no stamina

judys_ontJanuary 30, 2004

4 years ago, around the same time I went into menopause, I started to have episodes of complete physical exhaustion. I would sometimes feel in ill health along with it.

I've never been a strong person but the way I feel is not normal. I can't do half what I used to, or I have to lay down to regain energy.

I began taking supplements of Vitamins D, C, E, and beta-caratene. They helped a lot, but exhaustion still occurs too easily.

My hemolglobin is good. B12-good. ECG-good.

My sinuses are the only thing that gives me any trouble. I had surgery to clear them around 8 years ago, but that didn't help post nasal drip and the odd headache.

Has anyone ever had a similar experience and do you know why?


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Not to sound like a broken record, but have you had your thyroid checked? You could be hypothyroid. Intermittent normal and then hypo is not unheard of.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2004 at 7:06PM
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I have seen the posts on thyroid but haven't really looked in them. I will do that now and see what I can learn. I almost hope it comes down to thyroid so I can at least finally put a name to this.
Thanks for the nudge.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2004 at 9:04AM
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Judy, it's really a very simple blood test to find out if it's your thyroid. If it is, and you are hypothyroid, you'll have to work with your doctor (preferably a good endocrinologist) to arrive at the proper dose of thyroid replacment hormones. There are several kinds, Synthroid being the most prescribed in the U.S...not sure about Canada.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2004 at 11:00AM
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I checked out thyroid symptoms and I seem to have some symptoms that apply to both 'hyper' and 'hypo'.
My great-grandmother had goiter. I will mention all this to Dr. next week when hubby has to go in.
Just had blood work and a physical, after complaining of exhaustion. When blood work came back okay, the doctor seemed to pass my symptoms off. I think if you don't press the doctors to take you seriously, fatigue can go untreated in many cases. Too bad.

Okay, if it isn't thyroid, any ideas on any other ailment I can press my doctor to look into?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2004 at 1:22PM
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Judy, it is not unusual to have symptoms of both from what I have read. And I'm not surprised your doctor passed your symptoms off. Time and time again studies and articles show that women's complaints are taken much less seriously than men's, and passed off as "in their head". Add to that the fact that about 50% of people that have thyroid problems are undiagnosed.

Other ailments I'm not sure about - you might want to peck around on WebMD or do a Google search for Women's Health.
Good luck and be sure and let us know what happens.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2004 at 1:30PM
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It might be a B12 defincency even though your readings are OK. This is one thing that is hard to diagnosis. There are B12 pills that you hold under your tongue that are absorbed better than the ones you swallow. It would be worth a try for a month to see if you feel better. Get the highest strength you can. I think it is 1000MCG

My son, who is a physician, says that the best way to diagnosis a B12 deficency is to give the B12 injections. If they help, then the patient had B12 problems even though the tests were normal. Injections work better that the pills. Talk to your doctor about trying them. you would see some difference after about 48 hours.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2004 at 5:43PM
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My grandmother had B12 defiency which is why I wanted to be tested for it. I am very interested in what you had to say as the test came back okay.
If my doctor will not give me injections then I'll try the tablets. Can I get B12 tabs over the counter? I'll try anything that might help to get a diagnosis.
thanks so much everyone for all your suggestions. I'll be seeing doctor next week.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2004 at 8:54AM
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Judy, Do a Search for B12 Deficiency. It is also known as a Colblamin-Deficiency. Diagnosis is tricky and other things must be looked at. After all the tests are run, and the results are still problematic, the advice is to prescribe B12. Then if the patient does not improve, look elsewhere.

You also have to have a certain factor (I forget the name) in your system that allows you to properly process the B12 from your food. That is why pills that are swallowed are not as effective as injections. The sub-linguel tablets disolve under the tongue and go directly into the blood stream and may be all that you would need. It's worth a try.

I had a neurologist that insisted that it was not B12 because of the reading was "normal" and I didn't need the injections. She had MRIs done of my head and neck to rule out tumors and MS. Three other doctors thought it was B12 regardless of the readings. I started getting the injections and I also took the tablets. I am much much better.

I get mine from a GNC store. Any of the nutritional suppliment places should have it.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2004 at 11:57AM
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I dont think it would hurt to have a complete physical,esp concentrating on your heart After going through meno your heart health becomes a big factor.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2004 at 3:29PM
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As a matter of fact they had an article in this month's readers digest about how heart problems in women are virtually symptom-free, with feeling tired the only noticable symptom. I agree with Pam - it does not hurt to check. Do you have family history of heart disease or diabetes?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2004 at 4:58PM
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Ditto what the last few posters said. And even *before* menopause, heart disease is the number one killer of women.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2004 at 9:58AM
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My recent physical included an ECG which was good. There is no heart disease or diabetes in my family.
I am going to question my B12 results with my doctor on Tuesday when I go.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2004 at 12:11PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

Considering what Joanne said about heart disease, why don't you ask your doctor about symptoms, also I wonder about asthma. Maybe you are not getting enough oxygen. Do you cough or yawn a lot? You really need to quiz your doctor.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2004 at 7:56AM
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I intend to quiz my doctor about B12, thyroid, addison's disease, adrenal fatigue, fibromyalgia, chronic fatique syndrome and lyme disease.
Refer to my thread in the 'menoupause' forum and see why.
Many thanks to all of you for your suggestions. I know your experiences will help me through this.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2004 at 9:40AM
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Well I saw the Dr. yesterday. He had already checked my thryroid in the tests 3 weeks ago. It was fine. He didn't feel he needed to check B12 for absorbtion when I asked him either. We discussed the possiblility of other diseases that could cause me to feel exhausted and he is more or less putting it down to Fibromyalgia??? (even though I don't have pain-the major symptom) or Chronic Fatique Syndrome. (probably the same thing)
Catherine, do you have a lot of pain with your fibromylagia?
He also took another blood test to check for Addisons' Disease.
Another posssibility, I think, could be not enough good sleep. I am making an appointment on Friday with a sleep lab. I know my legs jerk a lot at night and I have other things that indicate sleep apnea, and I wake up unrefreshed. That sounds like that could be the problem, because I read where if you don't get enough 'stage 4' sleep, you are not rebuilding your body tissues and organs. It's worth checking into anyway.
Everyone who answered my question here helped to educate me on all the things that could have, and still may be, involved here. I did a lot of research based on your suggestions. I want to thank all of you.
The answer is not a black and white one I guess, but I'll keep on turning over every stone.
thanks, Judy
(same reply in 'menopause' thread.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2004 at 4:27PM
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Restless legs syndrome - I have it, too. What a pain! It's a big problem for people 40 and over.

I remember hearing that a drug used for Parkinson's Disease is used in small amounts to treat restless legs. You might ask your doctor about that.

Here is a link that might be useful: Requip

    Bookmark   February 11, 2004 at 5:59PM
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Thanks for the update, and I hope you find a definitive answer very soon. You might be on to something with the sleep thing.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2004 at 8:04PM
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the biggest thing that helps my restless legs, is doing the stationary bike 1/2 hour before bedtime. I do it until my legs just can't take it anymore. RLS is helped by bending your legs I think.
I'll check out your link for that drug.
Unfortunately there is more to it than RLS. Apparently, so my husband says, my whole body jerks and I breathe really loud in my sleep. Anxious to see what the sleep clinic finds.
Will keep you informed.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2004 at 9:57AM
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Do you know that extreme fatigue can be a symptom of heart disease in women?...Perhaps an EKG might be in order?
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 12, 2004 at 2:36PM
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As indicated above, I have had an ECG which was good.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2004 at 2:55PM
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My friend who has fibromyalgia has a lot of trouble sleeping. Just adding this in case it helps.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2004 at 3:42PM
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"My sinuses are the only thing that gives me any trouble. I had surgery to clear them around 8 years ago, but that didn't help post nasal drip and the odd headache. "

The last issue of PREVENTION had a correlation between constant sinus problems and Fibromylagia.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2004 at 4:31PM
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Thank you Junelynn,
After looking into fibromyalgia some more, I do see where there could be a correlation. With your nudge, I am going to search the web for more answers on this. Perhaps a doctor who specilizes in Fibromyalgia is next for me.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2004 at 4:40PM
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I may be on to something about my exhaustion.
I was watching Sylvia Brown (well-known medium)on Montell Williams show the other day. When someone asked her about her Fibromyalgia, Sylvia said that the key is a 'high protein diet'. Then I recalled that since I had quit eating cheese because of migraines, and had cut back on milk, I was worse than before. Well, having nothing to lose I started eating tofu and drinking more milk again. I think I might be improving. I still will go through with the sleep lab but I'm hoping the increase in protein will help me. I know that with menopause I won't have 100% of my usual energy, but I'll take 70% over the 40% I've been getting.
I'll keep you informed. Maybe my experience will help others.
(also posted on Menopause forum)

    Bookmark   March 5, 2004 at 3:25PM
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Judy, I started having migrains after age 35, which doc diagnosed as hormone-triggered. But mine were worse if I ate certain dairies.

Through research I found out that there are two families of dairies, loosely called 'sweet' and 'sour'. Milk, yogurt, white cheese are 'sweet'. Cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, etc are 'sour'. Some migrains are triggered by both. Others are only triggered by one side or the other.

I realized that mine were worse when I ate my morning cottage cheese. So I quit all dairy (since dairy as a whole can be a trigger). Then I added back in only from the 'sweet' side of dairy and so far so good!

Since then, I avoid cottage cheese, cheddar and other yellow cheeses. I still have my cereal with milk, eat ice cream and yogurt, and use white cheese for cooking. My headaches still occur (we can't get rid of the darn hormones) but they are now manageable with ibuprofen or tylenol. When I was eating the 'sour' dairies, even the prescription migraine pills wouldn't make a dent.


    Bookmark   March 8, 2004 at 8:07AM
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Although we think I have had fibro since my late teens and I am 45, I was just diagnosed last year. I'm on several fibro message lists. I have not heard of anyone who is not taking meds for pain that is pain free. Fibro is most often treated with meds OTHER than traditional pain meds...Dr.'s are VERY reluctant to prescribe pain killers for Fibro. Some think we are all lunatics looking for drugs and are not really in pain, and some Dr.'s don't want the paperwork of prescribing pain meds.....others send patients to pain mgmt. Dr.'s. I don't want to be on "heavy" pain killers, so I try to get by with other methods and medications. I've had it so long, I've sort of adapted after 30 years. Now that I AM being treated, I do feel better. For instance, at night, I take a muscle relaxer, an old antidepressant that changes seritonin levels in the brain therefore lowering pain thresholds, and also an anti-seizure med that helps lower pain. I also take an anti-inflammatory. With all of this, I still hurt. How can I explain the pain.... To be hugged does not feel good to me - it hurts! The pressure of a blood pressure cuff is really painful. There are something like 60 symptoms other than muscle pain that you can have with Fibro (chronic sinusitis is one of them). And, my case is considered a mild one!

There are 18 "points" on the body that they test by pressing with a certain pressure, and you must react to I think it is 11 of them to have Fibro. I can't believe that a lot of docs think this is a disease that's in one's mind! Geez! It's in my muscles! It's much worse when sleep is bad. Sleep patterns was one way I was diagnosed. I have no problem going to sleep - but wake every half hour to hour for a few minutes, and seldom slept more than 5 hours a night before becoming so painful and stiff I had to get up. Now, with treatment, I can sleep about 6-7 hours. But, I have to carefully monitor my stress and all sorts of things to maintain a comfort level.

I went into all of that to help explain why I think you probably don't have fibro because you don't have all over body pain with your fatigue. One thing with fibro - it's an all over pain.

Look on the internet for Fibro there are many places that give a diagram of the 18 points they test. Have someone press them, and see what happens (many are on the back of your neck and shoulders - you can't press them yourself)

From the lists I read, a person can develop chronic fatigue from the lack of sleep caused by fibro.... but I have not heard of someone being diagnosed with fibro from just fatigue alone. Pain is the MAJOR problem of fibro. You need to go to a top notch rheumatologist (sp?) to get a GOOD fibro diagnosis and treatment.
My neighbor is in her early 30's and suffers from Chronic Fatigue, and that sounds more along what you are having to me. She is just bone tired no matter how much she rests.
You might try going to the message boards and info pages at and looking at the info they have there. They have info on both Fibro and Chronic Fatigue.
Good luck. Hope like heck it's not Fibro !!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2004 at 7:13PM
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I had pretty much come to the conclusion that my problem isn't fibro, as I thankfully don't have pain. I feel for you and other true fibro sufferers. Do you think the 'high protein diet' might help you? Even if you don't, try adding some more to your diet and see--what could it hurt?
I believe that it was possibly a factor for me. I increased my intake of milk, fish etc. and after one short week I think I have more stamina. Of course, time will tell.
I sincerely hope you and others with fibromyalgia will soon find the help and support you deserve. Sadly, it is true. Some doctors do not take our complaints seriously.
Good luck

    Bookmark   March 12, 2004 at 2:27PM
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I was on Atkins for 6 months, didn't see any difference other than weight loss. Then Sommers for a while. Liked that better! got away from it and need to get back! I do avoid caffeine and sugar mostly.
Sorry - I didn't mean to go on and on about fibro - I reread what I had written and it did sound that way... I wasn't looking for sympathy - I am used to living this way and am lucky because I could be SO much worse. I was just trying to explain so that you could see if that might be what you have.
I will be happy to stay at this level the rest of my life. My sister had RSD and believe me I feel lucky.... I wonder if I know what pain is when I think of what she went through. I think there must be a whacked out pain gene in our family.
If you have found protien helps, check into the Sommers diet - my Mom feels SO much more energy when we are on it. (she is 79 and lives with me now) Lots of fresh fruit and veggies with lower carbs....foods low on the glycemic index.
Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2004 at 8:06PM
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"I was just trying to explain so that you could see if that might be what you have. "

I didn't take your post any other way. I know you were trying to help me.
I didn't really take on a diet with a 'name', I just started taking more things I knew had more protein in them. Although I have never heard of it before, I will look into the Sommers diet.
Good health to you and your mom.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2004 at 10:11AM
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You can have hypothyroidism and still have normal thyroid function tests. The fact that your relative had throid disease (a goiter) suggests that you may have a predisposition to it. Ask your doctor to do a THYROID ANTIBODY test. It checks whether you have an autoimmune thyroid disorder (in other words, your body starts to attack the thyroid as if it were foreign to it, creating damage and loss of throid function). You also might want to check out

This is a great forum that discusses all kinds of thyroid-related issues. Good luck and don't give up! Thyroid disorder is incredibly underdiagnosed, particularly in women.


Here is a link that might be useful: About Thyroid

    Bookmark   March 18, 2004 at 10:56PM
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thanks for the incredible information.
So far I am feeling quite a lot better with the increase in protein.
However, the next time I see my Dr I will see what he has to say on that.
I will also check out your link.
thanks again, Judy

    Bookmark   March 21, 2004 at 9:13AM
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