Feeling Fatigued: Tiredness and the Menopause

Tiredness and the Menopause

Fatigue during the menopause isn't simply about feeling exhausted from your daily chores, experiencing a dip in energy after exercising or part of the ageing process. It’s usually a combination of emotional, mental and physical fatigue which can result from important nutritional deficiencies and falling hormone levels. If you find that you’re feeling run down and tiredness is creeping into your everyday life, please don’t worry. There are many ways to revitalise, refresh and restore your body’s natural energy levels.

Why do we get so tired during the Menopause?

At the time of the menopause many women are running on empty in terms of their nutritional wellbeing.  Bearing children, breast feeding, life in the fast lane, taking care of others before ourselves drain our resources. For example, research from around the world demonstrates quite clearly that women commonly are deficient in Vitamin D and iron stores may be at an all time low, especially if period have been heavy leading up to the menopause.  Our hormones, including oestrogen, progesterone, thyroid, cortisol and adrenal hormones also influence our energy levels. On top of low levels of key nutrients, falling levels of hormones increase our experience of physical, emotional and mental fatigue.

Why is it so hard to sleep during the Menopause?

A shortage of essential nutrients and hormonal changes can bring with them disrupted sleep patterns, hot sweats during the night, as the brain tries to kick start the ovaries back into function. This has a knock-on effect on our mood, concentration, sex drive and general motivation.

Our lifestyle might also weigh heavily on our hormonal levels during the menopause. So often with sleep deficit, women feel stressed at work as they battle through brain fog to focus and concentrate.  Family pressures seem more difficult to cope with when we are tire and relationships become strained

How do I know if I’m suffering from fatigue?

Fatigue can feel very disheartening, disempowering and ever so frustrating. Fatigue during the menopause might feel different to your usual tiredness. A lot of the symptoms are invisible and much less understood or even dismissed by others. We can feel fairly spaced out, our mind seems foggy, and our normal pace of life can feel threatened. Our limbs can feel heavier, our joints ache, movement can feel like a marathon and you might find you're overcome by the need for a nap.

What can help with my fatigue?

Fatigue during the menopause is a true call for self-care. The first thing to check is whether your have low levels of nutrients, particularly Vitamin D, and if so take some supplements to get your levels back into an optimum range.  

Popular remedies for fatigue

  • Nourish your body with plant based foods, as they carry the highest amount of energy 
  • Staying hydrated can make a dramatic difference. Try to avoid dehydrating drinks such as caffeine and alcohol 
  • De-stressing as much as possible; constant stress, worry and panic can trigger fatigue, try some mindfulness techniques 
  • Making time to sleep for seven to nine hours a night on average can help recharge your energy levels

We would advise that you seek advice from your GP or a health professional if you are suffering from extreme tiredness, as they will be able to offer medical advice and treatment if required. 


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