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Can anyone help me understand why I'm so exhausted all the time?

(25 Posts)
SloanePeterson Wed 28-Dec-16 10:25:04

I sorry if this rambles a bit but I'm beginning to feel a bit of a time waster at my GPs (they're not making me feel that, I'm just fed up of having no real answer) and I want some outside perspective. I had a bad miscarriage at 10 weeks at he beginning of September. I was hospitalised and given a 3 unit blood transfusion and nearly lost my life. I have no doubt that that has affected me mentally if nothing else. I was in for three days and was given the depo injection before I was discharged as I was sure I didn't want to try for another pregnancy. I've had blood tests about every month, and they show no problem. But I've been bleeding every day for the last 10 weeks, which apparently is most likely due to the depo. It only provided 3 mo the of contraception, which is ironic as I haven't let Dh near me, but the lovely nurse at my surgery has told me that it might take 18 months before its fully out of my system. She's referred me for a pelvic ultrasound to check there's no other reason for the bleeding. The thing that's really getting to me is the sheer exhaustion I feel every day. I've always been an active, strong person and now a trip to the shops has me needing to sit down and go to bed when I get home. I feel light headed all the time. I've always had problems with sleep but my insomnia is now at ridiculous levels, I'm not sleeping at all as my brain just won't switch off. I've also developed terrible night sweats, I normally feel the cold terribly but I've been sleeping with the window wide open and it still doesn't cool me down. I've been stressed on top of everything else as I have a ds with asd and is term has been so hard for us all. The lovely practice nurse prescribed me anti depressants last month and I took them for 2 weeks but the side effects were awful (palpitations on laying down, dreadful jaw clenching and wide awake all the time) so I stopped. Tbh, I've been depressed before and is doesn't feel the same. I've no doubt I've been feeling down, but tablets aren't going to change the circumstances that are making me feel that way. Google is not being my friend about all this and I'm concerned that either the ultrasound will reveal something dreadful, or that it'll be all clear and I'll still have no explanation of what's going on.
I know no one can diagnose me over the Internet. But I'm beginning to feel like a massive hypochondriac as no tests are revealing anything to be wrong.

JerryFerry Wed 28-Dec-16 10:32:28

So sorry to hear about your miscarriage, heartbreaking as well as utterly terrifying for you all.

Obviously I don't know what's causing your exhaustion but are you taking supplements? I can recommend Floradix (the drink not the tablets),

IrenetheQuaint Wed 28-Dec-16 10:35:10

Have they tested your blood to see if you're anaemic? That seems like an obvious possibility.

SloanePeterson Wed 28-Dec-16 11:01:52

Yes, I'm taking ferrous sulphate tablets which I've bought over the counter from the pharmacist, the same dose I was discharged with. It's 200mg and I was taking three times a day initially but since my bloods seem fine I've dropped down to just once a day. I was taking spatone as it seemed gentler on me but the amount of iron in it is negligible. I've always tended to run towards anaemia anyway, I've been turned down from donating blood for failing the little iron test many times, and tbh all the women in my family seem to suffer with it to some degree. But the latest bloods were to check thyroid, iron and a full blood count and they were all normal. I was sent back to hospital by my doctor a week after discharge as he thought I had hypovolemia(sp?) because he couldn't get a blood pressure reading when I stood up as it was so low. Again, low blood pressure is something I've always suffered with and that gets particularly bad in pregnancy.

JerryFerry Wed 28-Dec-16 18:32:06

did you feel better when you were taking the higher dose?

I imagine that a high quality supplement would only be helpful. I saw a specialist post party who recommended Floradix and I swear by it now.

The other things to watch are keeping up your water intake and reducing sugar. Do you eat meat?

CleverQuacks Wed 28-Dec-16 18:37:44

I have recently had a similar experience. I was so unbelievably tired, it hurt to move and even sleeping 14 hours a night I could do very little. I had a blood test and my vitamin d levels came back as very low. I have been on vitamin d supplements for the past month and the change in me has been amazing!

OurMiracle1106 Wed 28-Dec-16 18:42:49

Have they checked your vitamin b12? I was exhausted all the time and it was checked and was extremely low. 5 Injections over 2 weeks and I felt much more myself.

Be kind to yourself. Grief in itself can be exhausting and your body needs time to recover

SloanePeterson Wed 28-Dec-16 18:45:38

Tbh, I didn't feel any better on the higher dose, but I was extremely weak when I came home. I didn't expect to be laid so low for so long. I do eat meat and have tried to make my diet as good as I can manage, but I don't have much appetite. I've not lost any weight I don't think as presumably I'm not moving around enough for the drop in calories to matter, but I am trying to eat enough and to eat well. Vitamin d might be an idea. I had thought when I was sent for full blood screens that it would encompass everything, is that not the case? Do I need to be asking for specific things to be looked at?

MewlingQuim Wed 28-Dec-16 18:46:14

I felt like that after depo.

I bled continuously for all 6 months on the drug, then took another 6 months to get relatively back to normal, although I continued to have awful fatigue and mid menstrual cycle breast pain ever since. Now been almost 20 years shock

Hope that you have better luck.

So sorry for your loss flowers

PurpleMcPants Wed 28-Dec-16 18:57:59

I was going to suggest iron, folate, B12 or vit d too. Iron and possibly folate are tested routinely but B12 and vit d aren't.
I had B12 and vit d deficiency and donated blood without realising, and felt absolutely hideous afterwards, I'm assuming your continued blood loss could be having the same effect on you.

SloanePeterson Wed 28-Dec-16 19:00:57

Is it worth taking b12 and d supplements anyway just to see if they make a difference? Will there be stronger ones behind the counter? I was a bit shocked at the pharmacist who told me the iron tablets in the shop floor were pretty much useless, would that be the case with these too? I honestly wish id never agreed to the depo, I did it so I could leave pretty much as they wouldn't discharge me til I'd had it.

JerryFerry Wed 28-Dec-16 19:14:56

Yes B12. You won't get much (if any) in a multi so look for one like this

Chaphart77 Wed 28-Dec-16 19:24:36

So sorry to hear about this. I went through something similar when i gave birth. Had to stick to the iron tablets but had to make sure I drank lots of O juice with the meds.
I actually wanted to say that your exhaustion could be depression related. By take anti depressants and then coming off them suddenly can be very dangerous. Depression symptoms are amongst others tiredness and insomnia and 2 weeks isn't a long time to get them into your system to work and to then suddenly come off is just as bad. The side effects can take a few weeks but try others, they can help with so many things.
Hope you feel better soon, stay strong xx

PurpleMcPants Wed 28-Dec-16 19:35:37

I'd get your B12 tested before taking any supplements actually, it can be bloody difficult to get gps to take B12 levels seriously without having to take supplementation into account. If you are deficient, it should be investigated why (the blood loss may accelerate it but wouldn't cause it) and you may need injections to replace it rather than taking it orally.

Postchildrenpregranny Wed 28-Dec-16 19:43:41

DD 2 has B12 deficiency .She is 26,diagnosed at 24. It's fairly rare in younger people which may be why some GPs don't test for it. She had injections every other day for 10days when first diagnosed and now has them every three months. Interestingly, my other DD is borderline and a first cousin and both her daughters have it .I have no idea if there is a familial link but might be worth asking family members ?I think its very hard to get enough from over the counter supplements
But D deficiency is easier to treat .

SloanePeterson Wed 28-Dec-16 19:54:31

I'm getting a bit confused reading about b12 deficiency. I'm sure my folate has been checked, is it different to that? Reading those symptoms though, it seems to fit how I feel almost exactly. My eyeballs have been yellow on and off since this all started, and I'm definitely struggling with feeling my mind isn't as sharp as usual, it's like a fog that just won't clear. I found it embarrassingly noticeable when I was talking to someone last week and I was struggling to find the words I wanted

PurpleMcPants Wed 28-Dec-16 20:20:26

Yes it's different but they are closely linked. Folate is B9.

BobbyNoggle Wed 28-Dec-16 22:57:03

OP -you've had an awful few months -flowers-really hope you start to feel better soon.
B12 & Folate are tested together within the same individual blood test; so if you've been tested for one, you'll definitely have a result for the other. Hope that makes sense!
When you say Iron testing -is this "Iron Stores" -to find out your Ferritin levels? Do you know your Ferritin level if so? Some people feel awful with a low albeit "normal" Ferritin level.
It also might be worth finding out your Thyroid Function Results too as there is quite a range of 'normal' TSH.
Agree with low Vitamin D levels too-that can cause dreadful fatigue.

youcantgoback Thu 29-Dec-16 17:49:47

You can ask your GP surgery for a print of your actual blood results. I'm my experience, you can be very low in range for ferritin, B12 and vit D and be told results are normal. You need to be at least mid range to feel well though! If you get the actual results you'll be better informed as too what supplements you need.

notagiraffe Thu 29-Dec-16 17:56:16


You sound really overwhelmed by stress. It can come out as unbearable fatigue. (Mine did) Best things that worked for me were Floradix, Vit D spray and Tyrosine amino acid supplements. If you're not sleeping you could try melatonin too.

And this might sound daft but it had the most amazing effect on my stress levels - Try something fun and new every day - however small. (Try a new cafe, a new drink or food, listen to a new radio station, walk to work by a different route, do something you've always intended to do but never got round to etc) It just gives you something to look forward to, something small and easy to plan and think about and nice to achieve, but it also gets you out of the cycle of being in a stressful rut. It might not sound scientific but I think doing this was as effective as any medication I took to combat fatigue.

Janey50 Thu 29-Dec-16 18:08:45

OP sorry to hear you are feeling so rough. For what it's worth,I don't think that vitamin B12 deficiency and folate deficiency are the same thing. My son-in-law was diagnosed with B12 deficiency a couple of years ago,and has to have an injection of it every 3 months. Like you,he suffers severe night-sweats,although he normally feels the cold s lot,and although he is constantly tired,verging on exhaustion,finds it hard to sleep a lot of the time. I would ask your GP if your B12 level HAS been checked (although tbh I would be surprised if it hadn't).

SloanePeterson Thu 29-Dec-16 19:02:03

Thanks all, I will ask for all my levels next time I'm there, which will be after the dc are back at school. Interesting about melatonin, ds takes it and it's been nothing short of miraculous for him. I've been prescribed a short course of zopiclone for the second time since September to try and help me sleep but I find it doesn't help at all really. Perhaps melatonin might be a long term solution. I've booked in today for my ultrasound which isn't for another three weeks but at least it'll rule out anything serious. For now, I picked up some vitamin d and b12 supplements today so I'll start on those immediately and hope for an improvement. I've been ravenously hungry today and haven't got a bad headache for what feels like the first time in a long time so all the Christmas leftovers tiger bread must be doing me some good

PurpleMcPants Thu 29-Dec-16 19:55:23

If you are not sure if B12 has been tested, I'd really urge you to hold off supplementing until you've had blood taken (next week?) you need to be off supplements for 4 months to get a true result.

Postchildrenpregranny Tue 03-Jan-17 18:02:20

My DD was trying to write up a thesis when diagnosed sloaneCouldnt concentrate ,couldn't focus, couldn't express hersel, kept falling asleep . She eats very lttle meat and thought she was anaemic...she 's a health service professional too. ! The injections wrought something of an immediate miracle And some people can feel awful with a thyroid level which is regarded as acceptable so I'd definitely ask to see all your blood results.

SloanePeterson Wed 04-Jan-17 16:28:02

I'm definitely going to ask for my results next week, and hopefully if anything does seem amiss I'll locate my balls and push for something to be done. I don't know if it's all in my head, but since starting to take these supplements I do feel slightly better. I'm still not sleeping and still bleeding but the night sweats have gone (hopefully for good as I found it ridiculously distressing). I've been making a very conscious effort with my diet too, my fridge is groaning under the weight of all the leafy green veg in there and it does seem to be paying off little by little.

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