Fatigue
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Fatigue

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Did You Know?

Around 20% of Americans claim to have fatigue intense enough to interfere with their daily lives. Physical causes are estimated at 20-60%, and emotional causes are at 40-80%.

Fatigue is one of the most frequently experienced symptoms of menopause, with up to 80% of women reporting this experience at one time or another. Difficult to pinpoint and sneaky in its effects, fatigue can make this already tumultuous phase even harder to deal with, by making women irritable and unable to concentrate.

Primarily caused by the hormonal changes that come along with menopause, fatigue can be exacerbated by illnesses, other menopausal symptoms, behavior, or lifestyle. By understanding more about the causes and effects of fatigue, it is possible to overcome it. Read on to learn more about fatigue, how to recognize it, its causes, and possible treatment options in order to regain energy.

In order to understand what fatigue is, it's helpful to outline the signs and symptoms of fatigue during menopause.

Fatigue is defined as an ongoing and persistent feeling of weakness, tiredness, and lowered energy levels. This should be distinguished from drowsiness, which implies an actual urge to sleep. Fatigue involves a lack of energy rather than sleepiness.

Another distinction that must be made is that between fatigue as a symptom of menopause and chronic fatigue syndrome, which is a more serious and complicated disorder. Chronic fatigue syndrome includes periods of extreme fatigue that do not improve with bed rest, may worsen with physical or mental activity, and is often tied to other illnesses.

This symptom can be distinguished by a variety of mental and physical characteristics. Often these symptoms can be experienced in tandem. A woman undergoing menopause might feel a lag in energy levels that lasts all day, or experience shorter bursts of fatigue intermittently.

Fatigue's mental and physical characteristics

Fatigue is particularly frustrating as it has a duel effect on both mind and body, making the completion of normal tasks difficult if not impossible.

Click on the following link to read more about fatigue, or continue reading to learn about the causes of fatigue.

Fatigue during Postmenopause: FAQs

Fatigue during postmenopause is a condition felt by many women, so there are a lot of questions that are frequently asked. This article gives concise and honest answers to many of the things wondered by many women in postmenopause regarding low energy levels and other symptoms.

4 Things to Know about Muscle Fatigue

Muscle fatigue is a nuisance at best and at worst can reduce quality of life. This article lists the most important things to know about muscle fatigue, including some of the leading contributing factors and how you can cure it through certain adjustments in lifestyle.

Causes of Fatigue

Age – related hormonal decline

For women undergoing the menopausal transition, the most likely cause of fatigue is the fluctuation of hormones that occurs naturally during this time. Hormones are responsible for controlling energy at the cellular level, thus, when levels of estrogen and progesterone decrease, so do energy levels.

Hormones also play a role in regulating the sleep cycle. These fluctuations also affect a woman's ability to get a good night of rest, leading to fatigue in the morning.

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

While most middle aged women experiencing fatigue as a result of the hormonal changes that occur naturally during this time period, there are certain other, less common conditions such as thyroid disorders or depression, that are liable to cause fatigue as well.

Other Causes of Fatigue

Adrenal fatigue

Thyroid dysfunction

Sleep disorders

Narcolepsy

Psychological illness

Depression

Anxiety

Chronic fatigue syndrome

Sleep apnea

Heart disease

Anemia

Risk Factors for Fatigue

Allergies

Alcohol/drugs/caffeine

Poor diet

Stress

Jetlag

Sedentary lifestyle

Boredom

Click here to learn more about the causes of fatigue or keep reading to learn more about the different treatment options for this troubling menopausal symptom.

The Effects of Vitamins on Fatigue

Fatigue is caused by a wide range of factors, so there are a variety of vitamins and minerals than can be helpful, and the best way to incorporate them is to include them as part of your diet. This article suggests particular nutrients that are well-known to reduce fatigue.

7 Uncommon Causes of Fatigue and Headaches

Fatigue refers to the feeling of weakness, exhaustion, and decreased energy levels. Headaches refer to pain experienced in any region of the head. These symptoms can come on at any time. It is important to be aware of the uncommon causes of fatigue and headaches, like hypothyroidism, anemia, and caffeine withdrawal.

Treatments for Fatigue

National Trends

According to a new nationwide government survey, 36% of U.S. adults aged 18 years and over use some form of complementary or alternative medicine.

There are a number of treatment options to help manage and alleviate fatigue. It is generally recommended that women begin with the least invasive option, which would be lifestyle changes. In the case of fatigue, this involves such steps as getting enough sleep, making a few dietary changes, and exercising.

Natural Remedies: alternative medicine is a good option to treat fatigue

The most effective approach, as fatigue in menopausal women is primarily caused by a hormonal imbalance, is to treat the problem directly at the source. A variety of natural and alternative supplements exist that can address this imbalance.

For more prolonged or drastic cases of fatigue, it may be necessary to seek the advice of a healthcare professional and possibly turn to surgical or pharmaceutical options, though these carry the greatest risk of side effects.

Click on the following link to learn specific treatments for fatigue, which begin with lifestyle changes, move onto alternative medicines, and finally, if those options don't help, drugs and surgery. The most effective treatments for fatigue typically combine lifestyle changes and alternative medicines.

7 Meals to Prevent Daily Fatigue

Daily fatigue can significantly impact your everyday life and the ability to focus. It is a frustrating symptom that affects nearly all adults to some degree. Healthy meals that can help prevent fatigue include protein, fruits and vegetables, and complex carbohydrates. Keep reading to learn more.

3 Relaxing Activities to Reduce Muscle Fatigue

Muscle fatigue can be distressing and affect all aspects of everyday life. It is particularly prevalent in women going through menopause, but it can affect anybody. This article suggests a few relaxing activities that can reduce muscle fatigue and get rid of its bothersome symptoms.

Sources:
  • Hutchinson, Susan M.D. “The Stages of a Woman's Life: Menstruation, Pregnancy, Nursing, Perimenopause, Menopause”. November 2007.
  • Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
  • BMJ Group. “Menopause: What is it?” Patient Leaflet. 2007.
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