Extreme Tiredness May Be An Underlying Medical Condition
Heavy menstrual bleeding often causes women to feel tired, which is normal due to the decrease in oestrogen levels, which occurs around this point in your cycle. Your energy levels will usually return to normal within a few days as your hormone levels begin to increase again. However, for some women, fatigue may last longer and be more extreme. Some women may find themselves completely sluggish and unable to properly carry out routine activities, signifying something more severe.
This should be investigated as there could, in fact, be a medical reason as to why you feel so fatigued during your period. You may generally be a person whose periods cause them to feel more tired than others, or you might have an underlying medical issue like anaemia or an underactive thyroid. The important point to make is that you should never ignore extreme menstrual fatigue.
Pinpointing The Cause Of A Missed Period
Of course, the first thing you should do if your period is late is to take a pregnancy test, which can be accurate as early as the first day of your missed period. If it’s negative and you don’t get your period in a few days or you completely skip it that cycle, or if you’re having chronic problems with menstruation, make an appointment to see your gynecologist.
She’ll likely do a repeat pregnancy test. If it’s negative, she’ll move on to some basic evaluations such as asking you about your medical history, doing a pelvic exam, and taking blood samples to check your hormone levels.
Signs Of Severe Depression During Period
You may experience severe depression before and during periods due to premenstrual dysphoric disorder . PMDD is similar to PMS, but its severe and sometimes disabling. PMDD can cause extreme mood shifts, which can interfere with your daily life, relationships, and work. Symptoms usually start a week before menstruation and continue a few days after your period begins. Apart from severe depression before and during periods, other symptoms and signs of PMDD are:
- Tension or anxiety
- Feeling out of control or overwhelmed
- Extreme moodiness
- Hopelessness with extremely negative thoughts
- Trouble concentrating
- Binge eating or food cravings
- Lack of interest in relationships and daily activities
- Loss of interest in sex
You may manage depression during your period by making certain lifestyle changes and taking specific medications.
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Hormones And Your Menstrual Cycle
Hormones are specialized chemicals in your body that control a variety of functions, including your menstrual cycle. Estrogen and progesterone are the primary hormones that control female sexual characteristics, reproduction, and your menstrual cycle.
During certain times of the month, these hormone levels increase. This fluctuation, combined with ovarian steroids, can change the way you feel mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Along with elevated estrogen and progesterone levels, serotonin levels in your brain may change as your menstrual period approaches. Serotonin is a brain chemical thats responsible for mood, and it could be linked to some of the mood-related changes that are common in the days before and during your period.
Fluctuating hormone and serotonin levels play a role in PMS symptoms, but its not clear exactly what causes these bothersome side effects. Some women may be more likely to have severe symptoms if they have a history of depression, anxiety, or other menstrual conditions.
Hunger Before Your Period: You Can Take Action
Many of my patients struggle with intense hunger around their periods, and while each case is different, I often see hormonal imbalance as a common thread.
Know that in most cases, increasing your intake of quality proteins, fats, fruits and vegetables, working on stress management, prioritizing sleep, and moving daily, you can manage your appetite and say goodbye to cravings before your period.
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Menstrual Fatigue: Why Am I So Tired On My Period
Do you find yourself dragging to get out of bed while on your period, only to collapse back into it as soon as possible?
Menstrual fatigue is totally normal, and it doesnt mean anything is wrong with you.
Menstrual fatigue can happen before or during your period or both.
The sheer exhaustion of it can make it difficult to carry on with work and everyday tasks.
Even though its normal, you still may be wondering why it happens, and if theres anything you can do to combat it.
You Can Get Pregnant During Your Period
Itâs time to squash that age-old myth: Your period doesnât protect you from pregnancy. There are a couple of reasons why. First, some women may bleed when their ovaries release an egg each month, called ovulation, and mistake it for their period. Youâre at your peak fertility when you ovulate. So if you have sex during this time, it could actually make you more likely to get pregnant.
Second, you may ovulate before your period is over or within a few days after the bleeding stops. Since sperm can hang out in your body for up to 3 days, having sex during your period could lead to conception.
Use a condom or other form of birth control to prevent an unplanned pregnancy, no matter what time of the month it is.
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Why Is It Hard To Admit That You Have Walking Depression
You may recognize many of these signs in your life but still be slow to admit that you are depressed. Why is that?
Because it feels presumptuous to put yourself in that category when youre still getting by. You feel like it would be insulting to those who are much worse off than you. You may feel like you have no real reason to be depressed.
Because your pride and your identity take a hit. You have to admit vulnerability and allow that you are not the all-conquering superhero you thought you were.
Because you realize that you and your life need to change, which feels like more work piled on your plate.
Because you are admitting your own responsibility for your unhappiness and that can trigger self-judgment.
Because you might uncover grief or anger at those around you for not seeing and taking better care of you.
Lack Of Support System
We need people to know who we really are. We need moments of vulnerability or opening up to one another to feel safe and secure. When we can tell others what we are going through, we feel a sense of clarity and release.
We feel obligated to be our own heroes. We feel like we need to hold on rather than let go and let others in. When this happens, sadness increases, and we are no longer engaged with those we love.
People overwhelm us with their ability to smile, carry on and even be functional. But thats not always their truth either. When sadness hits, we have to tell someone and build a support system. We may find we have some thing about ourselves in common with others.
Find people you trust: professionals, friends and family that you can turn to when going through a hard time. Let them in. You are not alone in this. You just need to allow others to see your weaknesses, which arent even true weaknesses. Feeling sad is not a weakness. Holding back in an effort to appear strong is, however, a weakness. When people know what youre going through, they can better assist you.
No man is an island. John Donnes
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Is Pmdd A Mental Health Problem
PMDD is commonly defined as an endocrine disorder, meaning that it is a hormone-related disorder. But as well as physical symptoms, people with PMDD also experience a range of different mental health symptoms such as depression, suicidal feelings and anxiety.
For these reasons, it is listed as a mental health problem in the DSM-5, one of the main manuals that doctors use to categorise and diagnose mental health problems.
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that how you understand your symptoms and experiences is up to you. The most important thing is that you get the support you need and deserve to help you manage the effects of PMDD on your life.
“Every month for 30 years I barely managed to come through each month intact. PMDD is not merely bad PMS. It is so much more serious than that, and is absolutely life changing.”
Create A Menstrual Ritual
Try to make your menstruation a more delightful experience by using soft, natural menstrual pads against your skin.
Or try herbal teas to support your cycle and your mood.
Raspberry tea helps to nourish and tonify the womb.
Womens Moon Cycle tea helps to ease menstrual discomfort.
Either way, it helps to create a personal menstrual ritual to honor this special time of your month.
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Admit When It’s Time To Ask For Help
All this said, if you feel your emotions are out of control in a way that’s significantly messing with your work, relationships, and overall quality of life every month, you may be suffering from PMDD. If you notice significant symptoms of depression or anxiety around your period, Sueskind says you should consult with your doctor to determine whether a treatment plan might help you feel more stable throughout the month.
But otherwise, if you’re just feeling some normal mood fluctuations, remember: there is nothing wrong, weak, or anti-feminist about getting emotional . In fact, it’s our ability to weather those fluctuations month after month that’s a large part of what makes us so resilient, empathetic, and interesting. Embrace the potential power in it.
Key Points About Pmdd
PMDD is a much more severe form of t premenstrual syndrome .
The exact cause of PMDD is not known.
- The main symptoms that distinguish PMDD from other mood disorders or menstrual conditions is when symptoms start and how long they last.
- Symptoms of PMDD are so severe that it affects your ability to function at home, work and in relationships.
- Aside from a complete medical history and physical and pelvic exam, there are very few tests to diagnose the condition.
- Over the course of a year, during most menstrual cycles, 5 or more of the following symptoms must be present:
- Depressed mood
- Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed
- Insomnia or feeling very sleepy
- Feeling overwhelmed or out of control
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How To Control Period Cravings With Food
One of the best ways to feel fuller after meals and get a handle on sugar cravings is to incorporate more protein, fat, and healthy carbs in your diet.
By filling your plate with wholesome, nutritious proteins and vegetables , you will be better able to stabilize your blood sugar, reducing the chances of sudden, extreme hunger and cravings.
Its also important to start the day off right. And no, I dont mean a sugar-packed breakfast cereal that will inevitably cause an insulin spike and then sugar crash. During your luteal phase, make breakfast with complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats so your body feels full and satisfied. You can grab a free meal plan with recipes to support you in doing just this here. . This will give you the energy to take on your day.
You can check out what to eat on your period for tips on foods to support your body during this phase.
Also, try to keep simple, healthy snacks on hand so that if a craving does hit, you have options ready. Nuts, seeds, or veggies with dip are great ideas to keep you satisfied and away from less healthful snacks.
Lastly: Stay hydrated! Thirst is often mistaken for hunger. My advice? Carry around a bottle of water, so you have easy access to your water. You may notice your hunger levels decrease.
Understand The Underlying Cause
Its normal to feel a little blue before, during and after menstruation as both estrogen and progesterone take a steep dive during these times.
However, if the feeling is persistent and intense, there could be an underlying hormonal imbalance, especially due to estrogen deficiency.
Check out the following resources:
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Feeling Depressed Before During Or After Period
Do you tend to feel depressed before, during or after your period? Check out these helpful recommendations from our lady friends.
Do you ever feel depressed around your period, either before, during or after?
Is it normal to feel that way?
What can you do to improve your mood and energy level around menstruation?
In our most recent Q & A call, we went around the table and each shared one of the challenges we were facing in our menstrual cycles or life situations where we hoped to receive support from the group.
A couple of ladies brought up their respective challenges in dealing with sadness and depression around the time of their period.
Here are some suggestions that emerged from the participants. I hope you find them helpful on your journey as well
How Depression Affects The Menstrual Cycle
The stress hormone cortisol is primarily responsible for changes in a woman’s cycle when she’s depressed. As cortisol levels rise in response to stress, the hypothalamus, an organ in the brain that plays an important part in regulating the reproductive system, stops sending signals to the ovaries to do their job.
Without this signal, ovulation is either delayed or stopped altogether. The result is a late period or sometimes no period at all.
The medical term for absent periods when there’s no pregnancy is amenorrhea, which also can be caused by health issues other than stress including problems with the hypothalamus, the pituitary glands, the ovaries, the uterus, or the vagina.
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You’re Not Sleeping Enough
Beauty sleep takes a whole new meaning when your uterus is shedding its lining. Seven out of every 10 menstruating women say they struggle to get a good night’s sleep just before their period starts. Once again, blame it on the hormones. When your hormone levels change, your body can’t control its internal temperature in the same way it normally can, and this results in restless or interrupted sleep.
Getting less sleep can of course make you more prone to being irritable and moody. If you’re not getting enough shut-eye, there’s also more likelihood that your other PMS symptoms, such as cramps and bloating, will stick around longer. Try to get to bed earlier than usual when your period is coming up, but know that it’s not just about how many hours you spend under the covers. Leave the electronics at the door, shut out all the excess light, and make sure you’re nice and comfy. Every little detail counts for you to get all the quality rest you need.