Aside from having to deal with the general symptoms of menopause - mood swings, night sweats, hot flashes, depression, and anxiety - fatigue is another potential symptom that’s common across all phases of menopause, but tends to be increasingly prevalent during later phases.
In fact, one cross-sectional study found that 85.3 percent of postmenopausal women describe feeling fatigue or fatigue-like symptoms, while 46.5 percent of those in perimenopause said the same.
Finding the best supplement for fatigue during menopause will mostly depend on the severity of each symptom, and whether there are other medical or health-related conditions associated that could play a role in the overall efficacy of supplements.
Understanding Menopause and Fatigue
Unsurprisingly, fluctuating hormone levels are considered to be the main cause of feeling fatigued during menopause. This is due to the rise and fall of estrogen levels during the phases of menopause, which leaves the body often experiencing a fluctuation of hormonal emergency.
This ebb and flow of hormones can trigger the release of cortisol and adrenaline, which often derails your normal sleeping pattern. Other interruptions could be caused by the imbalance of stress hormones, such as adrenaline flooding the body, and leaving you feeling more fatigued afterwards.
Some women may experience this type of fatigue during a normal menstrual period. In other cases, women entering perimenopause, or even perhaps premenopause, the period before perimenopause, might experience irregular periods and an imbalance of hormones could cause them to feel fatigue.
Importance of Vitamins and Supplements
Dealing with menopausal fatigue and other related symptoms demands a person to consume a balanced combination of various vitamins that can help boost metabolic energy, and regulate metabolic function.
When choosing which supplements will work best for you, consider a blend of Vitamins such as Vitamin A, B12, B6, D, and E. Additionally, Omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial as well and can be found in different healthy fats such as avocados, canola oil, flaxseeds, and various supplements that may contain traces of fish oil.
Each of these nutrients plays an important role in helping to regulate and manage metabolic function more effectively during menopause. Not only this, but these vitamins can help to provide you with the necessary energy you require for day-to-day activities and may assist in helping symptoms of low estrogen.
There are menopause-specific supplements that contain ingredients such as primrose oil, sea buckthorn berry oil, and soy isoflavones. Each of these natural nutrients may help to mitigate the physical effects and frequency of menopausal symptoms.
Essential Vitamins for Combating Menopause Fatigue
There are plenty of vitamins that can help to alleviate menopause fatigue. Building a well-panned diet could ensure that you consume plenty of these vitamins regularly, and effectively help boost metabolic energy.
B Vitamins and Their Roles
B vitamins play an important role in maintaining the functions of the nervous system. Vitamin B2, B6, and B12 are directly involved in the process of energy-producing metabolic pathways for other nutrients, including carbohydrates, fats, and proteins according to one study.
Vitamin B5 is another necessary nutrient that helps with the synthesis of hormones and cholesterol. B5 is essential for women of all ages, as it helps in promoting and maintaining healthy skin, hair, and eyes.
Some evidence suggests that Vitamin B5 may help reduce the development of acne and further play an important part in reducing symptoms related to stress, anxiety, and osteoarthritis.
Importance of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is another vital nutrient necessary for healthy and active metabolic function. B12 helps to promote bone health, and red blood cell production and further ensures neurological function.
A B12 deficiency may cause an adverse risk of anemia, or other symptoms including fatigue, lack of energy, constipation, decreased appetite, dementia, and depression, among other things.
Vitamin C: Benefits Beyond Immunity
Besides being an immune booster, Vitamin C does a lot more for the body than you think. This is especially important for women going through menopause and experiencing various changes to their bodies.
Vitamin C helps promote the production of hair growth, and more importantly, collagen. Collagen helps to keep the body and skin firm and reduces wrinkling or sagging as you age. Collagen also keeps the joints and ligaments strong, helping to reduce ligament and joint pain.
Other than this, Vitamin C supports immune function and holds wound-healing properties. There is some evidence that Vit. C may be beneficial for oral health, including gym repair. This is especially important for women, seeing as bleeding gums tend to be a common symptom related to menopause.
Additionally, Vitamin C helps to produce Adenosine triphosphate or ATP. This is a chemical compound that helps to promote cellular energy. ATP is an essential compound needed for day-to-day activity and is especially important for menopausal women who experience symptoms of fatigue.
The necessary combination of ATP and Vitamin C helps to mitigate feelings of getting tired too quickly and can promote necessary cellular energy production.
Role of Vitamin D in Menopause
Researchers have discovered in recent years that Vitamin D for health stretches beyond traditional bone health. In fact, one paper found that Vitamin D is essential for women in menopause as it helps to regulate the growth of vaginal epithelial cells and can assist with alleviating genitourinary tract problems.
On top of this, there are other health benefits, such as modulating immune function, and production of adipokine, which is better known to play a role in energy and metabolic status. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient needed for women, especially those who may have been experiencing symptoms of fatigue or weakness.
A Vitamin D deficiency can cause weak muscles, increased bone pain or the risk of bone fractures and general muscle pain.
Dietary Sources for Key Vitamins
Here’s a breakdown of all the food sources necessary for consuming the daily recommended amount of vitamins.
Natural Food Sources for B Vitamins
The top food sources for Vitamin B include meat, either white or red meat, including seafood. Other produce such as eggs, dairy, legumes, and green vegetables. Some fortified cereals, mushrooms, chicken breasts, organ meat, and nuts may contain vital traces of Vitamin B5.
Obtaining Vitamin B12 from Diet
Best food sources for Vitamin B12 include red meats, poultry, dairy, and eggs. Other things such as beans, sprouts, and leafy green vegetables may be rich in B12.
For vegans or people following a strict plant-based diet, the best food sources for B12 include fortified non-dairy milk, either soy, almond, or rice milk. Other things such as fortified cereals, nutritional yeast, or plant-based meats may be the most suitable option.
Foods Rich in Vitamin C
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the Recommended Dietary Allowance of Vitamin C for women is roughly 75 mg. This amount increases for pregnant women to 85 mg, and lactating women are required to consume up to 120 mg of Vitamin C daily.
Common food sources include citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, and kiwis. Other types of food sources rich in Vitamin C include things like strawberries, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are all considered to be cruciferous vegetables and are high in Vitamin C. Some white potato varieties may also be rich in Vitamin C.
Vitamin D: Sunlight and Diet
Vitamin D is commonly found in food sources such as fatty fish, beef liver, and egg yolks. Other food sources may include things such as cheese and foods fortified with Vitamin D. Another possible source of Vitamin D is sunlight or sun exposure.
Ensure that you receive plenty of sunlight during the day, however, it’s important to wear protection such as an SPF and refrain from being exposed to the sun for extended periods. Experts suggest that anything from five to 30 minutes each day is more than sufficient.
Managing Fatigue Through Diet and Lifestyle
Contrary to the idea that exercise makes a person more tired, several studies have found that plenty of exercise can be beneficial for fatigue, especially in menopausal women who may experience other symptoms such as hot flushes and weight gain.
In fact, in a different study, researchers found that postmenopausal that regularly exercised had better body health, a healthier bone density, and overall improved mental health. Both low and high-intensity workouts have been found to significantly reduce fatigue symptoms, and increase energy levels by up to 20%.
Another way to overcome fatigue could be to introduce meditation into your daily routine. This can help to significantly reduce stress or feelings of anxiety.
Stress management techniques may look different for each person, however, these can range from meditation, yoga, exercise, or simply doing things that help to clear your mind.
Another physical change that you can make is to eat a balanced diet that ensures you obtain all the necessary vitamins and nutrients throughout the day. This includes eating a healthy breakfast and snacking on things such as fruits or high-fiber food sources during the day.
Make sure that bigger meals, such as lunch or dinner, have a healthy balance of vitamins, including a selection of low-fat lean meat, vegetables, and plenty of water. You may want to consider reducing alcohol intake or quitting smoking for improved benefits.
Create A Good Sleep Routine
Some tips on creating a proper sleep routine include:
- Avoid caffeine late at night, or after a heavy meal.
- Downsize your portion sizes or meals to help you feel lighter.
- Create a nighttime routine that helps you feel comfortable.
- Try to avoid using any technology right before bed or in bed.
- Dim the lights in and around the house to create a warmer atmosphere.
- Try and keep your bedroom cooler, either by decreasing the thermostat or sleeping with the window open at night
Integrating Vitamins into Daily Diet
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines For Americans (2020-2025), four important components need to be followed to ensure effective and efficient integration of vitamins and nutrients into your daily diet.
These four components include:
- Introduce and maintain a healthy dietary pattern, including during early life stages.
- Consider choosing nutrient-rich foods and beverages that are in line with your preferences, culture, and budget.
- Ensure a balance of all necessary food groups for sufficient healthy calorie limits.
- Minimize the intake of sodium, saturated fats, sugars, and alcohol.
Additional efforts for sufficient daily vitamin intake may include things such as:
- Ensure you eat plenty of fresh produce during each meal, including fruits and vegetables.
- Consider eating lean meats, such as fish or poultry, and minimize excessive consumption of fat-heavy red meats.
- Opt for products that are high in fiber, and contain grains including fortified cereals and bread.
- Reduce the amount of saturated fat and soluble sugar by limiting the purchase of highly processed foods, beverages, and other products.
- Consult with an expert, either a nutritionist, dietitian, or healthcare provider.
- Listen to your body, sometimes our bodies will tell us what they are craving or have an excess of.
Take A Look At Nutrition: Ways To Add Vitamins in Your Diet:
Additional Tips for Managing Menopause Symptoms
While a balanced diet that includes the consumption of all major food groups paired with plenty of exercise or physical activity may help to alleviate menopausal symptoms, other natural supplements that contain organic herbal compounds may be beneficial for treating certain menopausal symptoms. Vitamins for menopause can be purchased over the counter, and could potentially help resolve feelings of menopause fatigue or other menopause symptoms such as night sweats, stomach pain, or sleep disruptions.
Iron is another essential nutrient that helps to produce hemoglobin, the protein commonly found in red blood cells. These proteins help to transport oxygen across the body, from the lungs to other organs, and throughout tissue.
An iron-based supplement may help reduce the risk of anemia, and support the production of hemoglobin, an essential compound needed for women who may experience excessive blood loss during irregular periods.
There may be certain health risks associated with increased iron intake such as high blood pressure, and while it’s possible to obtain iron through foods such as red meat and seafood, it’s important to consult with a dietitian or healthcare provider beforehand.
For women in menopause, sea buckthorn is another suitable option. This plant is native to areas in Asia and Europe, with the majority of the plant, including flowers, berries, seeds, and leaves containing valuable herbal properties.
On further examination, the sea buckthorn plant contains valuable vitamins, including Vitamins A, B1, B2 B6, and Vitamin C. Additionally, some studies suggest sea buckthorn oil is rich in Omega-7 fatty acids, an essential nutrient for women struggling with vaginal dryness.
The berries of the sea buckthorn plant can be used in supplements, such as those of Femininity Life, and helps to alleviate discomfort caused by vaginal dryness, oftentimes referred to as vaginal atrophy which is the thinning and drying of the vaginal wall.
Naturally produced by the body, CoQ10, or coenzyme Q10 is found in the heart, kidneys, and liver. CoQ10 is predominantly found in the cells and helps to produce energy and protects cells against oxidative damage.
Due to aging, and other health-related concerns, CoQ10 levels may decline, which could lead to your cells not having sufficient support to produce energy for optimum cell maintenance. This in the long term could lead to feelings of tiredness, weakness, or fatigue.
Some supplements may contain CoQ10 which could help to boost cell energy and production of new cell energy compounds. Other food sources rich in CoQ10 may include red meat, fish, and nuts.
Is Extreme Fatigue Normal During Menopause?
Extreme fatigue is a common symptom of menopause and is often overlooked. Fatigue can become increased due to high levels of stress, or due to overworking. Women experiencing menopause who are feeling fatigued may be required to consult with their healthcare provider or make some necessary lifestyle and diet changes.
What Is Crashing Fatigue During Menopause?
Crashing fatigue during menopause can occur at any given time and is the abrupt loss of energy. Some women may experience a wave of exhaustion that can leave them feeling tired, unable to focus, or having difficulty keeping themselves awake. Many women describe crashing fatigue as the feeling of being completely drained.
While less discussed than other menopause-related symptoms, fatigue is a common menopause symptom that affects a lot of women during their midlife. As women age, their experience of fatigue may become more severe or they may have increased frequencies of feeling fatigue.
Changes to your diet and lifestyle may ensure that you consume enough vital nutrients and minerals throughout your day-to-day activity to provide your body with the energy it needs to stay active and functioning.
For further advice or guidance on dealing with fatigue or crashing fatigue during menopause, consider consulting with an expert, either your healthcare provider, dietitian, or nutritionist.
Milart, P., Woźniakowska, E., & Wrona, W. (2018). Selected vitamins and quality of life in menopausal women. Menopausal Review, 17(4), 180–184. https://doi.org/10.5114/pm.2018.81742
- Taylor-Swanson, L., Wong, A. E., Pincus, D., Butner, J. E., Hahn-Holbrook, J., Koithan, M., Wann, K., & Woods, N. F. (2018). The dynamics of stress and fatigue across menopause: attractors, coupling, and resilience. Menopause (New York, N.Y.), 25(4), 380–390. https://doi.org/10.1097/GME.0000000000001025