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Any GP's on here? Question about nightshifts/anxiety.
I work for the NHS (20 years service) and we were made to do nightshifts, rather than on-call, just over a year ago. In a 4 week block I do 2 nights one week and one night 2 weeks later. This is 8pm-8am.
Anyway, I have not had a period since June this year (and I'm not pregnant). I thought it was just holiday stress as my period was due when we went on holiday to Italy in the summer. Anyway, I still haven't had a period and it is now almost November. I'm mid-40's with no other symptoms of menopause.
I struggle with nights to be honest and find it extremely hard to force myself to stay away, especially from 1am onwards. I struggle to sleep afterwards and we have a quick turnaround and can be on an 8am start 2 days later. We do a mix of early shifts (8am-4pm) and late shifts (12pm-8pm) in between with weekends (lots of weekends) all over the place. There is no set pattern and we are losing staff regularly now so we are asked to do more.
I am starting to suffer with, what I think is anxiety, and I have NEVER had this before. I feel nervous a lot and heartbeat gets faster and I find myself taking a gasp when this happens. It can go on for a few minutes and numerous times during the day. I have just had a week off and it has not happened as frequently while I have been away from work.
I have just been reading about hormones and nightshifts. Do you think the lack of periods and this anxiety is all part of working nights? We used to do on-call and got a full day off for that (even with one call out) but now we get no time given to us. I am extremely tired when I am at work and doing all of these shifts. Even though I am 37.5hrs I can be made to work well over this amount.
I am really thinking of quitting and re-training but worried over the financial implications. I have worked so hard for the NHS and got many qualifications behind me but feel my health (and family) must come first.
Oh, and the increase in shift work was brought about thanks to Jeremy Hunt's push for a 7 day, extended hours, NHS. We didn't take on extra staff to cope with this so you can see what has happened. We are losing staff too (mum's, in particular just cannot cope with it).
I am not a GP but thought I would respond. Have you had your hormone levels checked? I know somebody with the same symptoms as you. No period for 3 months, anxiety, not sleeping well but no other symptoms. She is 43 and her GP said to come back for blood tests to check her hormone levels. It could be peri menopause. I would see your GP if I were you
I’m a GP and I think you need to go and chat to yours. From the history you’ve given, I wouldn’t be convinced it’s the night shifts. Doing a few night shifts shouldn’t alter your periods. I would be thinking about thyroid disorders or perimenopause. Mood disorders are common around the menopause. But as with all online advice, I’d be taking a more thorough history and doing an examination before deciding this. Go see your GP. Good luck.
I'll make an appointment to get my hormone levels checked. My mum isn't around (RIP) so I can't ask her how old she was but she had me when she was 40. I am very worried about work tbh, and the inability to continue due to tiredness and lack of family time. I think worry about money (which we have never had before) if I quit is also playing on my mind.
We do a strange pattern of shifts. I am sure they are playing their part. I was reading about sleep hormones and what can happen of your body clock is constantly all over the place. It seems strange this is happening to me a year later (and tiredness is increasing, feel jet-lagged a lot).