Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of menopause, affecting up to 80% of women. It can leave women feeling drained of energy and without the usual verve and zip that they may be accustomed to. Simple daily tasks can seem monstrously daunting, and work and personal relationships may suffer. While a great many factors can influence a woman's energy levels, for those undergoing the time period of menopause, fatigue is most likely the result of normal changes in the production of hormone levels. These changes result in hormonal imbalance in a woman's body, causing her to experience fatigue.
Though it used to be in vogue to prescribe hormone replacement therapy to treat this fundamental imbalance, persistent links to breast and ovarian cancer, along with heart disease and blood clots, have caused most healthcare professionals to rethink this drastic option.
Many agree that the most effective approach is to combine a few changes in lifestyle with alternative treatment options.
Three approaches for treating fatigue
Three levels of approaches can be considered for treating fatigue. These are categorized as: (1) Lifestyle Changes, (2) Alternative Medicine and (3) Drugs and Surgery.
It is recommended to begin with the least risky option, lifestyle changes, before progressing up to the next stage of treatment. Drugs and surgery should be used only in extreme cases.
1: Lifestyle Changes to Banish Fatigue:
This primary level of treatment involves the least amount of risk, though conversely it requires the highest amount of self discipline. Many times some simple changes in lifestyle can reap huge benefits in fighting fatigue, and achieving a higher overall level of health.
If she is experiencing fatigue due to anxiety or stress, practicing stress reduction techniques such as yoga or meditation, as well as breathing exercises, will help to reduce fatigue.
Fatigue in the daytime is closely tied to a woman's sleeping habits. Oftentimes during menopause, when women experience other common symptoms such as night sweats or sleep disorders, this can interrupt the sleep cycle and lead to fatigue as a result. In this case the importance of a good night's sleep cannot be stressed enough. Cutting out caffeine and alcohol, and using the bedroom only for sleep, can also be useful.
Fatigue-Fighting Sleep Tips
• Maintain a regular wake and bed time schedule
• Establish a relaxing bedtime routine
• Sleep on a comfortable mattress
• Keep sleep area dark and cool
• Use your bed only for sleep or sex
• Finish eating at least 2 hours before bedtime
• Exercise regularly
• Avoid Caffeine/Nicotine/Alcohol
Paying attention to diet is helpful as well. Eating more alkaline-forming foods such as figs, beets, leafy greens, almonds, figs, dates, and parsley may also be beneficial in fighting fatigue. These have been show to balance blood Ph levels and boost energy.
Making these lifestyle changes is easier said than done, especially if one is accustomed to a certain routine. In addition, while these changes will help alleviate many symptoms, they do not address the problem directly at the hormonal source and so further treatment may be necessary. Alternative medicine has proven to be excellent for the treatment of fatigue in a safe and natural way.
Citrus fruits can provide many benefits to menopausal women who are currently fighting fatigue. Examples include oranges, lemons, and grapefruit. Citrus fruits contain essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, potassium, and flavonoids, all of which can help your energy levels and leave you feeling refreshed throughout the day.
Provides a complete list of changes and tips for managing fatigue day-to-day. Suggests thirty minutes of exercise, eating a protein-rich, low-fat diet, getting natural light, and avoiding naps during the day. These lifestyle changes, though they require discipline, are effective ways to manage menopausal fatigue.
2: Alternative Medicine:
Alternative approaches involve little to no risk and can be an extremely effective way to treat fatigue. This level of approach can involve several different therapies. Herbal supplements are the most prominent, though in addition women may turn to such fatigue-fighting techniques as acupuncture, biofeedback, massage, or aromatherapy. All of these can be valid and effective options, though most women find that herbal supplements are the easiest alternative treatment to follow, as the others require a greater time and monetary commitment. In addition, herbal supplements are the only viable option to treat the hormonal imbalance directly at its source.
In the case of herbal supplements, there are two types of herbs that can be used for treating fatigue: phytoestrogenic and non-estrogenic herbs.
Phytoestrogenic herbs (e.g. Black Cohosh) contain estrogenic components produced by plants. These herbs, at first, do treat the hormonal imbalance by introducing these plant-based estrogens into the body. However, as a result of adding outside hormones, a woman's body may become less capable of producing estrogen on its own. This causes a further decrease of the body's own hormone levels.
By contrast, non-estrogenic herbs, as the name suggests, don't contain any estrogen. These herbs stimulate a woman's hormone production by nourishing the pituitary and endocrine glands, causing them to more efficiently produce natural hormones. This ultimately results in balancing estrogen levels. Non-estrogenic herbs (e.g. Macafem) can be considered the safest way to treat these 34 menopause symptoms naturally as the body creates its own hormones and doesn't require any outside assistance.
From "Nature and Health Magazine," Dr. Chacon says:
"Macafem nutrients help restore natural hormones in women. Unlike hormone drugs, which are basically resumed in taking synthetic hormones, Macafem acts totally different in your body. It nourishes and stimulates your own natural hormone production, by inducing the optimal functioning of the pituitary and endocrine glands". Click on the following link if you want to read and learn more about Macafem
A combination of approaches is usually the most effective route to take. Lifestyle changes combined with alternative medicine will most likely be the best way to alleviate the symptoms of this hormonal imbalance. However, for some women the symptoms will be so severe that a more drastic treatment is necessary. In taking the leap into pharmaceutical options, side effects are inevitable, yet sometimes they can be worth it if the benefits will outweigh the risks.
3: Drugs and Surgery:
Interventions at the third level involve the highest risk and often the highest costs. The most common drug therapy for treating fatigue in the US is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). This may be a quick and strong way to combat fatigue; but, unfortunately, it entails serious side effects and increases the risk of different types of cancer among women, as the following study has proven.
In 1991 the National Institute of Health (NIH) launched the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), the largest clinical trial ever undertaken in the United States. The WHI was designed to provide answers concerning possible benefits and risks associated with use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). This study was canceled in July 2002, after it was proven that synthetic hormones increase risks of ovarian and breast cancer as well as heart disease, blood clots and strokes. The findings were published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and to this date have not been disputed.
In addition, some women go to their doctors in search of pharmaceutical sleeping aids, which may be a short term prospect for insomnia and daytime fatigue but in the long run these disrupt the sleep cycle and carry a risk of side effects.
If symptoms are at the level of severity that a woman is still considering this final option, it is wise to speak to a healthcare professional for guidance.
These three levels of approaches are not mutually exclusive. A woman may use different approaches at different times or any combination of them, depending on the duration and severity of symptoms. Today more and more women find that dealing with menopause symptoms is best accomplished via a combination of healthy lifestyle and alternative treatments.
A safe way to treat fatigue:
Non-estrogenic herbs for treating hormonal imbalance, as seen in the second approach, are considered to be the most effective solution. Low costs and the non existence of side effects are only some of the reasons why this treatment option is preferred.
Macafem, for example, is an excellent non-estrogenic herb. It's simple: rather than putting hormones from the outside into your body artificially, Macafem stimulates your hormone glands into producing the necessary hormones naturally. This is what makes Macafem so unique. Click on the following link if you want to learn more about Macafem