Learning to cope with menopause fatigue
Suzanne shares her story of how perimenopause has affected her life and the strategies she uses to help manage her fatigue and symptoms.
I’m 53-years old, a mum, a wife and two years into perimenopause. My periods are all over the place. They will skip a month and return or skip several months and then start a monthly cycle again.
Before perimenopause, I never had problems keeping up with my 10-year old daughter. I could throw myself into her activities, go to work, volunteer at her school, look after my home and family, go for long runs and still have enough energy left over for more.
But all this has changed.
It started with breast pain and tenderness during my period. After suffering for some time, I went to see my doctor and after discussing my symptoms he recommended whilst I was still having a period that I take Vitex Angus-Castus. After taking it for three months, the breast pain disappeared. But then BINGO a bunch of new symptoms arrived.
What I didn’t anticipate was how disruptive, intense and severe some of these symptoms would be. For instance, the the nausea that comes over me when I have a hot flush; the night sweats and the endless sleepless nights; the increased anxiety I feel throughout the day to the point that if I go out, I have an urgency to come straight home. I also wasn’t expecting to be completely out of control of my feelings – crying for no reason or being angry and irrationally boiling with rage over small things.
And then there are more minor symptoms like forgetfulness, poor concentration, muscle aches and pains, itchy skin – the list goes on.
I’ve tried many remedies to help manage my symptoms. including flaxseed oil for my hot flushes and sage as it has high levels of antioxidant properties than can help with night sweats – but neither helped. I take iron supplements which helps with the fatigue and MenoMagic™ at night which helps with my night sweats. I considered HRT, but I don’t think my symptoms are severe enough to warrant taking it at the moment.
I’ve been forced to step back from long distance running (which is my passion) because of an overwhelming sense of exhaustion that overtakes me but am now doing shorter runs when I can and walk daily. I watch my diet and eat as healthily as I can and limit alcohol intake.
The menopause has made me feel old. I miss the old me and my confidence has completely gone whereas before I would be more assertive.
Although my symptoms change daily except for the hot flushes, I’m happy. I have a very supportive husband and my daughter keeps me smiling. I have learnt to take each day as it comes. And I know I am not alone.