If you are like most women over the age of thirty, you might be asking yourself why you are so tired lately? Studies have shown that fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of hormonal imbalance affecting close to 80 percent of women premenopausal and menopausal. The good news is that you aren’t alone and such fatigue is treatable or gets better after menopause.
So what causes fatigue? Before you start blaming all of your tiredness on hormones, read through this checklist, just to be sure your tiredness is not due to other things.
1. See a doctor and get a complete physical to rule out any diseases or illnesses. Thyroid dysfunction can cause fatigue as can an infection.
2. Are you emotionally stressed? If so, lack of sleep can be a factor. Stress and anxiety can keep you up tossing and turning all night while depriving you from a good night’s sleep.
3. Is your body lacking proper nutrients? Do you take a supplement? Without the right foods are body’s cells won’t get the necessary nutrients, which stresses our systems even further than all of our other every day stressors.
4. Dehydration is a big one, especially if you live in a warm climate. It is recommended that you drink at least four glasses of water a day and more if you are active.
5. Inactivity can lead to fatigue. One might think being active makes you tired, but to the contrary, the body needs both rest and movement.
6. Do you have food allergies? Going undiagnosed, food allergies can overtax your immune system leaving you exhausted. Digestive imbalances over time and food allergies can over time trigger multiple chemical sensitivities. Chronic inflammation taxes the immune system making you more sensitive to other allergens.
7. Adrenal fatigue is again tied to stress and anxiety but this fatigue isn’t just from lack of sleep, it is an overall fatigue that is caused from our adrenal glands being ‘on’ longer than they should. Adrenal stress index tests can be done to discover whether you are ‘on’ more than ‘off’ when it comes to taxing your adrenal glands.
If none of these apply to you, then the last consideration is certainly your hormones combined with daily stressors. How do the two work together? When our adrenals are producing high levels of cortisol, they forget how to work and don’t produce a chemical called DHEA(dehydroepiandrosterone). DHEA is a precursor to the hormone estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone and helps balance our body’s hormones. Our body naturally produces DHEA and it’s at its highest when we are in your twenties. As we age, amounts slowly declined and many doctors recommend taking it as a supplement. Low amounts of DHEA can also lead to bone loss, loss of muscle mass, depression, aching joints, decreased sex drive and low immunity.
If you are experiencing fatigue most typically with PMS, ask you doctor about DHEA and have your hormones checked. Also ask for a simple blood test, which will gauge your iron levels.
There is no need to be consistently tired and there are methods for getting to the bottom of your fatigue, whether you’re perimenopasual, menopausal or none of the aforementioned.
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