Fatigue is a common postmenopausal complaint, which is most likely a result of aging in addition to the prior menopause transition and its symptoms. The condition can result in a lack of energy and a feeling of exhaustion after carrying out the simplest of tasks. Causes of postmenopausal fatigue can include stress from major lifestyle changes, a more sedentary lifestyle, and a slower metabolism. Many people view the fatigue as inevitable with age, but there are ways to deal with it. Keep reading for information on how to deal with fatigue during postmenopause.
Energy levels tend to ebb and flow when there are big gaps between meals, and this can cause “energy highs” and then sudden crashes. In order to keep energy levels sustained at a constant level, it is better to eat smaller meals more frequently than three large meals during the day. It is also important to ensure that meals and snacks are full of protein, fiber, fruits, and vegetables, as these will give you the essential minerals and vitamins needed for energy.
When caught in the grip of fatigue, exercise can feel counterintuitive and hard to do. However, if you make the most of the periods when you are not exhausted to get moving, then the phases of fatigue should reduce considerably. Exercise is one of the best things to do for fatigue because it naturally boosts energy. Try and get around 30 minutes every day, and find an exercise you enjoy so that motivation does not slip; for example, gardening, dancing, and yoga are fun and low-impact. The possibilities are endless!
Lack of sleep is one of the most common reasons for fatigue during postmenopause, and stress, anxiety, and sedentary lifestyle can all contribute to this. Regular exercise can help promote good sleep, as can going to bed at the same time every night, drinking an herbal tea before sleeping, and keeping the bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.
This plant is a popular relaxant and contains compounds that calm the body and mind. Anxiety can cause fatigue by using up a lot of energy and also by interrupting sleep. This herb is normally taken to relieve both of these conditions, so many find fatigue also naturally reduces. Taking valerian for a few weeks should give the body time to get used to your new routines and also keep the motivation going. However, valerian must not be taken for more than a few weeks at any one time or at the same time as any other sleep-inducing drugs.
A mixture of these steps working together is normally the best way to deal with fatigue during postmenopause, and many people find that these lifestyle changes are enough to completely relieve the condition. However, if the fatigue persists, it is important to talk to a doctor, as it could be indicative of an underlying condition that requires treatment.
- Love, S. & Lindsey, K. (2003). Dr. Susan Love's Menopause & Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press.
- Menopause Centre Australia. (2013). Fatigue. Retrieved September 8, 2014, from http://menopausecentre.com.au/Symptoms-Fatigue-menopause
- National Health Service UK. (2013). Self-help tips to fight fatigue. Retrieved September 8, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/tiredness-and-fatigue/Pages/self-help-energy-tips.aspx