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What causes menopause fatigue?
Fatigue in menopause can be caused by many different problems, including low thyroid, weak adrenal function, an overworked liver, food intolerances, menopause insomnia, hot flashes and night sweats, stress and poor diet.
The Importance of Diet
You need to include high quality proteins and fats in your diet. This will come from organic meats, with animals raised on pasture instead of corn and soy foods, wild fish, whole, organic, and preferably raw dairy foods, and eggs that come from pastured chickens. For sources of these foods, see Local Harvest.
Good fats include real butter, animal fats from the animals described above, coconut oil, high vitamin cod liver oil, extra virgin olive oil and expeller-pressed sesame oil.
Avoid vegetable oils except those mentioned above, and trans fats. To avoid these fats, you will need to avoid most processed and convenience foods.
Dietary stimulants such as caffeine and sugar will deplete your energy and stress your adrenal glands. Try to avoid them as much as possible.
You may develop new food sensitivities during this time. Your digestive system uses a large amount of energy to break down and absorb your food. If you are eating foods that don't agree with you, menopause fatigue will definitely be an issue. Wheat, corn, soy, eggs and dairy are some of the most common foods people have problems with. Try avoiding some of these foods if you suspect they are a problem.
For more information on diet, see menopause diets.
Many women approaching menopause have undiagnosed low thyroid. This may be caused by estrogen dominance, which can be caused by falling progesterone levels and xenoestrogens in the environment.
Symptoms of low thyroid are excess weight, fatigue that doesn't go away, sensitivity to cold with cold hands and feet, dry skin, depression, mental confusion, and many many more. If you suspect low thyroid, you need to get tested, but testing and treatment are tricky, so do your research first. An excellent information source is About Thyroid.
Weak adrenal function is caused by long-term stress. Symptoms of weak adrenals include morning fatigue, needing caffeine, sugary or salty foods to keep going, feeling run down and stressed, or feeling tired for no reason. For more on adrenal, thyroid, estrogen and progesterone hormones and correcting hormone imbalance with herbs, see hormone imbalance.
Your liver has to work very hard during this time, breaking down excess hormones like follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which rises in perimenopause. If your liver is overworked, it won't be able to fully detoxify and build your body. This will cause fatigue. There are many herbs that can help your liver do it's job better, and support your digestive system.
Stress will take it's toll on your adrenal glands, use up more nutrients and cause menopause fatigue. For natural remedies that help, see stress and menopause.
Menopause insomnia will keep you fatigued. To find natural approaches to help you get better sleep, see menopause insomnia.
If hot flashes or night sweats are waking you up at night, see hot flash remedy.
Vitamins and Supplements for Menopause Fatigue
B vitamins are excellent for energy. The best way to get your B vitamins is through nutritional yeast. Be sure to get a brand that has been processed at low temperatures.
Coconut oil is an excellent energy booster and good for your thyroid. It can also help you lose weight. Try 2 tablespoons in a little warm water before meals.
CoQ10 is good for your heart and gums as well as your energy.
L-carnitine is an excellent supplement for energy as well as weight loss.
L-tyrosine is an amino acid that can give you more energy if you are not getting enough of it in your diet.
Seaweeds are packed with nutrients, especially trace minerals, which many people are deficient in. Seaweeds also helps support thyroid function. You can add seaweeds to your diet or take a kelp supplement.
Herbs for Menopause Fatigue
Ashwaganda is an ayurvedic herb that can help with energy. It is similar to the ginsengs, but seems a little more mild.
Evening Primrose Oil can boost your energy if you need this supplement.
Nettles and Oatstraw are full of nutrients that can help boost your energy. See more remedies for more info.
Eleuthrococcus is an excellent herb for energy.
Exercise is another good remedy for fatigue. If you are not already walking at least several times a week, now is the time to start! Not only can it help with menopause fatigue, but it can lower stress levels, help you lose weight and prevent heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and more.