What Causes Crashing Fatigue In Menopause
If you think crashing fatigue in menopause has to do with hormones, youre 100% right. During perimenopause and menopause, the ovaries naturally respond less effectively to the pituitary glands signal to increase estrogen. This results in estrogen levels that are excessive on some days, and bottomed out on others.
Serious fluctuations in estrogen can also interrupt the delicate balance of stress hormones. Adrenaline sometimes floods the body, which can leave you even more fatigued afterward. If you are still menstruating, you may already be dealing with crashing fatigue right before your period.
But crashing fatigue also has a maddening side effect: you cant sleep even though you’re bone tired. Thats because as estrogen rises and falls unpredictably during perimenopause, the body experiences the fluctuation as a hormonal emergency. The brain triggers the release of cortisol and adrenaline, the adrenal fight-or-flight hormones that derail the normal sleep cycle.
The adrenal glands also help make estrogen with dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA, but chronic stress depletes DHEA. Without enough, its hard for your body to maintain hormone balance which makes you more prone to crashing fatigue in menopause.
Other Menopausal Sleep Disruptors
At this stage of life, women can also develop sleep disorders such assleep apnea, which may come from a loss of reproductive hormones like estrogen andprogesterone. These can go undiagnosed because women often attributesymptoms and effects of sleep disorders to menopauseitself.
Postmenopausal women are two to three times more likely to have sleepapnea compared with premenopausal women, Pien says. Before we becomemenopausal, we’re fairly protected, but the protective effect of hormonesseems to be lost with menopause. Furthermore, women often have more subtlesymptoms of sleep apnea than men. Thus, they may be less likely to seekevaluation for sleep apnea. Their health care providers may also be lesslikely to recognize sleep apnea as a possibility, further delayingevaluation and diagnosis of sleep apnea.
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.
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Treatment For Menopause Fatigue
Hormone therapy is the primary treatment for symptoms during menopause. Replacing the lost hormone can be helpful in improving fatigue. It can be given in the form of tablets, topical gels, and patches.
Lifestyle changes and complementary therapies can be helpful in tackling menopause fatigue and other symptoms.
How To Fight Menopause Fatigue
What, youre tired of feeling tired? We get it. If the tried-and-true warm milk and sheep-counting still fail to produce the zzzzs you need, here are some sound suggestions:
Exercise daily. You might feel too fatigued to exercise, but once you get going, youre bound to gain energy. Studies back up that fact, finding that physical activity improves sleep quality and duration and can be especially helpful for women with hot flashes and night sweats.
Exercise creates cellular changes that increase your bodys supply of energy. An added plus? Moving more helps boost oxygen and endorphin levels. Endorphins are those feel good neurotransmitters, responsible for whats known as a runners high.
But a word of caution: Try not to exercise too vigorously too close to bedtime , when it can instead stimulate your body and mind, making sleep harder to come by.
Limit caffeine consumption. Reaching for more coffee to get you through your day might seem like a good idea, and it is, to a point. But drink too much and you risk insomnia. Experts suggest a daily limit of 400 mg of caffeine. A word to the wise: Watch out for energy drinks, some which are known to contain high levels of caffeine.
Alcohol can also increase the risk of sleep apnea, another sleep-stealer, which is also dangerous to your health.
Its best to keep to a single serving of alcohol, which translates to 12-ounces of beer or 5-ounces of wine.
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Symptoms Of Menopause: Hot Flashes Night Sweats And Fatigue
Perimenopause, the first phase of menopause, is the era when estrogen production begins to drop. This is the time when you’ll start to notice irregular periods. As estrogen levels fluctuate, the body has a variety of responses. One of the most prominent responses to estrogen fluctuation are hot flashes. Lower estrogen levels trigger the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is what regulates the body’s temperature. When it is triggered, it often goes into overdrive to attempt to cool the body down even after a minor fluctuation of a degree or two of body heat. Thus, a hot flash occurs as the body tries to release excess heat. The nocturnal counterpart to hot flashes is night sweats. Night sweats are hot flashes that occur when asleep. Night sweats can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep, thus contributing to menopause insomnia.
Peri/post/menopause insomnia is the next piece in the puzzle of extreme fatigue during menopause. When estrogen production levels drop, the production of serotonin can also be affected. When serotonin is affected, mood swings can occur. These mood swings can include depression, which also can be characterized by feelings of fatigue. For some, they may begin experiencing anxiety that prohibits them from falling asleep at night, thus compounding the effects of menopause fatigue.
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 Causes Fatigue During Menopause
Fatigue during perimenopause and menopause may be caused by a combination of factors. Changes in the levels of hormones like estrogen, progesterone, thyroid hormones, and adrenal hormones can make you feel extremely tired. That is because these hormones are involved in regulating cellular energy within the body. When theyre out of balance, you may feel exhausted or fatigued for no discernible reason.
In addition, many perimenopausal and menopausal women experience insomnia or sleep disruptions. Lack of sleep will obviously result in a feeling of tiredness or lack of energy. Many sleep interruptions are due to hot flashes and night sweats. According to the North American Menopause Society , hot flashes are the most common menopause-related discomfort and can last from 1 to 5 minutes. Night sweats are hot flashes at night that interfere with sleep. Night sweats have been shown to interrupt the most restorative phase of sleep. Sleep may also be disrupted because of more frequent urination.
Balance Your Body With The Right Supplements
Finally, once we have taken care of our mind, body, sleep and diet we need to fine-tune our efforts to eliminate brain fog by getting the right supplements into our system.
If you want to effectively get rid of brain fog and other symptoms of menopause, you have to restore the balance in your body especially in your hormonal system. In my experience adrenal adaptogens can help you with that.
Adaptogens calm and nourish the adrenal glands, and support their function from blood sugar and immune system regulation to hormones and blood pressure. The list of supplementary adaptogens is quite long, but some of my favorites would be:
- Holy basil
But my all time favorite would be Maca.
This Peruvian super root has been proven to boost energy, improve fertility, enhance libido, relieve symptoms of PMS, hot flashes, menopause and much more.
Recommendation: Herbal supplements take time to take effect, so have patience with yourself , and trust that it is working its magic within your system. Add some Maca into your daily diet.
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Use Herbal Or Nutritional Support
Many women find that they are deficient in certain key vitamins at menopause. For example, B Vitamins are vital to ensuring that you have adequate energy. Magnesium can help sleep – either take a supplement or use a spray oil before going to bed. It’s best to consult an expert nutritionist or herbalist who can advise on your needs and potential deficiencies at midlife. Many of us are depleted by the time we get to our late 40s having run ourselves ragged in our 30s and 40s – often despite having a very good diet. Avoid caffeine as much as possible – especially after lunch. Chamomile tea or other herbal teas of your choice are a great alternative. Siberian Ginseng or Adrenal Support help to give them more energy and aid in rebalancing hormones.
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Menopause Fatigue During Perimenopause
Perimenopause happens at a different age for everyone, but there are some general guidelines that can help you determine if that’s the phase you’re currently in. Perimenopause occurs about four years before a woman experiences her final period. The average age of final period is 51, so that means many will begin to feel perimenopause symptoms around age 47. However, for those who experience early menopause, they will experience their last period at age 45 or younger, meaning perimenopause may kick in around age 40. Then, there’s premature menopause, which is when a woman experiences their final period at age 40 or earlier. This means that perimenopausal symptoms will begin to kick in one’s 30s.
If you’re not sure if you’re entering the menopausal transition, you can visit your women’s health expert for more support. They can provide a blood test that can help provide clarity around the symptoms you’re experiencing and if you are indeed experiencing perimenopause.
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Give Your Brain A Workout
Getting physical isnt just good for your body. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recently reported that aerobic exercise and strength training may help keep your mind in shape, too. They reviewed data from 111 studies and found that exercise may trigger the growth of new nerve cells and blood vessels in the brain. Physical activity also increases the production of chemicals that promote the repair of existing brain cells and the growth of new ones.
What Is Menopausal Fatigue
Menopausal fatigue is debilitating tiredness, many perimenopausal, and postmenopausal women experience. It is caused by menopause transition, hormonal changes, and a drop in Estrogen levels. It is very common for some women to experience such extreme menopause fatigue that makes everyday tasks very challenging, leading to anxiety and worry as exhaustion takes over. It is common for menopausal women to feel weak and exhausted, with some memory loss and irritability.
Lifestyle Choices And Brain Fog
Lifestyle choices can help support memory function. The following may benefit memory function:
- Maintaining an extensive social network
- Remaining physically and mentally active
- Increasing omega-3 fatty acids in your diet
- Following a Mediterranean diet
- Consuming alcohol only in moderation
- Reducing your risk for high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, and high cholesterol
These lifestyle choices probably have their positive effect on memory function by supporting good overall health.
Alternatives To Hrt For Menopause And Fatigue
What if you want HRT but not the associated increased risk of cancer that comes along with it? Are there other options?
Some doctors are proposing Natural treatment alternatives, using a different form of replacement hormone for menopause and fatigue. These doctors theorize that the increased cancer risk associated with conventional HRT arises from its failure to use the natural form of the hormones, estrogen and progesterone.
Specifically, these doctors postulate that the hormones currently used in HRT have mis-matched molecules. The commonly used estrogen preparation Premarin® is made from horse urine , so the molecular structure is slightly different from the natural form found in women’s bodies. Furthermore, the hormones in Premarin® are “unbalanced” in that the ratio of the estrogen combination, estrone/estradial/estriol is different from the ratio found in humans.
How valid is this hypothesis? Let’s take a closer look.
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Keep A Diary And Note Your Sleeping Habits
Keep a diary or journal to log your thoughts and emotions. You may have a lot of different changes going on in your life and it can be very helpful to write to yourself about them as a way of getting perspective and charting change.
Some of your fatigue may be associated with poor sleep/Insomnia or Night Sweat or Hot Flushes .Try to create good routines for yourself including a regular bedtime and rising time. A good night time routine will ensure better sleep. Is your phone and tablet etc out of the bedroom?
What Are The Symptoms Of Fatigue
There are a number of possible mental and physical characteristics of fatigue, and these will be felt to a different degree by each sufferer. Some will experience extremely severe symptoms that have an adverse effect on everyday life, while others will feel symptoms more mildly and find they can still get on with things. A few symptoms are:
- Muscle pain
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Fatigue And Menopause: How To Boost Your Energy During Your Menopausal Years
Poor sleep is not uncommon among women undergoing Menopause. You may be suffering from symptoms such as hot flashes or night sweats and wake up freezing because you got too warm and tossed off the blankets. In addition, hormonal changes can lead to depression or anxiety.
Finally, its very hard to avoid weight gain during the menopausal process, which may be leading to sleep apnea.
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.
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Natural Treatments For Brain Fog
Roll up your sleeves, because its about to get all science-y up in here. The best natural remedy for menopausal brain fog might be thinking. Learning. Using your brain in new ways helps it learn to learn again.
Research scientists Denise Park and Gérard Bischof define neuroplasticity as the brains ability to increase capacity in response to sustained experience. Because the human brain is plastic, its flexible enough to reorganize itself and form new neural connections. Our plastic might become a bit less malleable with age, but theres still plenty of opportunity to learn. And it gets easier.
Neuroplasticity typically comes up when the brain has suffered damage from, say, a stroke or accident. When part of the brain is damaged, the function it controls may be lost or impaired: the person may no longer be able to speak or they might lose the ability to walk. Neuroplasticity allows the brain to reroute the function to other, undamaged areas of the brain.
In fact, our brains are constantly reorganizing, like a computer defragmenting to make more space and increase efficiency. And we can take advantage of that fact, even when our brains arent damaged by anything more than age.
Supplements For Menopause Brain Fog
If lifestyle changes havent given you the menopause relief youre hoping for, there are several supplements you can try.
Unfortunately, some of the most popular menopause supplements do not live up to their reputations.
Overhyped Supplements for Menopause
But research shows that theres little evidence its effective for hot flashes and no evidence that it helps with menopause-related brain fog or memory loss.
Soy isoflavones improved cognitive function and memory in a review of studies that included over 1,000 postmenopausal women.
However, numerous studies have found them to be of no help for menopausal symptoms.
And theres concern that soy products, which are estrogenic, may increase your risk for breast cancer.
Heres a look at other supplements with better track records for menopause symptom relief and safety.
A top sign of vitamin D deficiency is memory loss.
One study found that more than 90% of postmenopausal women were vitamin D-deficient.
If you rarely spend time outdoors without sunscreen or you live in a four-season climate, its very likely that you dont get enough of this sunshine vitamin year-round.
You can safely take 125 mcg of vitamin D daily, but to know where you stand for sure its recommended that you get tested.
Your doctor can test your vitamin D level or you can order a test yourself from an online lab like Personalabs.
Pycnogenol is a patented form of pine bark extract.
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