We all get tired and exhausted at some point of time. Honestly, it is only normal. But, do you feel extremely drained and exhausted during your periods? Having a headache, feeling nauseous and getting tired too easily is your body’s way of telling you that something isn’t right.
The fatigue that you experience during your period happens due to premenstrual syndrome (PMS). However, it could be seeding from many reasons like lack of sleep, dehydration, excessive physical activity, iron deficiency, unhealthy food habits, and even stress.
Believe it or not, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a real thing and it can affect the best of us. Now, we may not be able to eliminate the fatigue but we sure can look at ways to manage it and minimize its effect on your life.
So, we spoke to Dr. Gandhali Deorukhkar Pillai, consultant obstetrics gynaecologist at Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central to understand how we can deal with the feeling of fatigue effectively. Here are some suggestions by her which can ease out your life if your periods make you lethargic:
1. Track your periods
The first thing we recommend is that you keep track of your periods. This way, you can track not only your cycle but also your behavioural patterns. There are a lot of period tracking apps that can help you mark the calendar and even take notes. Once you trace the pattern, you can make due changes in your eating habits, sleeping timetable and workout routine to be mentally prepared for what is to come your way.Track your periods to track your behavioral patterns . Image courtesy: Shutterstock
2. Eat right
The next task is to deal with your cravings. You might crave for a sweet treat or even just some junk food, but that’s not really what your body needs. Fill your diet with protein-based foods to keep you full and fairly energetic.
Understand that due to the blood loss, the iron levels of your body are going down and that causes fatigue. We say you eat a lot of spinach and other iron rich food.
“Avoid unhealthy and greasy food. Instead, stick to home-cooked meals. If you are anaemic, you can also resort to iron supplements. It is important that you get checked for thyroid as well. In case you do have thyroid issues, you must start your medications right away, considering that they will help improve the hormonal balance,” says Dr. Pillai.
If you eat a lot at once, the heavy digestion process will use up a lot of your energy and contribute into making you feel lethargic. So, the trick is to eat small but frequent portions throughout the day. This way, you can be in control of your energy levels and feel upbeat throughout the day.
3. Sleep well
Cut down on your caffeine and your screen-time because these factors can really disrupt your sleep pattern. We often underestimate the value of a goodnight’s sleep. Of course, if you aren’t fully rested over the night, you are bound to carry on the tiredness to the next day. So, it’s important that you get some good and sound sleep.
4. Have a good workout
“You should not be working out during your periods”, is one of the greatest period myths you’re likely to hear. On the contrary, working out actually helps you feel more energetic since it gets the blood flowing and fills you with endorphins. It doesn’t have to be extremely rigorous or even as intense as your regular workouts.
“Don’t push yourself beyond your limits, your body needs rest and you need to listen to what your body has to say to you. So, stick to low intensity workouts. The main idea is to keep those happy hormones releasing,” says Dr. Pillai.
5. Drink a lot of fluids
While you should always keep yourself hydrated with a healthy amount of water consumption, your periods give you all the more reasons to keep chugging on those fluids. When your body is dehydrated, you are bound to feel tired. Even alcohol worsens fatigue and you should avoid those occasional drinks that you like to have over dinner, when on your periods.
According to Dr. Pillai, it doesn’t just have to be water as long as you are keeping your fluid intake high. She suggests you drink coconut water that is rich in sodium and would maintain your blood pressure.
In the end, Dr. Pillai suggests that you do whatever makes you feel happy because it’s important to get the endorphins flushing to keep you happy and energetic.