Crashing fatigue is a debilitating condition that is usually associated with menopause. The body feels completely exhausted even without physical exertion. The exhaustion may not be helped by sleeping or eating, and can cause a lack of appetite and concentration as well as depression and irritability. Crashing fatigue is thought to be caused by the hormonal changes women undergo during menopause. Successful treatment usually involves a mix of lifestyle changes and medicines.
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Learn a relaxation exercise, such as meditation or yoga. This should be regularly practised to keep breathing at a slow, refreshing rate, and to relax muscles and joints.
Stick to a routine of going to bed and waking up at the same time. This will help you to establish a sleeping routine and will also help prevent you from spending too long in bed.
Check your diet. Make sure you eat at least two hours before you go to bed, to allow your stomach to begin to digest the food. To help fight fatigue, eat a range of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as foods such as almonds, figs and dates.
Cut out addictive substances such as alcohol, nicotine and caffeine. These can all affect sleep and make fatigue worse.
Research alternative treatments such as massage, aromatherapy and acupuncture. Discuss your ideas with your health care professional, and ask for recommendations. Make sure you only receive treatment from a certified individual. Your local health board should have a list of registered professionals.
Speak to your doctor about possible medication. Hormone Replacement Therapy, or HRT, is a commonly prescribed medication for crashing fatigue. You may also be prescribed sleep aids. All medications come with side effects. These should be fully discussed with your doctor so you can make an informed decision.
Consult an alternative health provider to discuss other possible remedies. There are usually two types of herbs suggested: phytoestrogen, which contains plant oestrogen, and non-oestrogen herbs, which stimulate your glands to help you produce more oestrogen naturally. Alternative remedies can also have side effects and interact with other medicines you are taking.
Tips and warnings
- Consult your doctor before you start taking any medication or course of treatment, to ensure different medicines are compatible.
- Make sure your bedroom is a good sleeping environment. You should have a comfortable mattress, enough pillows and the room should be dark and cool. Use your bedroom only for sleeping.
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- "Menopause: A Guide for Real Women: Physical and Emotional Health for a Positive Menopause"; Caroline Carr; 2009
- "The Wisdom of Menopause: The Complete Guide to Women's Health: The Complete Guide to Physical and Emotional Health During the Change"; Christiane Northrup; 2009