13 Year Old DD Feeling Tired for No Reason. Ideas?

Updated on April 30, 2013
H.G. asks from Mount Joy, PA
18 answers

My 13 year old DD has been feeling tired for the past couple of weeks for what seems like no reason. A little background - she's been more active for maybe the last three months or so. She had been walking/running/active in gym class for 1.5 hours daily up until a few weeks ago - gym is done for the year school year now. With the nicer weather, we've been walking more at home but not what I'd call overly so. She sometimes does yoga along with a DVD at home. Around the same time she started with the tiredness, she got her period about a week early. That was over two weeks ago.

I took her to her pediatrician this week and he checked her over and found nothing out of the ordinary. She had extensive blook work - full regular panel (white count, etc), epstein barr, thyroid, etc. Everything came back completely normal except for low Vitamin D which the doctor said wasn't unusual. He recommened she take 1,000 of D daily along with a multi vitamin which, I admit, she hadn't been taking. She takes Singulair and Xyzal for allergies/asthma daily and has been doing that for many years. Her allergies and asthma have NOT been bothering her at all. She has been going to bed between 8 and 9 almost every night and sleeping until 6:30 or 7 am. She gets through the day fine but is just tired out by 8 or 9 - so unlike her. She has lost maybe 8-9 lbs over the last 3 months because she's been more active and has been cutting out some unhealthy snacks. She eats a normal diet with enough protein (chicken, fish, a little meat) and lots of fruits/veggies. She doesn't drink milk but eats cheese and other dairy products like yogurt.

The doctor wants to see her in about another 10 days or so. Any ideas of what else might be causing this tiredness? Anyone have a similar experience? She is not depressed or upset about anything. She is a happy child with a sunny disposition and a positive attitude. I'm stummped.

I should also add that she was an early bloomer and has most likely done most of her growing. She's already about 5' 4" and has been getting a period for about the last 3 years.

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answers from Philadelphia on

My daughter who is now 15 seemed to require very little sleep as she was growing up. Once she hit the teenage years I think she is making up for all the lost sleep. On the weekends she sleeps for 12 hrs at a time.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

What comes to mind, since her bloodwork seemed normal.
- dehydrated. She may need to drink 1-2 more glasses of water each day.
- anemia. Her iron count may be a bit low, but within the 'okay range'.
- the low vitamin D can cause tiredness
- being a teen can cause tiredness.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Atlanta on

All teens love to sleep!! I remember we (my sister, brother and I) would go to bed at ungodly hours and sleep until well after noon on the weekends. We would sleep sleep sleep. Nap nap nap. Why? Who knows! :) As a woman, I have to point out that I was and still am very sleepy around my period.

Also, your daughter has been increasingly more active. Being active has it's toll! Even if it's a small amount of activity, if it's something your body isn't use to, it's exhausting. Sounds like she's been spending time outside too... which always makes me tired! or, her vitamin d deficiency could be what's doing it. research suggests vitamin d deficiency plays a role in being tired.

All and all, it could be several things... but teens area always tired. Hormones, being outdoors, exercise, vitamin d deficiency... a whole slue of things!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tyler on

We think of growth spurts being purely physical, kids at this age experience extreme developmental spurts intellectually, emotionally and socially. These spurts can take more of a toll on them than the physical spurts. Even in their deep sleep, their minds are processing so much, it is too much to handle in the amount of time they have for rest.

I would say give the diet and exercise a little break and let her get the rest her body needs. If this persists, please follow up with her physician. Sounds like you are doing everything she needs from you, you are doing a wonderful job!

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answers from Dallas on

If you've had all blood counts checked and everything looks ok that's great.

Keep in mind she's in the midst of a lot of body changes. My now 18 yr old daughter is faithful with her vitamin routine and a very healthy eater but she is a sleeper. Hubby hates it but both daughter and I need sleep.

We can't get by on 4 hrs like hubby can. He does not understand us. Granted.... She gets up late, eats, studies, plays with dogs, naps, studies, goes out with friends and is back in bed around 2am

As for me... I'm usually in bed around 10 but I nap because I can't deep sleep until I know she's home safely. On regular nights I nap for an HOU or so all night due to hubby snoring, bouncing around, getting up and down all night.

I'd pay a fortune for a solid 6 hr sleep!!!

So keep in mind that your 13 yr old needs good sleep. Make sure she takes her vitamins as well and eats good meals.

Have her blood checked in a couple of months to compare the original reports.

She may just be someone who needs more sleep!! I know I do!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Growth spurt was the first thing I thought of.
It would be unusual for a 13 yr old to be finished growing.
Girls can grow to 16 or 17 while boys sometimes keep growing to 20 or 21.
There are variations but 13 is really young to be 'done'.
It could also be her early period and some unexpected PMS.
I don't know how slim she is but sometimes very active very lean girls have period problems and irregular periods and the hormones trying to balance out can cause some tiredness.
Periods can just be somewhat irregular till 15 or so.
I wouldn't worry too much about it unless it continues for several months.

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answers from Austin on

Could be she is going through a major growing spurt and needs more rest.

My mom used to call me sleeping beauty. I loved to sleep as a teen..

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Keep following up with the doctor but in the meantime consider the following: She may be tired because she needs more sleep now. Help her find time for more rest.

If more sleep does not help and medical tests remain normal, look for a practitioner to test her for nutritional deficiencies. Search for someone who does NRT (nutrition response testing).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

She is 13! She gets tired around 8 or 9 PM. This is a problem???? Perfectly normal for a child this age. Wait until she is sleeping 13 hours and can't get her up. Typical teenager.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

You may have not seen a tick, but I'd have her tested.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Sounds like mono to me. I had a relatively mild case of it and I was mostly just very lethargic. Did he test her for that?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I have gone through something really similiar recently with my 14 year old. She'd been complaining of being so tired for awhile and when she's tired she's cranky.
She's also had lots and lots of bloodwork done, screening for depression...all were negative except for low Vitamin D. Our doctor said in some patients they really do see a better energy level when their Vit. D gets back to normal. She's taking 2,000mg a day and I really think after a few weeks of faithfully taking it, she seems to not be complaining of being tired so much. I get her the chewy Vit. D that's like a fruit snack...easy to take.

Also, I have tried to make sure she is in bed with lights out so she can at least try to get 8-9 hours of sleep a night. I think she really needs the sleep and had been probably getting 7-8 due to an earlier school schedule. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Several things come to mind.

I've struggled with allergies for most of my life and have taken a variety of allergy meds. The side effects of one can suddenly change in me and make me tired, excited, etc. It can change after taking it without this result for months or years.

My kids would get very, very lethargic before a major growth spurt. Even though she seems to have done her growing, she may have some other kind of growth or hormonal change on the way.

The pediatrician once told me not to worry about tiredness in a kid unless they were too tired to do what they love most. Too tired for school or track practice? No big deal. Too tired to go to best friend's birthday party (for my sweetie pie)? Time to pay attention.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

My first thought was Lyme Disease. One of my kids has it, and before she was diagnosed, she was really tired.
Good luck! I hope your daughter is back to herself soon!



answers from Allentown on

Has she been having annual visits to a gynecologist? There are gynecologic conditions that can cause fatigue as well. And since her period was early, maybe a trip to the gynecologist is in order. It may be that something with her periods is causing her fatigue.



answers from Washington DC on

If she's been on the same allergy meds for years as you say, I would talk to an allergist about re-evaluating her allergies, her asthma and her medications for both. She may need a different allergy med -- it could be that the med is no longer as effective as it once was, so she is tired from the allergies (which can make one feel very tired even without other symptoms) or she could be, even after this long, having some reaction where the meds are making her sleepy -- it is very typical for antihistamines to make people drowsy (even the kind that claims it's "non-drowsy" medication can still make some people drowsy, and even people who take meds for years can develop new reactions to them).

On top of that, yes, it could be dehydration (some studies show that most kids in America don't drink enough water, and don't know that sodas actually dehydrate you); or hormones; or...many things. But do investiate the allergy and the medications. If she's been on the same meds for the same allergies for years, at her age, she really should be re-evaluated anyway, tired or not.


answers from Dover on

My first thought was mono but you said the dr did blood work, did he test for that? My next thought was her period but you said she's had that for 3 years so it's unlikely that caused a sudden change (but I can say I am extremely tired now just before that time of the month and I didn't use to be). Additional thoughts are growing and/or body maturity, iron deficiency, thyroid, lyme's disease, and/or oxygen level (which could be any number of causes). Although the blood work did not show it, my last thought is just that she's fighting something off and she's not running a fever but it's still taking a toll.

Good luck.


answers from Milwaukee on

When my vit D was low I was extra tired. Plus, the PPers had a lot of good ideas.

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