Perimenopause and Fatigue (Crashing Fatigue)
When a woman is in her late thirties, mid-forties, or early fifties (the ages for perimenopause and menopause), fatigue is something that isn't unknown to them. They have been working everyday for a number of years. Chances are that more than 65% of them are married with children or are divorced with children, and they also run a household. What's more is that it isn't uncommon that they have a regular exercise routine or volunteer work that takes up their spare time.
A woman this age is no stranger to being tired, not by a long shot, and this is probably why perimenopause and fatigue are rarely linked together. This new strong sense of fatigue becomes a strange change they can't explain, and only wonder how they can make go away because none of the old methods are working. This fatigue (also known as crashing fatigue) is an often overlooked and ignored symptom of perimenopause.
What is Perimenopause Fatigue?
Much can be said about perimenopause and fatigue. First, as illustrated by the first paragraph, it strikes the unsuspecting. If it is the first of a woman's perimenopause symptoms, it often gets misdiagnosed until other more tell-tale symptoms arise. This means women can feel truly helpless over their bodies and become confused or depressed, which won't help them at all.
The second thing to note about perimenopause and fatigue is the kind of fatigue it is. It has been named “crashing fatigue” for a reason, and that's because women feel a sudden deep exhaustion take over their body even though they haven't exerted any physical effort. When they try to do any physical or mental activity, the fatigue often worsens. This exhaustion is always coupled with very little physical stamina that isn't improved by rest. A situation that is also made worse by the insomnia experienced during perimenopause.
It is never-ending tiredness.
From that description of perimenopause and fatigue, you can see why it deserves attention. The debilitating symptom can cripple you and your daily routine, keeping you from doing what you need to do. It can leave you confused and sad, making you feel alone, and causing depression. For some women, their lives stop completely or revolve around days in which the fatigue lifts, and they have enough energy to do certain tasks till the next time they are once again hit with crashing fatigue.
Why does Crashing Fatigue occur?
Most doctors tell us that if you understand what is happening to your body, then you can solve the problem. Unfortunately for perimenopause and fatigue, there is no cure or solution since perimenopause is a part of a woman's life cycle. The best you can do is understand what's going on and then find the best way to manage the problem.
There are two main causes for crashing fatigue: psychological and physical.
Psychological causes for crashing fatigue are rare, but not unheard of. Sometimes anxiety, daily stress, being overworked and emotional stress can lead to emotional instability which then leads the body to lose balance in its daily functioning as well. If crashing fatigue is due to psychological causes, it is often temporary and ends when the stress is over.
The second cause behind crashing fatigue is the reason why perimenopause and fatigue are related. The fatigue is related to the hormonal changes going on in a woman's body. Estrogen (known as the female hormone) regulates cortisol, the hormone responsible for tiredness. When estrogen levels drop, cortisol levels are left uncontrolled. Sometimes the fatigue is caused not by a drop of estrogen but by a decrease in the testosterone (known as the male hormone) in a woman's body. If testosterone is the reason, women often regain their energy once menstruation stops completely or when they become fully menopausal.
What can be done about perimenopause and fatigue?
The first thing that needs to be done is to see what is causing the crashing fatigue. When the cause is pinpointed, then treatment can be prescribed.
If it is being caused by psychological stress, then it is a good idea to schedule regular rest each night, and spare time during the weekends for relaxation. It will also help to follow an exercise program (about three times a week) that is not too physically strenuous. Yoga is a good example. For psychological causes, a combination of treatments usually works best.
If the crashing fatigue is being caused by internal physical changes, then balancing hormone levels is a must. There are some hormone balancing programs you can discuss with your doctor and hormone balancing therapies that can be done. Often, lifestyle changes are also recommended. Usually this involves more regular exercise, meditation, and relaxation. There are also have several alternative medicine options like acupuncture, herbal remedies, naturopathic therapy, and other treatments you can look into.
The point is that you don't have to suffer fatigue due to perimenopause! You can go back to being your old, happy, and energetic self today!
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