Today I am writing about extreme fatigue during menopause because I am experiencing it right now and it is horrible. Women often will experience extreme lethargy or fatigue just out of the blue on any given day with no warning. This actually takes place more often in pre menopause or peri-menopause as the body is trying to get used to its new chemistry created by the changing hormone levels. There is actually a specific term for this extreme fatigue and it has been labeled by many researchers as “crashing fatigue”. This is by no means an actual medical term, but there is a lot of literature out there that uses this exact terminology. Typically, crashing fatigue is defined as sudden and overwhelming feelings of weakness, exhaustion and reduced energy level, which can strike at any moment of the day and is not linked to recent physical exertion. Often times crashing fatigue will strike right before the menstrual period for those women who are still in peri-menopause and are still having somewhat regular periods.
Crashing fatigue can be so debilitating that some women are unable to function with their daily routines, some cannot even get out of bed in the morning. Crashing fatigue should not be confused with chronic fatigue syndrome, which is a totally different diagnosis. Crashing fatigue can be both physically based and psychologically based, and the two can intertwine. The changing hormone levels cause many disturbances that throw the body out of whack. Particularly when sleep is affected, it then of course makes sense that fatigue follows. Therein lies the physical component to crashing fatigue. Then there is the psychological portion wherein a woman is dealing with anxiety, emotional stress or generally overdoing things just to keep up with life that has gotten out of control due to other menopause symptoms and issues. Unfortunately, psychologically caused crashing fatigue can lead women to feeling less emotionally stable which can then aggravate other symptoms. Fortunately, crashing fatigue may only be temporary and can be managed with many supplements and mainly lifestyle changes and in extreme cases with hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Refer to the section on survival tips for detailed information.