While there are a host of symptoms that can disturb day to day life during menopause, there is one overall factor that seems to characterize this sometimes frustrating period: fatigue. Given the physical and emotional obstacles that one has to overcome during menopause it is unavoidable that menopause symptoms and fatigue go hand-in-hand.
Fatigue, often the result of other menopause symptoms, tends to exacerbate those very same symptoms, and if not treated properly can lead to a vicious and exhausting circle. To overcome this, read over the following pages for more information on handling fatigue during menopause.
OK, what Exactly Causes Menopause Fatigue?
Fatigue can describe a range of things related to lethargy and general tiredness. Fatigue can be both physical and mental, characterized by the inability to function at the level of your normal abilities. People suffering from mental fatigue will often simply feel sleepy.
During menopause the body gradually begins to circulate less and less estrogen. This catalyzes changes throughout your body that can either interrupt sleep or make it harder to fall and stay asleep. The most severe kind of fatigue during this time is called crashing fatigue.
Research has shown that menopausal women are two to three times more likely than pre-menopausal women to experience disruptive changes in their breathing when asleep. Night sweats and anxiety can also interrupt sleep patterns.
What are the Dangers of Menopause Fatigue?
Menopause fatigue and a lack of sleep do not only affect a person's quality of life, but can also lead to serious health consequences such as high blood pressure and increased risk of injury and cardiovascular disease. Research has shown that women who sleep six hours a night are 14% more likely to have a stroke than those who slept seven hours a night.
What are the Symptoms of Menopause Fatigue?
The symptoms of menopause fatigue are fairly indistinguishable from the symptoms of normal fatigue and include:
• General tiredness and a feeling of being worn-out
• Complete lack of energy
• Sleepiness during the day
• Mood changes
• Increased irritability
• An inability to stick to your normal routine
How Can I Overcome Menopause Fatigue?
Because menopause fatigue is so closely linked to the problems of hormonal imbalance and estrogen deficiency, often the easiest and most cost-effective solution to restoring your energy levels is by returning estrogen levels to normal. This can be done in a variety of ways, including:
Exercising early in the day. Exercise is great for hormone levels, but exercise too late at night can impair sleep.
Change your diet. Eat healthy, but no overly big meals before going to bed.
Pick up a relaxing hobby. Yoga, meditation, and other relaxing techniques can ease stress and reduce overall fatigue.
In addition to this, there are a range of alternative medicine treatments that help stimulate the body's internal hormonal production system. The use of alternative medicines is becoming increasingly popular for dealing with menopause fatigue, given that they are not associated with the array of side effects that occur in artificial estrogen supplements.
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