Fatigue during menopause – causes and lifestyle solutions
What causes fatigue during menopause?
Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of menopause which most women will experience at some point, often in the very early stages of peri-menopause. For many women the fatigue can be extreme, overwhelming and instant. It can be linked to your menstrual cycle which will most likely now be irregular, but some women report extreme fatigue for long periods of time which can significantly impact on how you are feeling generally.
Fatigue can be both mental and physical. As well as a lack of energy, you may suffer from a ‘fuzzy’ brain, irritability and memory lapses.
Fatigue during menopause is caused by the hormonal changes that are going on inside your body which are draining you of energy, eventually your energy levels can fall to such a level that you end up getting fatigued.
Other conditions such as thyroid disorders, low Vitamin D, low iron, adrenal issues and liver issues can also cause fatigue. If your fatigue is extreme, then you should firstly consult your doctor to rule out any of these conditions.
Lifestyle solutions to help manage fatigue during menopause
If you are experiencing fatigue during menopause, you can boost your energy levels naturally by making some lifestyle changes.
1. Drink plenty of water every day
It’s essential to keep your body properly hydrated during menopause so it can perform at it’s best. If your body becomes dehydrated it can affect your energy levels and make you feel tired and sluggish. Start by drinking a half to one litre of water a day and gradually increase this to two litres. Herbal teas are a good way to increase your water intake if you are struggling.
2. Get a good night’s sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep when you are experiencing menopause symptoms can be tough. But there are lots of things you can do such as using relaxation techniques to wind down before you go to bed, having a relaxing bath and keeping your room cool and dark overnight. You will also get a better quality of sleep before midnight – so early to bed and early to rise up to four nights a week should be a menopause mantra.
3. Get some exercise but listen to your body
Exercising is probably the last thing you feel like doing when you are fatigued and all you want to do it curl up in a ball and go to sleep – and that’s fine as you need to listen to your body. But on the days you are less fatigued try to get some fresh air – get outside and go for a walk, do a gentle swim a yoga class – any type of exercise that will awaken your body will be beneficial.
4. Limit your caffeine and alcohol consumption
Artificial stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol can both affect energy levels and interfere with getting a good night’s sleep. Cut out both completely or limit your intake and try not to have either after 3 p.m.
5. Review your diet
Your nutritional needs change. And if you’re not actually getting enough nutrition, your body’s going to be very low, and that can cause fatigue as well. Make energy-inducing foods such as nuts, fresh fruit and vegetables part of your daily diet.
If you are feeling extreme fatigue and are finding it hard to function we would recommend you consult your doctor or a nutritionist to rule out any underlying health issues.
To identify and monitor your individual symptoms, why not try out our Free Menopause Symptoms Tracker™.
Related articles: Learning to cope with menopause fatigue – a reader’s story