Over a million women begin menopause every year in the United States, with symptoms that can be both annoying and confusing. Sure, most of us know that menopause can cause hot flashes, but other symptoms are less well-known — and much easier to overlook as a result.
Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of menopause, yet it can also be overlooked. Many women attribute tiredness to poor sleep, stress, or other factors, leaving behind treatment that could help them feel better.
Christopher V. Serrano, MD in San Antonio, Texas, helps patients at Serrano OB/Gyn Associates battle the symptoms of menopause, including persistent fatigue that can take a toll on you at work, at home, and in social settings. In this post, learn the link between menopause and feelings of tiredness and how bioidentical hormone therapy could help.
Why menopause makes you feel tired
Not surprisingly, fatigue during menopause is directly related to the drop in the hormones estrogen and progesterone that happen during this time. Both of these hormones play big roles in metabolism — the way your body burns and uses calories to support normal function. When levels of these hormones decline, your energy levels also drop, leading to feelings of fatigue.
Declining hormones also affect your sleep cycle. Many women report poor sleep quality once they approach or enter menopause, including difficulty falling asleep and difficulty staying asleep. Night sweats can also interrupt your normal sleep cycle, leaving you feeling tired and worn out the next day.
Some women mistakenly believe they’ll only have menopause symptoms once their periods end, but actually, symptoms can — and often do — begin much earlier. Many women have hot flashes, night sweats, sleep problems, fatigue, and other symptoms during perimenopause, a time period that includes the months and years leading up to menopause. During perimenopause, you can have fatigue and other symptoms even if you’re still having regular periods.
Diagnosing and treating “menopause fatigue”
Even though menopause is a relatively common cause of persistent fatigue in women in their 40s, 50s, and beyond, other issues can cause chronic feelings of tiredness, too. Chronic stress, sleep apnea, poor sleep hygiene, and other factors can interfere with sleep and leave you feeling tired. To determine if your fatigue is related to menopause, the first step is determining if you’re in or near menopause.
Dr. Serrano uses blood tests to measure the levels of estrogen and progesterone in your blood. The results of your test, in combination with a review of your health and symptoms, can determine if you’re in menopause or perimenopause.
If Dr. Serrano determines that your fatigue is related to menopause or another hormone-related issue, he prescribes bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to help. HRT supplements your depleted hormones with synthetic hormones created to be chemically identical to the hormones your body naturally produces.
Therapy is tailored to each patient and adjusted over time as those needs change, ensuring you receive maximum benefits based on your unique needs and symptoms. In addition to helping you manage feelings of fatigue, your therapy can help reduce other symptoms of menopause, significantly improving your quality of life.
Learn more about menopause treatment
Fatigue isn’t “just” about feeling tired. Without treatment, regular feelings of fatigue can take a big toll on both your physical and emotional health.
To learn if your fatigue is a sign of menopause or another hormone issue — and how we can help — call the office at 210-545-7700 to book an appointment with Dr. Serrano and the team at Serrano OB/Gyn Associates today.