Please verify your email address to receive email notifications.

Enter your email address

We have sent you a verification email. Please check your inbox and spam folder.

Unable to send verification, please refresh and try again later.

  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can you differentiate between menopause and chronic fatigue syndrome?

    I have had headaches, fatigue, anxiety and poor mental ability comparative to my normal for nearly two yrs. When my anxiety is at its worst I seem to present with menopausal symptoms such as temperature control issues. I have not had a period for over 9 months. Following hormone level testing I have been diagnosed as menopausal. However it seems as though my menopausal symptoms are related to my anxiety levels. I don't know what's causing what and whether to concentrate on fixing the fatigue or the hormones. Can I have both? Any suggestions?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 2

    Thanks

    Dr Barry Wren

    Endocrinologist, Gynaecologist

    Dr Barry Wren was one of the original founders of the International Menopause Society in 1976 and subsequently founded the Australian Menopause Society, becoming its … View Profile

    Chronic fatigue syndrome is a collection of vague but debilitating symptoms that those who suffer from the disease complain about. It may manifest irself in both men and women and occur at any age, so clearly is not caused by or related to estrogen or progesterone during a menstrual cycle or in the post-menopause. However, a large number of women with CFS symptoms who fail to produce testosterone in sufficient amounts have been found to respond positively to testosterone treatment of when above average levels are achieved. Testosterone has been shown to improve drive, energy and sexual libido in those women who have a reduced Free Androgen Index - some women use testosterone to achieve an advantage over their competitors in sporting events but use of testosterone (a steroid) is banned for any competitive activity. Steroids should not be used to treat chronic fatigue symptoms, but women experiencing symptoms should have a hormone work-up to exclude a testosterone deficiency.

  • Women's Health Queensland Wide provides free health information for Queensland women. View Profile

    The fatigue associated with menopause is generally attributed to the sleep disturbance that can result from night sweats and hot flushes. Women who are awake throughout the night, adjusting clothing and bedding often feel quite fatigued the following day. These women also typically complain of the cognitive effects of inadequate sleep such as poor memory, vagueness, forgetfulness and reduced cognitive performance. Any other sleep interruptions, like toilet trips, will also contribute to these problems. Women in this age group also commonly find it difficult to get back to sleep.  
     
    In addition, women in the peri menopause seem to be more susceptible to the effects of their own stress hormones, which can also impact sleep, memory and cognitive performance. Stress hormones can also generate sweating and hot flushes, adding to the confusion perimenopausal women feel.

    Women’s Health Educator
    Health Information Line, Women’s Health Queensland Wide
     
    Women living in Queensland can also call our Health Information Line - a free information and referral service for Queensland women - on 3839 9988 or 1800 017 676 (toll free outside Brisbane).
     
    Please note that all health information provided by Women’s Health Queensland Wide is subject to this disclaimer



  • 1

    Thanks

    Dr Barry Wren

    Endocrinologist, Gynaecologist

    Dr Barry Wren was one of the original founders of the International Menopause Society in 1976 and subsequently founded the Australian Menopause Society, becoming its … View Profile

    The menopause is a distinct endocrine deficiency disease that affects all women. It is caused by ovarian failure and this may occur any time between 30 and 60 years of age but the most frequent age group is between 45 and 55 years. 80% of women have symptoms such as flushes sweats and insomnia that are disturbing but not a cause of death, and some women will experience  a dry epithelium lacking the normal elasticity in a young woman's vagina.
      However the long-term problems are the major factors causing women to seek advice - over 30% of women over the age of 65 will fracture a bone if no preventive measures are taken, while premature heart attacks and stroke will affect about 25-35% depending on her circumstances. Dementia causing death  will affect about 7% of women over 65 years of age among women who suffer from oestrogen deficiency.
    Anxiety, stress, physical activity etc, can aggravate symptoms of the menopause so use of properly prescribed therapy of an oestradiol, a progestogen (if required) and testosterone may be of immense value in restoring a womans hormone status to normal while reducing some distressing symptoms and reducing the risk of adverse physical changes..

  • 1

    Thanks

    Jth

    HealthShare Member

    Dr Wren Thankyou for your reply. This is one of the best summaries of menopause I've seen and i have been reading about this topic for a few years. Every woman goes through it and there is so much information, learning can be overwhelming.

answer this question

You must be a Health Professional to answer this question. Log in or Sign up .

You may also like these related questions

Ask a health question

Empowering Australians to make better health choices