All about each symptom of menopause

Fatigue during Your Period

Some women suffer from debilitating fatigue during their period, although this might not occur every month. Fatigue during the period is normally caused by premenstrual dysphoric disorder (also known as PMDD) or particularly heavy bleeding. Keep reading to find out more about period-related fatigue and what to do about it.

Tips on how to relieve fatigue during your period

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

This is a condition caused by the hormonal fluctuations of the menstrual cycle in which a woman exhibits symptoms of depression and irritability prior to menstruation, and this can lead to chronic fatigue. This is a more severe condition than the more common premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Fortunately, in most cases, the symptoms cease shortly after the period begins.

As well as the hormonal factors, PMDD can be exacerbated by other things, such as diet, genetics, and lifestyle. Some of the symptoms that can contribute to a feeling of fatigue or low energy are insomnia, anxiety, and mood swings. The positive message from this is that if lifestyle factors can worsen PMDD-related fatigue, then they can also help alleviate it. Keep reading for tips on how to relieve fatigue during your period.

Eat Well

A diet high in sugar and fat and low in essential vitamins and nutrients means that the body is not being appropriately nourished, so a lack of energy is a natural consequence. The first step should be gradually eliminating processed and high-sugar foods from your diet; gradually is the key word here - do it too suddenly and you are more likely to lose motivation.

Avoid salt, and replace processed carbohydrates with whole grain options, which will give you energy-boosting fiber. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables because these contain many nutrients that provide energy, leaving you less likely to suffer from fatigue during your period.

Drink Water

Water makes up 70% of the human body, so a shortage of it will lead to bodily systems - such as the immune system - not functioning as they should. Studies have demonstrated that energy levels are lower in those who consume less water, so staying hydrated is especially important around menstruation, when changing hormone levels make you more susceptible to fatigue.

Exercise

Exercise is one of the last things a person in the grips of fatigue will feel like doing, so it is important to exercise regularly throughout the month as a means of preventing period-related fatigue from happening in the first place. Exercise secretes natural mood elevating neurotransmitters and encourages the body to release adrenaline, which increases energy. For those who are currently experiencing fatigue, it is a good idea to gradually build up, starting with a small amount each day. Read about exercise tips for fatigue.

Fatigue during your period is irritating, but it's usually no cause for alarm. By following the few simple guidelines outlined above, you should find instances of fatigue around menstruation decrease or even disappear altogether. If fatigue continues after this, it is important to talk to your doctor in order to establish if the fatigue is caused by some other underlying factor.

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  • National Institutes of Health. (2012). Premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Retrieved September 18, 2014, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007193.htm
  • Thacker, H.L. (2009). The Cleveland Clinic Guide to Menopause. New York: Kaplan Publishing.