Feeling extreme fatigue in menopause?
I know many people who talk about how tired they are and how it affects their everyday lives. The usual “how are you” conversations are peppered with the words “tired” and “exhausted”.
Extreme fatigue, or crashing fatigue as others call it, is real!
If you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone!
Crashing fatigue is common in menopause. The stress of “modern Lifestyle”, combined with hormonal shifts, robs our body of energy.
You don’t have to suffer in silence any longer. I know you’re “tired” of being tired.
Ladies, it’s time we get a grip on what it means to have extreme fatigue in menopause and how we can help our body recover!
What is Fatigue?
Extreme fatigue is an overwhelming feeling of persistent exhaustion. Doctors say that extreme fatigue is a non-specific symptom. It’s not a full-blown condition but a side effect of conditions or body function imbalances.
A study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that 24% of the general population experiences fatigue in their life. Women are more at risk than men.
Many women say extreme fatigue comes out of nowhere. They often describe it as “a sudden feeling of crashing fatigue that takes over their body, even if they did not exert physical effort.”
All of us know what being tired feels like. So, what makes extreme fatigue different?
Experts say that it’s not relieved by rest. It also worsens if you do activities. For this reason, experts say extreme fatigue can disrupt your life. You lose the stamina and motivation to do things, enthusiasm for what you used to love and more.
How Will I Know If I Have Extreme Fatigue?
In extreme fatigue, “severe tiredness” isn’t just the only symptom you’ll feel. It’s usually accompanied by many other symptoms. They are a mix of physical, mental and emotional discomforts. Below are some of them:
- Slowed responses
- Daytime sleepiness
- Muscle pains
- Brain fog
- Short-term memory loss
- Mood swings, anxiety and depression
- Increased appetite
Many women can’t pinpoint the cause of their fatigue, but experts say this symptom has triggers that you can address.
13 Natural Ways to Recover from Extreme Fatigue!
1. Eat a healthy diet!
Poor diet is one cause of extreme fatigue in menopause. Quit eating fast, junk or processed foods, because they don’t have nutrients. Don’t skip meals or eat too much. Eat more organic, plant-based and whole foods. Avoid inflammatory foods like gluten, dairy and sugar. These foods will not only tire out our tissues; they also cause hormonal imbalances. Bulk up on fiber with cruciferous and leafy veggies. Add citrus fruits because they can pump up your metabolism, giving you more energy!
2. Consume more hormone-balancing foods.
Adaptogenic and phytoestrogenic herbs have compounds which help balance hormones. Examples of these herbs include Black Cohosh, Maca Root, Ashwagandha and Rhodiola. Superfoods are also great foods for your hormones! Hormonal imbalance is a major cause of extreme fatigue during menopause. See our fact box below for easy explanations about how this happens!
3. Do light activities.
Doing exercise is a challenge if you’re tired, but it doesn’t mean you can’t! When you have extreme fatigue, doctors don’t advise rigorous exercises because they add more strain to your body. Yoga, Meditation, Pilates and Qigong are good light exercises that you can practice. They keep your muscles moving, which boosts energy and circulation!
4. Relieve night sweats and sleep problems!
Night sweats and sleep problems are two reasons why many women in menopause feel drained. Waking up soaked in sweat in the middle of the night disturbs sleep. This causes day time tiredness. Click on the links above to get the best tips to relieve these symptoms!
5. End stress in your life!
Prolonged stress creates excess cortisol! This hormone slows down your functions and suppresses your organs from working properly. It makes your body dormant, draining your energy. Reduce stress by learning how to say NO and set your priorities straight. Slow down and calm yourself down with proper breathing techniques. It will help relax your mind and body.
6. Keep your thyroid healthy!
Eat thyroid boosting foods like dark leafy greens, avocados, oysters and Brazil nuts. Avoid “starvation” diets, choose healthy sources of proteins, stay hydrated and limit food stimulants! Know how thyroid problems can cause extreme fatigue in our FACT BOX below!
7. Cut stimulants.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol. These compounds can give you an increased level of energy, but not for too long. Your energy still drops, leaving your body weaker when their effects wear off.
8. Look over your life.
Sometimes, the cause of extreme fatigue is not because of physical factors. It can be emotional burdens that wear us out. Try to look over your life. Acknowledge and digest your feelings. Don’t let worry, frustration and resentment zap your energy!
9. Make Omega-3 rich foods part of your life.
Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, halibut, cod and herring are rich in Omega-3. This healthy fat is food for the heart and boosts its functions. When the heart is healthy, blood flow and nutrient distribution are good!
10. Take a break.
Rest if you need to. You can have a 15-minute power nap or re-energize by lying down and closing your eyes.
11. Carry energy-boosting but calming essential oils.
Keep a small bottle spray of lavender, sandalwood, jasmine and eucalyptus in your purse. Peppermint, frankincense and vanilla are also good. These essential oils relax your body, calm your mind and boost your energy levels.
12. Use natural supplements.
13. Check your medications or any existing condition.
Some drugs will leave you out of energy. These include antidepressants, antianxiety drugs, antihistamines and pain killers. Be sure to ask your doctor or talk to him if you feel exhausted taking these medications. Anemia, diabetes, gut disorders, adrenal fatigue and other conditions can cause extreme fatigue. Be sure to get checked to rule out illnesses!
Eileen of A. Vogel explains why most women in menopause experience fatigue and how we can beat it. She says it’s important to take care of our fatigue because it might lead to adrenal fatigue – a far more serious condition. [10:07]
What Extreme Fatigue is NOT!
Extreme fatigue IS NOT Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or Adrenal Fatigue.
CFS is a more serious condition. It’s caused by specific condition and can last for six months.
Adrenal fatigue is also another thing. This condition happens when you have chronic stress. Your adrenals go into override and exhaustion. As a result, you don’t have control over cortisol and your body. Adrenal Fatigue Solution has an easy explanation about the difference between CFS and Adrenal Fatigue.
Does menopause cause extreme fatigue?
Our body relies on estrogen and progesterone during menopause. It’s important to keep their delicate balance, but it is tricky to do so.
Estrogen dominance (ED) is common in perimenopause. It happens when you have an imbalance in the estrogen to progesterone ratio. Progesterone is the first hormone to decrease during menopause. As a result, estrogen becomes the dominant hormone.
Too much estrogen is bad for our bodies. It creates a cascade of symptoms and causes a ripple effect on our whole body. Without the calming progesterone, nothing can stop the negative effects of too much estrogen.
With ED, your metabolism slows down, so energy production decreases. Your gut becomes sluggish, and absorbing nutrients becomes a challenge. Your adrenal glands notice these changes, and it will release stress hormones. Excessive stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline, suppress some body functions.
In all these hormonal changes, your body works hard to bring back balance. But over time, it runs out of energy.
Estrogen and progesterone also relax the body. For this reason, sleep and rest depend on these hormones. Low testosterone may also contribute to extreme fatigue. This is because the hormone is an energy booster.
How about thyroid problems? Can they be the reason for your fatigue?
Whether you have an underactive or overactive thyroid, they can impact your energy. Thyroid problems are common in menopause. Shifts in estrogen and progesterone affect thyroid hormones in a big way. A low functioning thyroid gland means sluggish metabolism and reduced energy. An overactive thyroid works your body organs into exhaustion.
Listen to your body and observe what makes you tick.
Take some tests to see where you are at with hormones and nutrition. Visit a naturopath or complementary doctor so you can see the whole picture.
Don’t let extreme fatigue take away your energy and zest for life, figure out the roots of why you’re feeling that way!
Feeling other symptoms? Go to our symptoms page!
Find out everything about menopause. Visit our homepage!
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