Today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I answer the question, "Is feeling tired all the time in the menopause normal?
It's amazing how many women contact me and say, "I just feel tired. I feel fatigued. Is this normal?" Yes, it is. If you think about it, all the emotional and physical changes that your body is going through during the menopause and peri-menopause, it's no surprise that your body can feel this strain.
Types of tiredness during menopause & what causes it
Now, fatigue can come in different guises if you like. Some people find that they are tired the whole time from morning until night. There's no let-up. Even if they have a good night's sleep, they still wake up tired the next morning.
For other women, it can come in crashing waves. So you can be fine one minute and the next minute, you just feel like you've been hit by a train. And sometimes, this type of fatigue can affect your daily life and it can affect your emotional state as well.
As I mentioned before, these changes put a dreadful strain on the body, and the fatigue can end up exacerbating other menopause symptoms that you may already be suffering from.
As well as fatigue, you're also having to deal with low mood, maybe irritability, maybe joint pain. You're getting flushes and sweats in between as well. So, the general fatigue, although it might not seem too great at any given moment, can have a huge impact on the way that you go through your menopause.
Things to be aware of
Don't always blame everything on menopause. There are other things to be aware of which could be causing your fatigue.
By the time you get to peri-menopause and menopause age, other health issues can creep in, so especially if you've been getting heavy or frequent periods, it can be low iron. We know for a lot of women that thyroid function can be affected. You can have low vitamin D. You could have low vitamin B12.
And all of these can cause fatigue, too. So if it's got to the point where your fatigue is affecting your daily life, both physically and emotionally, then this is the point, when you can, to get to your doctor and ask to be tested for these four, just so that you can rule them out.
How can I boost my energy during menopause?
A really simple one, that a lot of women will go, "Oh no, I don't want to do this," is exercise. Now, especially at the moment if you're having to work from home, I find that I'm not as active when I'm at home. I've set up little exercise stations around the house, and I get out for a walk.
But I seem to spend longer at my desk at home than I do in my office. And the problem here is the longer you sit, the more sluggish your circulation and oxygen uptake get, and that all contributes to fatigue. So even getting out for a brisk 10-minute walk at lunchtime or after work, just to get your circulation and breathing going again can make a huge difference to your energy levels.
And if you can, I do all these little exercise stations around the house. Again, if I feel I'm slumping at my desk, very often, it's just because I need to get things moving again. So, this is a really important one.
Don't go overboard, though. If you're fatigued, slogging it down the gym (when they are open) for an hour or two at a time, twice a week, is not going to help at all. So, it needs to just be little and often to keep that system going.
Water is really, really important. Remember that falling oestrogen can dehydrate you and especially if you're getting flushes and sweats as well. So, it's really important to keep your water intake up, so remember that litre and a half to two litres of water a day.
Other drinks like caffeine, can give you a really good boost but then, with that hit comes a quick crash of energy afterward. And that is another contribution to daily fatigue, so really watch your intake of things like coffee, and tea, and fizzy drinks as well.
Boost your magnesium
Magnesium, for those of you who've been with me for a while, you'll know how important it is for so many different things. So, magnesium can help to boost your energy levels. It's a nice one for that.
It's also very good to help with muscle function if your muscles are getting tired, and it will help to give you a better night's sleep.
We do a lovely supplement called Balance Mineral Drink that has calcium, magnesium, zinc, and potassium, and vitamin D in it.
We've also got our Menopause Support. So if it's an appropriate one, there's a little bit of magnesium in there as well, just to help to give you that little bit of an extra energy boost.
B vitamins are other vital nutrients for energy. If you're taking B vitamins, normally 50 milligrams of B vitamins a day is fine for most people.
Take them in the morning, and they can be that little bit energising as well.
Eat a good, varied diet
Your nutritional needs go sky-high and if you're not getting enough, then no wonder your body is tired, and it's struggling.
So just have a look at your diet, maybe just overhaul it a little bit. Get plenty of fresh vegetables, a little bit of fruit, good lean protein, and a small amount of whole grains just to help with that energy release throughout the day.
Rest and relax
Another thing is rest and relaxation. Now, I know this sounds silly. Here you are, really tired. You might be struggling with motivation, struggling with exercise, and you're thinking, "How can rest and relaxation help?" Very often, fatigue is just your body's way of saying, "Please help me. I am tired."
And if you are busy during the day, if you're not sleeping well, then you're not going to get that really important "me" time. So, at some point during the day, 30 minutes "me" time: relaxing, closing your eyes, shutting out the world, listening to lovely music. Whatever it takes for you to relax, then that is going to help with your fatigue.
It's amazing how quickly adding in some serious relaxation can go towards building up your energy levels, too.
Develop a good sleep routine
Now, good night's sleep, I've mentioned that before is very important during menopause. If you're not sleeping well due to flushes and sweats waking you up, maybe look at sage tablets to take with your evening meal to help you sleep better.
And there are lots of lovely sleep remedies such as our Dormeasan if you find that you're having either trouble getting off to sleep or staying asleep.
So hopefully, these tips will be of benefit to you. If any of you have any other great tips that helped you to beat fatigue or other tips to help give you that little bit more energy, then please do share them in the comment section below. We would love to hear all about them.