress of the brain, and it may lead to a reduction in the ability to do complex planning.
- 2. The mental stress and the lack of motivation to participate in daily routines can reduce communication skills and decrease general productivity or performance.
- 3. Fatigue leads to the constant need for naps. This can result in reduced alertness, attention, and vigilance, and muscle weaknesses that can curtail the ability to handle stress on jobs.
- 4. Fatigue may affect your reaction time, like the speed of thought, the ability to react, the loss of memory, and the ability to recall details at work. It can make you unable to stay awake and lead you to fall asleep while operating machinery or driving a vehicle. Errors in judgment will also increase drastically with absenteeism in the workplace.
How Long Does Fatigue Last During Menopause
The question of how long the fatigue lasts during menopause depends on your menopausal transitions. When your menstrual period starts modifying, the terms that are used to describe these changes in the menstrual period by medical experts are pre-menopause or menopause transition. This transition occurs in a woman from 51, though occasionally, it can be surgically induced if the ovaries are removed. And the natural menopause transition occurs when the ovaries start decreasing the production of their sex hormones.
You can expect the fatigue that occurs during menopause to last throughout your menopausal transition. For some women, the menopausal duration can last as long as 14 years, while for some women, it only lasts about 7-8 years. The variation in the number of lasting years doesnt depend on a womans first period or particular factor. It just shows how the human body reacts to different changes. It is perfectly normal if some go through this phase faster than others.
Vitamins For Fatigue And The Menopause
There are a couple of recomended vitamins or supplements which can help with fatigue and then menopause.
Black Cohosh and Valerian are two supplements that may be able to help you with fatigue. COQ10 is also a good supplement for helping to boost energy.
Make sure you take to your Doctor before taking any supplements as they can interfere with other medications.
Hormones are the key to fixing Menopause Fatigue
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Symptom : Agitation Or Irritability Increases
The level of your agitation or irritability will increase. On a normal day when physical stress is too much, you are liable to have extreme irritability, but in the case of menopausal fatigue, it is caused by hormonal modifications. This means being in an irritable state without exposing yourself to physical activities that might lead to it.
Describing Fatigue To Others
Attempting to describe fatigue to someone who has never experienced it before can be a thankless task. As an invisible symptom of MS, people often dont understand the sheer scale of what youre going through. Here, Jane from our Information Team offers some advice on how best to explain what you’re feeling to others.
What is it like to have fatigue and how can we explain fatigue to others who have never experienced it?
Fatigue is a common symptom in MS but seems to be invisible to most other people. This can seem incredible to the person who is experiencing fatigue as they may be leaning against the wall or holding onto their shopping trolley or the arms of their chair as if their life depended on it.
Would it be useful to be able to explain fatigue to other people so that they understood more about the difficulties and how much fatigue can vary from day to day or from morning to afternoon? Well, yes it would, but is this possible if theyve never experienced fatigue themselves?
Perhaps the best place to start is to tell people what it isnt. Fatigue is not sleepy tiredness. It wont be sorted out by having a good nights sleep or a kip in the afternoon. Of course, somebody can be sleepy tired as well as fatigued. For example, if theyve had trouble sleeping due to pain or spasms, then a good sleep will help that side of things but not really their fatigue.
But this just says what it is hard to do when you have fatigue. What does it actually feel like?
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What Does Menopause Fatigue Feel Like
The main symptoms are finding it extremely hard to keep up with your life and commitments as your energy feels like its being drained away. You may feel exhausted to the bone in a way that you cant explain to others
However, its not just the extreme crashing tiredness that can cause major problems in your life.
Menopause fatigue brings its friends along just for fun. These related symptoms of fatigue can include
- Irritability and rage
- Anxiety and feeling jumpy and nervous
- Lack of focus or brain fog
- Cravings and hunger, especially for sweet things
- Insomnia and sleep issues resulting in waking up exhausted
- Worries and the 3am racing thoughts
- Lack of motivation and enthusiasm
- Emotional distress
- Lack of zest for life
- Depression like symptoms
- Memory problemsIf you visit your Doctor they may struggle to get to the heart of the issue. They may offer anti-depressants or sleeping pills but these wont really get to the heart of the matter.Its important that you tackle menopause fatigue at source.
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.
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Why Is My Wife So Mean During Menopause
As your reproductive hormone levels change, your body may react with hot flashes, sleep interruptions, and changes in mood that can be unpredictable. Sometimes these mood changes take the form of extreme and sudden feelings of panic, anxiety, or anger. Feeling anger can be a result of factors connected to menopause.
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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How To Beat Menopause Fatigue
Menopause fatigue can be a real drain on your energy levels and motivation. Thankfully, several things can help you overcome the exhaustion that occurs at this time of life.
Lifestyle changes can make a big difference. These include making sure you eat a healthy, balanced diet, getting enough rest and sleep, and engaging in relaxation techniques.
Caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods can trigger hot flushes for some people, as they can be disruptive to sleep patterns, so you might find it useful to cut down on the amount you consume. Smoking can also be a trigger of hot flushes.
Exercise is also a great way to beat some menopause symptoms, including fatigue. Try to engage in regular aerobic activity if you can, such as jogging or swimming, as this can be more effective in relieving menopause symptoms than less frequent bursts of more strenuous activity.
Hormone replacement therapy may also be helpful in relieving menopause fatigue, as its used to treat many menopause symptoms that can be causing excessive tiredness. These include night sweats and mood swings.
Anxiety and depression are more common during menopause, and can all leave you feeling fatigued. Stress and anxiety can be relieved by lifestyle changes, although its important to see a doctor if you have symptoms that you feel are outside of your control.
Its especially important to see a doctor if you think you may have depression, as this is a serious condition that requires treatment.
Status Of Hormone Replacement Therapy
Assessment of the risks versus the benefits of HRT has become a challenging task for the physicians. Controversial issues have surrounded the status of HRT for postmenopausal women lately. Several randomized controlled trials present contradicting evidence and have raised questions about the short-term risks of long-term benefits of HRT. Evidence from clinical trials like the WHI and The Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study trial does not support HRT use for prevention of cardiovascular disease. The association of HRT with cancer, stroke, cognition, cardiovascular disease, venous thromboembolism, osteoporosis, gallbladder disease is under scrutiny. The latest controversial results of randomized controlled trials in recent years have posed newer challenges for the physicians in prescribing HRT for postmenopausal women.
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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.
What Causes The Menopause
The menopause is caused by a change in the balance of the body’s sex hormones, which occurs as you get older.
It happens when your ovaries stop producing as much of the hormone oestrogen and no longer release an egg each month.
Premature or early menopause can occur at any age, and in many cases there’s no clear cause.
Sometimes it’s caused by a treatment such as surgery to remove the ovaries , some breast cancer treatments, chemotherapy or radiotherapy, or it can be brought on by an underlying condition, such as Down’s syndrome or Addison’s disease.
Page last reviewed: 29 August 2018 Next review due: 29 August 2021
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