How To Overcome PCOS Fatigue
The fatigue experienced with PCOS is one of the symptoms that you just want to scream out loud but just can't because you are so exhausted, it's not like we have run a marathon.
PCOS fatigue is like you are not in control of your body. It's like you are in a body but you are unable to use it the way you want to.
The fatigue experienced with PCOS is like what you experience when you don't sleep well, but that feeling is every day. No matter how much you sleep, rest, relax and listen to your body you are constantly fatigued.
Fatigue is a symptom of PCOS. Therefore, in order to help the symptom you have to get to the root cause of PCOS. You have to work on balancing your hormones.
There are different types of PCOS and therefore the action plan you take to balance your hormones will vary depending on what type of PCOS you have.
Tips on How to Overcome PCOS Fatigue
Manage Blood Sugar and Insulin
Many women with PCOS also suffer from insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is when the cells in the body have trouble absorbing glucose in the blood, and as a result there is a buildup of sugar in the bloodstream.
Insulin is like the key that unlocks the door to the cells. Glucose is stored in the liver as glycogen and some is also stored as fat, however, when our cells become resistant to the effects of insulin, the glucose gets transported to the fat cells.
Women with PCOS experience fatigue as a result of insulin resistance and the ups and downs in blood sugar. It is important to control blood sugar to help prevent the spikes and drops in blood sugar.
Tips to Manage Blood Sugar and Insulin
- Opt for Low Glycemic Index Carbs
- Eat balanced meals. Combine carbohydrates with protein and fats.
- Exercise regularly, start strength training and HIIT
Stress is a common part of life, stress is everywhere. While it is normal to have stress in your life, experiencing long-term stress is not healthy for your hormones and health.
The adrenals also produce androgens, therefore it is important to manage your stress levels to help balance your hormones.
Long-term stress can result in cortisol resistance, leading to adrenal fatigue or "burnout". This is where the cell becomes resistant to the effects of the hormone. When your body becomes resistant to cortisol you will not have energy and will in turn feel fatigued and tired.
Tips to help lower stress
- Read a book
- Watch a comedy
- Listen to a podcast
- Go for a walk
- Do Yoga
Check out these 7 Tips to help you de-stress.
Nutrient deficiencies can also cause fatigue. However, it is suggested that B Vitamins are believed to help sleep and fatigue. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) may also help with sleep as it is involved in the synthesis of melatonin (through serotonin). Also, Vitamin B12 has also been shown to aid in sleep. A deficiency in vitamin B12 has been associated with insomnia and therefore supplementing with B12 can help.
Magnesium has many roles in the body. You can find magnesium in dark leafy greens, avocados, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
Consuming enough magnesium can help sleep and fatigue. Magnesium aids with sleep as it regulates neurotransmitters, which send signals throughout the nervous system and brain. Furthermore, it also regulates the hormone melatonin, which deals with our daily sleep-wake cycles.
Magnesium supplementation has been linked to improved sleep efficiency, sleep time and sleep onset latency, early morning awakening.
Stop Drinking Caffeine
If you suffer from adrenal PCOS, avoiding caffeine can help with fatigue. This is because caffeine is a stimulant which causes the release of both cortisol and adrenaline. Your body switches to the 'fight or flight' mode. Every time you drink caffeine you force your adrenal glands to secrete even when they do not really have much-left give. Eventually, your body crashes and over time, you begin to feel even more tired and fatigued.
Adding fat, such as grass fed butter to your coffee can help with the release of caffeine. Therefore, in turn avoiding the spike in energy and then the crash. You will instead have a slow release of caffeine.
Furthermore, avoid drinking caffeine at night. Research has shown that caffeine produces insomnia. A study found that it reduces slow-wave sleep in the early part of the sleep cycle and can reduce rapid eye movement (REM) sleep later in the cycle. Caffeine raises your cortisol levels, and therefore it is recommended that you avoid drinking caffeine after 11 or 12 o'clock as this can affect your sleep. Researchers found that consuming high doses late in the evening can increase the time taken to fall asleep.
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