Causes of Fatigue

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Though fatigue can be one of the more frustrating symptoms of menopause, as it influences a woman's ability to deal with all the other symptoms and issues that arise during a typical day, the good news is that it is also extremely common and certainly treatable. The important part is to first understand what causes fatigue during menopause, and then it's possible to say goodbye to fatigue and hello to renewed energy levels.

The primary cause of fatigue in middle aged women is imbalanced hormone levels, though there are exceptions to this rule. Keep reading to learn more about these hormonal causes, as well as the other possibilities, and gain control over this frustrating symptom.

In the case of women going through the menopausal transition, most fatigue is caused by the fluctuations in hormones that are customary to this time period.

Estrogen and progesterone. Two of the hormones influenced by menopause, play a key role in sleep functions, and thus when they are thrown out of balance, a woman's sleep cycle is disturbed, which leads to fatigue.


This hormone increases rapid eye movement during sleep, which is an important reconstructive process in the body. Periods of REM sleep help the brain make sense of the day's events through dreaming, refresh the mind. With the drop of estrogen that occurs naturally with age, time spent in restorative REM sleep decreases.


This hormone, by contrast, affects the part of the brain that causes a woman to feel sleepy, and so as progesterone levels drop, she may have difficulty falling asleep. This may manifest as insomnia, which can lead to fatigue during the daytime. Progesterone regulates sleep induction. With the steep drop in progesterone levels that occurs between ages 35-50, insomnia or other sleep disturbances are reported as a consequence.

The sleep cycle

Other hormones

Different hormones that are involved in this process include the thyroid and adrenal hormones, as well as melatonin. These all work at the cellular level to regulate energy levels. Therefore, when the hormone levels naturally decrease during menopause, so does a woman's energy. This is what leads to the feeling of persistent fatigue.

Age – Related hormonal decline

In addition to the hormonal causes outlined above, there are a number of lifestyle related factors that can either lead to or aggravate fatigue.

A host of other diseases may lead to fatigue as well.

Continue reading to learn more about these other possibilities, as a combination of factors may cause fatigue.

Other Causes of Fatigue

In addition to the causes outlined above, there are other, less common causes that can lead to fatigue in menopausal women. If experiencing fatigue in conjunction with other symptoms, it may be wise to seek the advice of a healthcare professional. For instance, if experiencing chronic fatigue along with depression, the problem may be a thyroid dysfunction, which is one of the more common conditions listed.

Fatigue-causing Diseases

Adrenal fatigue

Thyroid dysfunction

Heart disease


Insomnia/narcolepsy/sleep apnea


Risk Factors for Chronic Fatigue



Poor diet


Jet lag

Sedentary lifestyle


Certain lifestyle choices, such as a reliance on sugar or caffeine, or a lack of balance in diet, can also influence a woman's chance of acquiring fatigue during menopause. Stimulants like caffeine or drugs can cause a worsened crashing fatigue when their effects wear off. Exercise is important in maintaining overall health, though exercising too close to bedtime may make it difficult to sleep, creating an imbalance in the body's energy levels.

Whatever the cause, fatigue is a symptom of menopause that it is better to treat rather than ignore, as it has can influence other symptoms of menopause and interfere with daily functioning.

As the main cause of fatigue is hormones, the most effective way to beat fatigue is to treat it at the hormonal level. Keep reading to learn more about treatments for fatigue in order to overcome it.

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