Many women begin to experience feelings of exhaustion and lack of energy in their late 40s and early 50s. This “fatigue” is a very common menopausal symptom. Because fatigue puts pressure on your work and daily life, it can disrupt your relationships with others and even lead to feelings of depression.
The feeling of being tired all the time is a result of the body trying to adjust to the changes which occur during this stage. Luckily, there are a range of strategies to help battle fatigue and depression, as outlined in the following paragraphs.
What Exactly is Fatigue and How is it Linked With Menopause?
Fatigue refers to a range of symptoms related to lethargy and general tiredness. It can affect sufferers both physically and mentally, and is characterized by an inability to function at a normal level. The most recognizable sign that you are fatigued is a feeling of sleepiness.
As a woman goes through menopause her body gradually begins to produce less estrogen, prompting changes and symptoms in the body which can interrupt sleeping patterns and make it harder to fall and stay asleep. The most severe kind of fatigue during this time is called crashing fatigue.
Fatigue can also be influenced by a lack of progesterone. Progesterone is the hormone that keeps women energized and accounts for a woman's sexual drive. When menopause hits, the levels of this hormone fall dramatically. This hormonal imbalance often causes women to lose their liveliness and sex drive and leaves them feeling exhausted or sick.
Menopausal Fatigue and Depression
Research has shown that menopausal women are at three times the risk of experiencing disruptive changes in their breathing during sleep. Night sweats and anxiety can also interrupt sleep patterns. Frequent interruptions to sleep patterns can not only decrease quality of life, but also lead to other serious health conditions such as high blood pressure and depression. The latter is the result of a number of factors, including the fact that constantly fatigued people tend to be more vulnerable to periods of mental depression.
How Can I Overcome Fatigue and Depression?
Because menopause fatigue and depression are closely linked to problems of hormonal imbalance, the easiest and most logical solution for restoring lost energy levels is by stabilizing estrogen levels. This can be done in a variety of natural ways, including:
• Ensuring you get adequate amounts of sleep every night.
• Performing exercise regularly to reduce stress.
• Taking regular holidays.
• Limiting your intake of alcohol, drugs and nicotine.
• Maintaining a healthy and well-balanced diet.
• Drinking adequate amounts of water during the day.
In addition to these tips, there are a range of alternative medicine treatments that help stimulate the body's internal hormonal production system and combat fatigue and depression. The use of alternative medicines is increasingly popular for dealing with menopause side effects such as fatigue. Unlike prescription medication, natural alternatives are relatively free of side effects.
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Dealing with Menopausal Depression
5 Physical Symptoms of Depression in Women