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The Doctors Lounge - Primary Care Answers

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Forum Name: Finding a Job

Question: Tired All the Time

aadams - Sat Jun 25, 2005 3:10 pm

Hi There!

I am a 28 yr. old female. I used to work nights but I have recently switched to a day job. My problem is that I am tired all the time! It's been a little better since I switched to the day job, but I still don't have the energy that I should. I've had this problem ever since I started my period when I was 13. Of course, it's worse when I have my period, but I already know that's becuase I am losing blood. I was tested when I was 14 and again when I had my son at age 20 for Anemia and both times they said I was "Borderline Anemic", but every time they test my iron, I am just fine, and I haven't taken my iron pills in years. Is there anything else that could possibly be causing me to be so tired all of the time? I get about 7 hours of sleep ea. night, but I don't eat right, and do not exercise....could that be it? Just poor health habits or could it be chronic fatigue? I really hope someone responds to this....this is a constant concern of mine. Thank you for your time.


medicalman - Sat Jun 25, 2005 8:39 pm

2 things top the list when thinking about chronic fatigue in a young female. Anemia and Hypothyroidism. As you say you have been tested for Anemia and found to be borderline anemic... I would suggest you get another such test for Anemia. this could explain your tiredness. also you did not mention if you were losing more blood with your menstrual cycles or not.
in addition do you feel that you have gained weight even though you are eating less? do you feel cold all the time? and have people or yourself noticed that you have some kind of swelling of your neck? these are things that would happen if you were having low thyroid hormones. this is a condition called Hypothyroidism. it is fairly common in females of young ages and can be seen with swelling of the thyroid gland.
after both of these are ruled out we can think of other problems including Depression that can cause chronic fatigue. for now I would suggest that you proceed on these lines. also talk to your physician about yourconcerns.
hope this helps.
aadams - Sat Jun 25, 2005 10:23 pm

Thank you for responding....I hope I am responding in the right place. YES - First of all, I am ALWAYS cold! If it's 65 - 70 degrees, I am freezing! Also, there is a history of some sort of thyroid disease or problems on my Mom's grandmother had problems with that, and she had to have some sort of surgery, I believe for it. Also, yes....I loose a LOT of blood during my mestrual cycles. I usuall spot for about the 1st 2 days, then I bleed so heavy for the next 2 days, that I have to change my tampon about every half hour (and I use the Super-Plus). Then I spot for about a day (sometimes 2 days) after that. I used to have normal periods, but I went off of the pill about 2 years ago, they've just gotten heavier since then, so I just figured the heavy bleeding was due to that. And YES - I keep gaining weight no matter what I do. I blew up with my pregnancy gaining 66 pounds, and I've never lost it. I was 120 lbs. when I got pregnant (8 yrs ago), I was 186 lbs. by the time I delivered. I went back down to about 165 lbs. stayed there for a few years, but within the past 2-3 years, I've been gaining, and now I am at about 185 - 190. I have not noticed any swelling in my neck, and neither has anyone else, but I do swell a lot around my calves, ankles and feet. I retain A LOT of water there for some reason, and this has been more recent - like within the past 3-4 months or so. Does this help any? What do you think it could be? And is chronic fatigue not real common in women my age?

medicalman - Mon Jun 27, 2005 2:14 am

I think you should be worked up for Hypothyroidism. That means an underactive thyroid gland. it is measured by a simple test ... the TSH level in the blood.. Meet your doctor as soon as you can and discuss this with him/her.
hope this helps

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