Meno Health. Clinical Evidence.

TWC #053: I am in menopause and so tired and exhausted

Dear MHI reader

Are you in menopause, tired and exhausted, even after a good night’s sleep?

You are not alone. Many women feel tired and even exhausted during the menopause. This can affect the quality of your professional and private life and should not be underestimated.

What problems arise if you are always tired and exhausted?

Lack of energy and tiredness are among the most common symptoms experienced by women in this phase of life. Tiredness often goes hand in hand with sleep problems. This often creates a vicious circle, as tiredness leads to less activity and sport, which in turn leads to a lack of energy. Symptoms of tiredness include irritability, memory problems or apathy.

However, if you understand the causes and effects of fatigue, you can overcome it.

What are the causes of my tiredness and fatigue?

Thyroid hormones, adrenal hormones and melatonin are hormones involved in the sleep process. All of these hormones affect your sleep, metabolism and energy levels and can also be affected by changes in your sex hormone levels. In other words, as your sex hormone levels (oestrogen and progesterone) naturally decrease during the menopause, so do your energy levels. The result is a persistent feeling of tiredness.

If the quality of your sleep is poor (e.g. due to hot flushes or stress), your ability to recover is also impaired. This is immediately noticeable through tiredness in the morning.

However, tiredness does not necessarily have to be related to the menopause. It can also be a symptom of various medical conditions, such as nutrient deficiency, reduced thyroid function, low B12, folic acid and iron levels.

What can I do about my tiredness and fatigue?

We give you some tips on how to overcome your tiredness and fatigue during your menopause:

Prioritize your sleep

Going to bed and waking up at the same time is the basic rule of your sleep hygiene. Create a relaxing sleep environment by turning off electronic devices, practicing relaxing rituals before bed and making sure you have a comfortable mattress. Read Newsletter #029 for more information about sleep.

Make sure you eat a balanced diet

Too much sugar is often the cause of chronic fatigue. Excessive consumption of sugary foods leads to a sharp drop in energy levels, as the body has to put more effort into digesting these foods than healthier foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables or lean meat. In addition, too much sugar can lead to chronic inflammation, which hinders the normal production of thyroid hormones responsible for maintaining the body’s functions, which in turn leads to chronic fatigue.

Exercise regularly

Although you may feel tired, regular physical activity can actually help boost your energy levels. Try to plan at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, whether it’s walking, cycling, swimming or yoga. You’ll be surprised how much better you’ll feel!

Avoid stress

Stress can contribute to low energy levels and increase your fatigue. Look for stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, breathing exercises or progressive muscle relaxation to reduce your stress levels and increase your energy. You can read more about stress in Newsletter #004.

Listen to your body

Accept that your needs may change during the menopause and listen to your body. If you are tired, give yourself a break and allow yourself to rest and regenerate. It’s important to be mindful of your own boundaries and respect yourself.

Learn to say no

To avoid being overwhelmed, you also need to learn to say no. It’s hard to turn down requests from others, especially from people who are important to you, but sometimes you have to put yourself first. If you want to do everything for everyone, you run the risk of putting yourself on the road to exhaustion. So say no more often.

Tiredness and exhaustion during the menopause are common, but they don’t have to rule your life. There are things you can do about it.

We hope this information will help you to better understand the menopause and take practical steps to deal with it. If you need personal advice or support on your journey through the menopause, contact The Women Circle here.

In our next edition, again on Saturday at 9am, we will cover more aspects of the menopause and women’s health. Stay informed and feel comfortable in this special phase of life.

We wish you a great week.

Best regards

Joëlle & Adrian

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