Fatigue is defined as an ongoing and persistent feeling of weakness, tiredness, and lowered energy level. It is different from drowsiness, which by implication means a need for sleep. Fatigue involves lack of energy rather than sleepiness. Fatigue is a double-edged sword in that it has an effect on both the mind and the body, which means that getting some tasks done can be more than challenging.
It's Those Menopause Hormones Again
One of the most frequently experienced symptoms of menopause is the feeling of fatigue, and more than 80% of women can attest to that fact. It is primarily the result of tumultuous hormones that are imbalanced during menopause and can be made worse with illness, lifestyle choices, and by other menopausal symptoms. The fluctuation of hormones that happens during menopause means that energy levels, which are dependent upon estrogen and progesterone levels, are inconsistent. Consequently, when hormones dip, so does energy. Hormones also play a big role in the regulation of the sleep cycle, so a good night's sleep is an elusive thing.
The characteristics of mental fatigue include a decrease in wakefulness and a decrease in attention span. The decrease in attention span may lead to memory lapses, which themselves can be very bothersome. A feeling of apathy is common, as is irritability. Physically, to compound the mental aspects, a woman will feel lethargic; suffer with muscle fatigue and tiredness after a meal.
The Sudden Drop: Menopause Fatigue
Many women experience an even more acute sense of fatigue known as crashing fatigue. This is a more complex symptom of menopause that is triggered by a wide variety of causes. Family stress, heavy work load and too much to deal with at one time can all trigger crashing fatigue. This menopausal symptom can be defined as an overwhelming and sudden feeling of weakness, exhaustion, and reduced energy level that can hit at a moment during the day. It manifests in all of the same ways as fatigue except that it happens very suddenly. It is important to remember that this is a symptom of menopause brought on by hormone imbalance.
Help-I Can't Function: Menopause Symptoms
There are a number of different methods of dealing with fatigue, and it is recommended that women begin with the least invasive methods to treat it. The obvious first step is lifestyle change, beginning with ensuring adequate sleep is obtained at night. This can be a challenge sometimes with hot flashes and night sweats. Dietary changes should include more water, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and adequate supplementation where necessary. Exercise is perhaps one of the best ways to help with fatigue. Staying active and doing some form of exercise daily helps to keep the body functioning well.
Since fatigue is a hormonal issue, the use of natural and alternative supplementation, phytoestrogens, or bioidentical hormone treatment are good ways to address this imbalance. If the situation is drastic, the advice of a healthcare professional is prudent in order to discuss other types of treatments.