One of the common symptoms of menopause is a feeling of exhaustion and fatigue – mental and physical. This blog post looks at the causes of fatigue and provides you with tips to combat fatigue and bring back your energy. I will share my experience of using Homeopathic remedies to help fatigue during the period of Change.
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Menopause fatigue can be mental and physical.
During menopause and perimenopause, many women may experience an ongoing and persistent lack of energy and feelings of tiredness and weakness. You may be surprised to find yourself feeling exhausted in an unexplainable way. The signs of menopausal fatigue include decreased wakefulness, lowered attention span, mental fuzziness, irritability and memory lapses. You may find that you lack your usual zest for life.
What causes menopausal fatigue?
The leading cause of menopausal fatigue is the change in hormone levels. Oestrogen, progesterone, thyroid and adrenal hormones are all involved in regulating cellular energy in the body, which can lead to fatigue when compromised.
Physical menopausal symptoms like night sweats and insomnia contribute to fatigue. Many women find themselves suffering from a chronic lack of sleep, which contributes to fatigue during the day. Fatigue exacerbates menopausal symptoms such as anxiety, poor concentration, and a lack of confidence. You can easily find yourself in a vicious circle.
Breaking the cycle of fatigue. Steps to try:
- Don’t over-exercise
Fatigue can be significantly helped by doing gentle exercise, ideally 30 minutes every day, but you can increase fatigue by over-exercising. Regular gentle exercise, such as walking, swimming, cycling and yoga, can be beneficial during menopause to balance a wide range of symptoms. Remember – over-exercise can be counter-productive. Walking in the fresh air is a great energy boost, and I often come back home with a new perspective. If you have a dog, you’ll know all about this. Yoga or pilates can be good as well. Ideal you can rotate between a few different forms of exercising. It all depends on your preferences.
- Cut down on stimulants like coffee and alcohol.
In addition to changing hormone levels and poor sleep patterns, menopausal fatigue can be caused by factors such as low iron levels, stress, too much work, food allergies, and other nutritional deficiencies. Your adrenal system is working hard to re-balance hormones during menopause. Therefore it is essential not to put your adrenal glands under additional pressure. So try to reduce stress, and cut down on stimulants such as coffee, alcohol and cigarettes. Be aware that black tea, green tea, other caffeinated drinks, and oranges and cheese are stimulating the adrenals and have to be avoided.
- Take a power nap.
Many women find it very helpful to have a short 20-30 minutes nap during the day to reduce fatigue. Jump into bed, set the alarm and snooze. If you work in an office, and if it is possible, find a quiet place during your lunch break and close your eyes. A power nap is an essential tool to revitalise our bodies and mind. A 15-to 20-minute meditation will create the same impact. Some people use apps like 1Giant Mind’s App for a reboot.
- Breathe at your desk.
If this snoozing or meditation is not possible for you, find your favourite way to relax. If, for example, you’re at a desk all day, carry out a regular breathing exercise. Close your eyes, breathe in deeply and slowly to the count of 4, and then breathe out slowly to the count of 6. Do this ten times each hour. Each exercise will only take 15 seconds, but the impact will be huge.
- Fresh air.
Make sure to get out into the fresh air every day at lunchtime and during other breaks – hail, rain or shine. In fact, sometimes bad weather is the most exhilarating if you can push yourself out the door.
- Find things that boost YOUR energy.
One thing that’s very evident at menopause is that we all have different experiences, see what appeals to you. Some women love art and craft and find them relaxing. Others would rather de-clutter a drawer or go dancing. Take a moment and think about what boosts your energy. Maybe try something new. Is there anything you always wanted to learn but never had time for? Like a pottery class or Latin dancing? Consider taking up mindfulness or yoga? These practices can help rest the mind, lower heart rate and blood pressure, and produce feelings of deep relaxation, which can be drawn on during busy or stressful times. Don’t overstretch yourself with commitments and people or situations that drain your energy. You may need to learn to say No!
- Use herbal or nutritional support
Many women find that they are deficient in specific vital vitamins at menopause. For example, B Vitamins are essential to ensuring that you have adequate energy. Magnesium can help sleep – either take a supplement or use a spray oil before going to bed. It’s best to consult an expert nutritionist or herbalist who can advise on your needs and potential deficiencies at midlife. Many of us are depleted by the time we get to our late 40s. Avoid caffeine as much as possible – especially after lunch. Chamomile tea or other herbal teas of your choice are a great alternative. Siberian Ginseng or Adrenal Support helps to give them more energy and aid in rebalancing hormones.
- Check your Thyroid function
Often, at the period of perimenopause, thyroid function may decline as well. The main symptoms of hypothyroidism are fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, low temperature. For peace of mind, get your thyroid function checked by your GP if you have the symptoms mentioned above.
Homeopathic remedies can be used to help balance thyroid function.
Lachesis is an important remedy during menopause and is indicated in women who have never felt well since the onset of menopause. Other menopausal symptoms of the remedy are:
- Periods every twenty-one days
- Periods profuse
- Generally worse before menses, and pains and mood better once the flow starts.
- Hot flushes, with headaches, palpitations and hot sweats
- Headaches, especially in the vertex, with burning sensations
- Some nausea, diarrhoea or haemorrhoids
- The left ovary can also be painful and swollen, and there may be prolapsed uterus.
- Women may be asthmatic since reaching menopause.
- They generally feel worse in the mornings, can’t stand the heat and are hypersensitive to any tight clothing at the neck or waist.
Women who need this remedy:
- Are worn down
- Perspire profusely
- Need air
- Must sit down and cross their legs, as they feel their insides will fall out
- They are so worn out they can appear indifferent to their loved ones.
- Sepia has a sharp tongue and almost take pleasure from hurting loved ones. This is not because they don’t love their family; it’s because they are just worn out and exhausted and have nothing more to give to anyone. A formerly warm and loving woman is now saying, ‘I don’t have any emotions’; sometimes, she will say she can’t even remember the sensation or feeling of happiness or joy. She can feel she must hold on to something to prevent herself from screaming. She can have dullness of mind, feel stupid and absent-minded, with no initiative.
- Physically, during menopause, she may have a dry vagina, pain in intercourse, and lack the desire or aversion to sex.
- She may have flooding during periods, sudden flushes of heat, weakness, perspiration and a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach.
- In general, she feels better from activity, especially in the open air, and better for warmth and from eating. She also feels better after sleep, even a short nap (this is the opposite of Lachesis). She generally feels worse in the evenings.
This is another beneficial remedy during menopause. Like all the acids, weakness and debility are common to this remedy, especially in the digestive tract, giving a very relaxed feeling to the stomach and a craving for stimulants. They feel a weakness out of all proportion to the problem. It affects the blood and blood vessels, causing haemorrhages of thin, black blood. Other symptoms of this remedy are:
- Prolapse of vagina and uterus from weakness
- Flushes of heat, followed by sweating and a trembling all over
- Weepiness over the slightest thing
Folliculinum is a helpful remedy for women with hormonal symptoms who may have used the Pill and have symptoms during menopause. There will often be a history of abuse, sexual, physical or psychological. The woman may have had a very strict upbringing. She can be unfocused, feel ‘spaced’ and may totally lose herself in her relationships.
Assilem expands on the symptoms: ‘She becomes addicted to rescuing people. She feels drained. She has become a door-mat. She has forgotten who she is, and she has no individuality.’
Folliculinum can help restore the will and re-empower the person. It is generally seen after this remedy that the person retakes control of her life, finds her own identity, becomes her rescuer and won’t allow herself to be used ever again. It will enable people to break the patterns from the past that they find hard to change. It helps to restore clarity.
Possible physical symptoms of Folliculinum during menopause:
- Restless, hyperactive, worse at rest
- Dizziness and faintness
- Puts on weight without overeating
- Huge food cravings, especially for sugar, sweets
- Cycle irregularities
- Hot flushes, night sweats
- Abdominal heaviness
- Vaginal dryness
Calcium carbonicum (Calc. carb.) is a very useful remedy during menopause. The typical Calc. carb. woman is responsible, dutiful and hard-working. She can take on too many responsibilities and become overwhelmed by them. Mentally, she can be tired and unable to hold onto thoughts or details, and then she feels that she is going mad and worries that other people will realise it. She has always worried about what others think of her, and even more so now. She has a strong focus on security, with lots of anxieties around money and health. When she is ill, she can despair of ever recovering her health.
Some physical menopausal symptoms are experienced by women who need Calc. carb. are:
- Hot flushes, with burning sensations in the vertex
- Head and neck wet with perspirations, worse during sleep
- Metrorrhagia and uterine fibroids, sometimes with marked uterine haemorrhages.
Pulsatilla is a very important remedy for women’s complaints and is often of use during menopause. The woman needing this remedy is of a gentle, mild disposition. She is emotional and easily moved to laughter or tears. Her moods are changeable; she can cry at every little thing and loves to be comforted. She can also be easily irritated and tends to feel slighted or be fearful of being slighted. In general, she feels better in the fresh air and feels worse in a warm, stuffy room and in the evenings.
Physical problems include irregular menstruation, whether it is too early or too late, too scanty or too profuse. The menses can be painful enough to cause nausea or vomiting, and bending double can help the pains. An unusual symptom for Pulsatilla is that the bleeding can happen during the day only. She can have difficulty sleeping because of hot flushes and anxious thoughts, and her legs can be very restless at night.
Weakness and exhaustion is a feature common to all the “acid” remedies. With Phosphoric acid, the nervous exhaustion comes first, followed by the physical. The patient may be listless, apathetic. Find it difficult to cope and suffering depression as well. They may also be very sensitive, especially to music. The patient’s physical symptoms may include looking worn-out, pale and thin, and they may have blue rings around the eyes. They will probably be very chilly with a poor appetite while being very thirsty.
There are other remedies that can be used, and the choice will depend on the person symptoms. More about other homeopathic remedies for fatigue you can read here.book 15 min free chat
Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of your physician or health care provider.