DD complaining of being constantly tired - how can I help?(16 Posts)
My DD (12 going on 16...) has said to me a few times over the last few weeks that she is 'constantly tired'. When I asked her what it feels like, she said she feels really heavy & dragged down. She told me this evening she finds it hard to concentrate in lessons, & is 'tired of being tired'. I asked if she feels like it all of the time or just sometimes, and she said most of the time. I haven't had any feedback from school about issues with concentration, but then again I don't get much feedback at all generally. She's in top sets for pretty much every subject, and at parents evenings they all say she is doing very well, no issues.She said a support worker at school suggested vitamins, but I'm reluctant to start her on those.
Her diet is, I think, reasonably well balanced - good amount of fruit & veg, not much processed stuff, a bit of chocolate / biscuits etc each day but nothing excessive. She's not overweight, not skinny. She does PE at school but no other activities like swimming or gym. She's had on & off difficulties with friendships (normal teenage thing I guess) but things seem to be OK at the moment. She's recently been on a course at school to improve her self confidence which she has really enjoyed and says it was really useful. She's quite self-aware and we have chats about feelings and coping with them. She goes to bed around 9.30pm and I wake her up at 7.15am. Sometimes she's asleep within minutes, last night she was awake till 11.30pm.
She has the usual ups and downs in her mood, likes to spend quite a lot of time in her room watching Youtube & has just joined FB & Instagram (I have access to all her accounts so I can see what she's doing, and there's nothing that concerns me there). We try to stop screen time an hour before bed.
Reading this back, apart from the tiredness, this all looks like normal teenage behaviour to me. Or is the tiredness part of it too?
So, tiredness. Is this likely to be just puberty? Or something else? And what can I do to help her through this? Any thoughts very much appreciated - thanks.
Low iron? Vit D deficient? Mild depression? Under active thyroid? It could be a few things. A simple blood test could rule out a number of them. Speak to your GP?
Why would you be reluctant to give vitamins?
Definitely needs blood tests, it could be any number of things. Has she started her periods?
Some interesting ideas - thanks.
I have an underactive thryoid (diagnosed 15 years ago), & my grandmother & maternal aunt had it too. So that might be it.
Not started periods - she said she had a bit of spotting a few weeks ago but nothing since.
She wears glasses & has just had her eyes tested, so that should be OK. She wears a little bit of make-up at weekends but not during the week as school won't allow it.
Vitamins... good question. I've seen lots of conflicting reports about vitamins and tbh I'm not sure what to believe, I would prefer her to get all she needs from a good diet, which I think she has already. I guess we could ask the GP if we follow that route.
Going to gp is good idea. It will rule out things like low iron etc
My first thought was anaemia but maybe not if she's not started her periods. Has she been ill? Glandular fever makes you knackered all the time and when I had it I was tired for about two years afterwards.
Earlier bedtime? My 11 year old goes to bed at 8pm wakes at 7. Once or twice a week she may stay up til 9 but I make sure she goes earlier the majority otherwise she really struggles.
Get her to the GP for blood tests. If she has a specific need for certain vitamins or minerals, or if it's thyroid related, then the blood test will point it out. Poor thing - hope she feels better soon.
Does she have her phone in her room at night? Having experience of teenagers from the teaching perspective that's my first thought. Other teenagers are practically nocturnal and she may be being disturbed by texts or notifications late at night.
Low iron is also a possibility, even without her having started her periods. Vitamin B supports the absorption of iron so is also a possibility.
I suddenly felt exhausted when I was 19. I battled on for about 2 months before I went to the doctors and got a blood test. It was glandular fever - but thankfully, it was on the way "out" and about a month later, my energy levels were back to normal. Could be a number of things but definitely get it checked out. Also -if she is going through a growth spurt, could be that. But it could be a number of things.
Hope it's something easily sorted.
Are you me? <checks> Ah, no.
My DD is the same, has been for a while. About a year. Which was when she started her periods. Medical issues have been ruled out.
I reckon it's a combination of puberty, possible vitamin issues and stress. Stress as in general day to day life of Girls.
And recently I've worked out that 'I'm tired' can also be translated as 'I'm bored' and 'I'm fed up' and occasionally 'I am hormonal and moody but I don't quite know how to describe or explain my feelings so I'll say I'm tired'.
I would agree with possible earlier bedtime. Does she sleep in at weekends a lot? If she needs to sleep in I think that shows she's not getting enough sleep normally, but having inconsistent bed/wake times doesn't help sleep patterns.
Also, maybe she isn't getting enough physical exercise if all she does is school PE, which unless she's at an independent school is likely to be not very much.
I have boys but just pre puberty they had huge growth spurts which were very tiring. I too am not a great believer in vitamin pills unless there is a known deficiency.
I think, as your DD has a healthy diet, and she feels really heavy & dragged down that you need to rule out a medical cause.
Sorry not to have responded to your ideas been a mad w/e.
We have a 'no phones/tablets/iPods in bedrooms from 30 - 45 mins before lights out' policy - all electronic gizmos (except her Kindle, which is not the tablet-like one) on the landing (where I can see them) so there are no disturbances of that sort during the night.
PE at school is limited, and last week they did ’extended writing' for one of their lessons... Not sure how that helps with physical fitness... Low iron is an interesting one, I'll have a look at foods that might help with that.
I've had a chat with her today, and we've agreed that as a first step we will try some more exercise. Well, when I say agreed, I suggested it and she looked unimpressed about it.... I'm hoping with warmer weather that we might go on some nice walks & do some mother/daughter bonding at the same time and that she gets out & about a bit more seeing friends. Her first question was, isn't shopping exercising??! Gah!
Holidays start end of next week, so if she doesn't feel better by Easter, I'll take her to the GP to rule out anything more serious than just the trials of puberty.
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