Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of menopause, affecting up to 80% of women. It can leave them 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 inevitably suffer. While many factors can influence a woman's energy levels, for those undergoing the menopause transition, fatigue is most likely due to normal changes in hormone levels. These changes result in a hormonal imbalance in a woman's body, causing her to experience fatigue.
Until recently, it was common to prescribe hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to treat the underlying hormonal imbalance behind menopausal fatigue. However, many doctors are reconsidering this option after the discovery of HRT's consistent links to breast cancer, ovarian cancer, heart disease, and other life-threatening side effects.
Many agree that the most effective approach to combat fatigue is to combine changes in lifestyle with alternative treatment options.
Three Approaches to Treating Fatigue
When treating fatigue, three tiers of approaches can be considered: (1) Lifestyle Changes, (2) Alternative Medicine, and (3) Medications.
Women are advised to start with the least risky tier – lifestyle adjustments – before they try the next level of treatment. Medications should be used only in cases of severe and persistent symptoms.
1. Lifestyle Changes to Banish Fatigue
The first tier of treatment entails the lowest risk, but it demands the most self-control. Often, simple lifestyle adjustments can greatly improve fatigue as well as overall health.
Fatigue in the daytime is closely tied to a woman's sleeping habits. Often during menopause, when women experience other common symptoms such as night sweats or sleeping disorders, the sleep cycle is interrupted, which can lead to fatigue. In such cases, the importance of a good night's sleep cannot be emphasized enough. In addition to cutting out caffeine and alcohol, it can also be useful to use the bedroom only for sleeping.
Fatigue-Fighting Sleep Tips
• Maintain a regular wake up and bed time schedule
• Establish a relaxing bedtime routine
• Sleep on a comfortable mattress
• Keep your bedroom dark and cool
• Use your bed only for sleep or sex
• Refrain from eating at least two hours before bedtime
• Exercise regularly
• Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol
Paying attention to diet is helpful as well. Eating more alkaline-forming foods such as figs, beets, leafy greens, almonds, dates, and parsley are beneficial in fighting fatigue, since these foods have been shown to balance blood pH levels and boost energy.
On the other hand, if a woman is experiencing fatigue due to anxiety or stress, practicing stress reduction techniques – such as yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises – will help to reduce fatigue.
Lifestyle changes are an outstanding way to relieve fatigue and improve health, but they can be hard to put into regular practice. In addition, though they may relieve the symptoms of fatigue, they do not address the common underlying cause, a hormonal imbalance. However, alternative treatments are a safe way of treating hormonal deficiencies, and they are highly effective. Keep reading to find out more about natural treatments for fatigue.
2. Alternative Medicine
Alternative treatments entail minimal risk in addition to being considered a very effective way to relieve fatigue. This tier of treatment includes various options, such as massage, acupuncture, biofeedback, and homeopathy. However, herbal supplements are generally considered the best treatment because they are easy to follow and require less time and financial commitment. Plus, they are the only form of alternative treatment that addresses the fundamental hormonal imbalance that is the cause behind most cases of menopausal fatigue.
In the case of herbal supplements, there are two types of herbs that can be used for treating fatigue: phytoestrogenic and hormone-regulating herbal supplements.
These supplements (such as black cohosh) contain plant compounds called phytoestrogens, which resemble estrogen and function like it. Thus, phytoestrogens found in these herbs can help treat an estrogen deficiency. However, from introducing external hormones into the system, the body may become incapable of producing its own hormones at proper levels, which ultimately results in a decrease in hormone levels.
These supplements (such as Macafem) do not contain phytoestrogens or any hormones. Rather, they work by supporting the endocrine system with ample nutrients, which promotes the body's natural hormone production. This balances not only estrogen, but also other vital hormones like progesterone. Thus, supplements that nourish the endocrine system are considered to be a safe and effective way to treat fatigue, since the body produces hormones naturally.
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 endocrine glands." Click on the following link for more information on Macafem
A combination of approaches often the best way of treating fatigue, especially a blend of lifestyle changes and herbal supplements. However, in rare cases, fatigue may be difficult to treat naturally or involve complications. Women experiencing relentless fatigue may want to advance to the third approach, medications, after taking the associated risks into account.
This treatment tier entails the highest risk and frequently the greatest costs as well. The most-used medication in North America for addressing menopausal fatigue is HRT. While this form of treatment is fast and easy, it poses the risk of dangerous side effects, including an increased likelihood of getting certain cancers, as revealed in the following study.
In 1991, The National Institute of Health
(NIH)started the largest clinical trial ever done in the U.S., the Women's Health Initiative
(WHI), which was designed to identify the risks and benefits of synthetic hormone treatment. However, the study was halted in July 2002, at which time it was established that the introduction of artificial hormones into the body during HRT heightens the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, as well as stroke, heart disease, and blood clots. These findings were publishes in The Journal of the American Medical Association
(JAMA) and have not been disputed to this day.
In addition, some women consult their doctors in search of pharmaceutical sleeping aids, which may provide short-term relief of insomnia and daytime fatigue, but in the long run, they may disrupt the sleep cycle, and they also carry the risk of side effects.
It's important to remember that while many medications may help relieve fatigue, they all have potential side effects, some of which are worse than any benefit the medication may provide. Women with severe fatigue who are considering this option should seek the advice of a healthcare professional.
These three tiers of treatment can overlap as necessary to alleviate fatigue. A growing number of women are finding that a blend of healthy lifestyle adjustments alongside hormone-regulating herbal supplements is the best way to treat fatigue.
A Safe Way to Treat Fatigue
Hormone-regulating herbal supplements for banishing fatigue, as detailed in the second tier of treatment, are thought to be the optimum treatment because of their effectiveness and extremely low risk of side effects.
Macafem, for instance, is considered to be an excellent hormone-regulating herbal supplement. It's straightforward: it nourishes the hormonal glands and supports natural production rather than putting artificial hormones into the body. This is what makes Macafem great for treating fatigue and other symptoms of menopause. Click on the following link to find out more about Macafem