April 02, 2008,
K.W. asks from Lakewood, WA on March 21, 2008
Extremely Worn Out/tired During Period
Hi all. I thought this would be a good place to ask this question, since there are so many different women here.
My question is, does anyone else suffer extreme fatigue during their menstruation, and if so, did you go in to get seen, and what did your doctor tell you?
When I worked, it was so bad that I'd suffer memory lapse, really unable to focus and pay attention, and drop things all the time. Now that I'm not working, I have the option to go lie down, but then I sleep for hours and get nothing done. I force myself to stay out of bed, but then drag myself through the day and don't get anything done anyway.
I have thought about going in to get seen myself, but I don't have any other worrisome symptoms like heavy bleeding, so I don't attribute this to blood loss.
In the past I have tried vitamins, drinking more water, adjusting my diet, excercise, and nothing helped.
I should probably go in, but I was hoping maybe someone else had some experience, and could share the outcome.
Thanks in advance, and have a wonderful day. :o)
So What Happened?™
I wanted to say THANK YOU! for the overwhelming responses, to everyone who shared their stories with me(and everyone else through your reponses--hopefully someone else was helped too), and for all the suggestions, messages of encouragement, and of concern.
To those of you who are also suffering from the same or similar conditions, I hope you all get better soon, and those who have suffered but got better, I hope you continue to feel better.
I am going to make an appointment very soon to get checked out. Now that I think about it, and that the period has been over a few days, I don't really have all that much more energy. I thought I was just lazy, unmotivated, whatever, but try as hard as I might, some days, I'm just not doing so great. When I worked, I worked LOTS of hours, and it was very stressful, hostile, and just generally chaotic at work, and I thought that was it, but now that I am not working, aside from having the opportunity to eat better, and many times unhealthy too, things haven't changed much, so I think I need to go in. There are other symptoms as well, these were just troubling me alot recently as I just happened to be on my period. The other stuff, was stuff I dind't have time to pay attention to, or that I didn't notice for whatever reason, or thought might be my imagination, but I think a full work up might help me get on the road to improving things.
I lost my insurance when I left my job, so I have to wait a couple weeks for new insurance to take effect, and then I will go in. I will post an update.
Thank you again everyone. You have all been wonderfuul! :o)
J.F. answers from Portland on March 22, 2008
thanks for asking this question. I have the same problem but never thought to ask anyone else about it.
T.F. answers from Eugene on March 21, 2008
I understand what you are going through. I crave meat mostly. I completely agree with the other moms - iron sounds like you problem. Good advice from the others.
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L.T. answers from Seattle on March 21, 2008
If you do start taking iron supplements I would suggest taking Slow FE, or whatever brand you use that is a slow release form of iron so that it wont constipate you as bad.
K.B. answers from Seattle on March 21, 2008
I am not a specialist of any sort but wanted offer some suggestions.
Two things - first, have you had your iron level checked lately? I have experienced in the past extreme fatigue that was due to low iron levels. Secondly, have you ever had your thyroid checked? The thyroid is like your thermostat of your body, it controls things such as your metabolism, etc. If it is hypo you can become extremely tired, have dry skin, lose more hair than normal, become grumpy, gain weight, your heart rate is slowed, etc. If it is hyper just the opposite happens - tons of energy, nails & hair grow very rapidly, you stay skinny no matter what you eat, your resting heartrate is excelerated, etc.
Both of can be determined through a simple blood test.
Again, I am not a doctor, but I have been anemic, had low iron levels, and am hypo-thyroidism.
It can be so frustrating trying to figure out exactly what's going on, but the best place to start is talk to your doctor and have him/her do a blood test.
Hope this helps :)
1 mom found this helpful
R.B. answers from Anchorage on March 22, 2008
I had the same problem, but never could get an answer from a doctor. They pretty much told me this is normal, and there isn't anything they could do. Now I have a teenage daughter with the same problems. I took her in as well, and was told that the only thing that may help is to put her on birth control pills. Luckily she can still function enough we haven't had to go that route. I finally had a hysterectomy, which has made a HUGE difference! Of course,we are also done having children, so that wasn't a hard decision for me. Also, I had fibroid tumors which were causing a lot of my problems. (fatigue, pain during my period, heavy bleeding, irregular periods, etc) I would suggest seeing a doctor and don't let them tell you that you just have to live with it. See a specialist if you need to and don't give up until they give you some answers!
1 mom found this helpful
J.O. answers from Seattle on March 22, 2008
I am 35 and have struggled with this problem for a long time. Infact the other day I started my period and slept for almost 3 hours in the middle of the day then went to sleep at 10pm and fell asleep in about 5 min and slept like a rock all night. If I have to work through that I have the same memory issues, I get flustered and cant seem to get organized. I really should not be driving then either. I went to the DR and found out that I have fibroid tumors on my overies and in my uterus. You may not have those but the symptoms are worth talking to your DR about. My dr did tell me to take slow release iron with vitamin c also. That does help a little when I can remeber to take it:) Hope you get some help.
Have a good day.
A.S. answers from Portland on March 22, 2008
My name is A. Swift and I live out of The Dalles on a ranch. I started having the type of issues during my period you describe plus a migraine when I was about 25 years old. I ate a very healthy diet (mostly out of my garden). When i was 28 I started up a natural food distribution company with my brother. I was the buyer of nutritional supplements along with food and so on. I tried lots of supplementation over the years without success. When I was 42 I was introduced to a powdered nutritional product that was patented, was skeptical, but i was willing to try anything to get better. I slowly started to see improvements and by the end of 6 months i didn't know i was having a period (as long as I got a decent night of sleep and drank enough water) except the obvious! if you are interested in finding out what i did to improve the quality of my life call ###-###-####
K.K. answers from Seattle on March 24, 2008
ABSOLUTELY get it checked out with a medical professional! You probably are anemic, which means you don't have enough iron in your body. It does not necessarily manifest through heavy blood loss. A lot of women get this way once a month, because iron is in your blood and you are losing blood...hence, the tiredness from lack of iron. You could have blood loss in other areas as well which you don't know about.
Also, it was suggested to me to take vitamin B. I started this in the mornings and it gives me great energy! I don't know why. I can't even take it from noon on, or else I have too much energy to go to sleep at night. I don't take it every day, just when I need a boost or know that a day will be full of activities and long in hours.
Finally, I went to the doctor for an annual ob/gyn checkup. I have gotten heavy after having my last child, unable to lose the weight despite significantly increased exercise and controlled diet. I was so embarrassed for my regular doctor to see me larger, that I went to a new doctor near my home. This was a Godsend, because the old doctor probably would not have done complete lab tests on me, but the new doctor did since I was a new person to her practice. It turns out I am hypothyroid. That means my thyroid is not producing enough thyroid hormone to allow my body to function normally, which can cause many symptoms including low energy, weight gain, hair loss, lack of sex drive, irritability, etc. In particular, what you mentioned was memory lapses or forgetting things...this is a symptom! I did not have all the symptoms, but enough that it is a welcome relief to know there was a medical reason for my condition. I hear that this happens to a lot of women after having children temporarily, then for some of us it sticks. We tend to attribute it to "I'm a mom, therefore I don't have time for exercise" or "I'm a mom with a long day, that's why I'm not interested in sex right now" or "I'm a mom and I do a lot of multitasking, that's why I can't remember things".
Lastly, see your doctor regarding possible depression. From your brief description, it didn't sound like it, but...you never know. One of the common symptoms of depression is increased sleep, which I never had considered before. They do have a variety of different medicines for this, so if you are diagnosed with that and the medicine does not seem to be working, don't just quit the meds...insist on a trial of a different medication!
I am not a medical professional, but I am a medical transcriptionist. I've heard it all while typing, so my best advice to you is to get it checked out! Think of the improved quality of your life and lost hours to sleep that you will regain!
K.A. answers from Seattle on March 22, 2008
I think your first order of business should be to go ahead and make that appointment with your doctor. We women seem to be trained to not want to bother the doc unless we think there is something seriously wrong. Your life is being seriously affected, so go and don't worry about what others might think. It could be you just need iron, but why chance it? Sounds like you have a great family--take care of yourself so you can have more quality time with them.
p.s. have them check your thyroid if it hasn't already been done. Enjoy your life!
K.H. answers from Portland on March 22, 2008
My daughter in law who had been going through your symptoms, just went to the doctor for it. After blood work, they found out she was extremely vitamin D deficient. This came as a surprise, since she takes a good multi-vitamin each day, and eats extremely healthy. I don't know if this is your problem or not, I would see your doctor. BTW ~ My daughter in law has no children, and eats very well balanced meals. It got so bad she almost couldn't get up to go to work.
D.M. answers from Anchorage on March 22, 2008
Have you considered the possibility of being anemic? Low iron often causes fatigue. Trying adding into your diet more beans and dark green veggies (broccoli, spinach, etc.)
Also many people adjust their diets one thing at a time. Sometimes it is necessary to eliminate several things for a longer period of time to see results.
Caffeine will only make it worse. Coffee contains other chemicals that can load your body down and create dependency. Soda contains tons of sugar. Diet soda contains chemicals. Try switching to a cup of white or green tea to start with.
Sugar is another huge thief of energy. Cut out the sugar. Use whole grain instead of white bread. Cut out crackers and processed foods. Anything that comes in a package. Eat fruit. Carrots, celery,veggies, nuts and seeds. Real foods contain vitamins and minerals that your body knows how to use. Foods in packages do not. Vitamins in pill form just go straight back out whole most of the time. Your body does not know how to use them.
Exercise is another big thing. Adding just 20-30 minutes of brisk walking, bicycling or swimming to your day will increase your energy. It increase your blood circulation which increase the supply of oxygen to your brain and muscles and organs. Therefore everything functions better.
Doctors do not study nutrition. Never consult a doctor about what to eat!!! Consult a Nutritionist. Preferably a holistic one. By all means get a blood test to see if you are deficient in iron, Vitamin D, B vitamins or something else.
I hope you get it figured out!