Hello, I am a 57 year old female, was very active until about last spring, when I started getting really tired all the time. I was rushing through a store and something happened, I was stopped in my tracks. I had to hold onto a shelf until I could walk again. I don't know what it was. (About 2 years earlier I had ruptured two disks, and a year later ruptured 2 more. They finally eventually healed after suffering severe sciatic pain for many months. I have a degenerative spine. I mention that in case it has a bearing.) I got progressively more tired over the next several months until I began slurring my words and became unsteady. I went to the doctor who sent me to the hospital, where they found I had had a stroke sometime earlier, prior to August. I was hospitalized and they found I had an ap1 of 12.5, was diabetic and had high blood pressure. I was devastated and terrified. They put me on insulin, Lipitor, aggrenox (blood thinner), and Lisinopril. They also suggested the South Beach Diet. (I am not massively obese, but I was overweight.) I buckled down, have lost over 16 lbs so far, my latest ap1 is 5.6, my blood pressure averages 120/70, and my insulin dosages have been greatly reduced. I am off of the blood thinner, take an aspirin a day, and vitamin supplements only. The problem is extreme fatigue, I don't mean just tired, I mean barely being able to get from room to room, sort of lurching along, a feeling like a huge fist is pressing into my stomach (not chest). I can barely hold my body upright, and I feel like I am walking through deep sand. No chest pain, no arm pain, but my hands and feet are becoming increasingly numb, cold, tingly with knifelike pains. I had an ekg, slightly enlarged heart, an echo bubble test, normal; a tilt table (blood pressure dropped on rising), but otherwise normal. I am too weak and unsteady to take a stress test (treadmill). I have muscle and joint pain, am terribly unsteady, and my eyesight is becoming affected. Nobody seems to know what is going on. I just want to be normal again, as much as possible. Does anybody recognize any of this stuff? I am doing all I can to get better, but it has been months now. I can't exercise because of the extreme weakness, which makes losing weight slow. I am eating VERY little. Mostly meat and salads, very little carbs.
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading this. I know its too long but I am so scared that I didn't want to leave anything out that might be important. Help!
I forgot to mention that from the day I was hospitalized I could not sleep, and got no sleep whatsoever for nearly 4 weeks thereafter. I mean NO sleep. I would just lie in bed and stare at the ceiling, or watch tv. I was exhausted, but still could not sleep. I didn't think it was possible to go that long without sleeping, but I did.
I'm so sorry you are having so much trouble! Have they tested you for MS or Lupus? I don't know much about these conditions really, but a friend of mine (who is the same age as you) was recently dignosed with MS & she has a lot of your symptoms. She gets so tired she just cant move & has to sleep wherever she happens to be. Best of luck- I hope you get some answers soon.
Have you visited and endocrinologist (sp?) You should get your thyroid and hormone levels checked. Many of your symptons can be a sign a hormone imbalance/thyroid issue, which is very treatable, sometimes even curable. Good luck and keep us posted.
a few years ago I had the same tiredness as you, even walking up a few flights of steps I had to lay on the bed after.
It tuned out to be hormonal. I had a hysterctomy 10yrs before and had my ovaries, cervix fallopian tubes and womb removed. Hormones were not known about much here in England at this time.
After many tests I was eventually put on Testosterone and oestrogen hormones.
The testosterone was implanted and I took the oestrogen orally.
It turned out that the oestrogen tablet had never stayed in my system so I had gone years without this hormone and that was the reason I felt soo weak and ill.
I decided to have the oestrogen implanted with the testosterone and have not looked back since.
I run a busy life, work full time in the health service, run a small holding, look after a family and sell on ebay. What a difference a hormone makes.
As you have had a stroke you may not be able to take hormone replacement. see your doctor and ask
I hope you begin to feel a bit better soon
Best wishes and good luck
OMG!!! I can't believe it! I have always had Stein Leventhal (polycystic ovaries, excess testosterone) and my last period was in May. It seems my life went into a tailspin from that minute forward! The tiredness began then and got progressively worse until I had the stroke sometime before August. I told the endocrinologist about the periods, sweats, weakness, cystic ovaries, etc, and he seemed to feel it wasn't important, that all of my problems were from diabetes. But my diabetes is under control, my bp is normal, I'm on nothing but aspirin and insulin, even my insulin as been reduced, but I am more fatigued than ever. I went to the grocery tonight with my husband, and I was so tired I had to lean on the cart for support. I can barely lift my upper body. I just lurch and stagger around, its like walking with those sand weights on my whole body. I'm too young for this, I move like I'm 90. Joint pain, muscles ache, my eyesight is getting worse (was always 20-20) now getting blurry. What in the world can be done at this point? The doctor I go to now is extremely conservative, and also didn't feel these symptoms meant anything, that I just needed more time to recover from the stroke. Having had a stroke, would some kind of hormone treatment be feasible for me?? I feel like I am going to die if something isn't done soon. I'm serious about that, I nearly always feel like I'm on the verge of passing out. I have to sit down after walking a few minutes. I too was a very busy person, scouring auctions, tag sales, garage sales, thrifts, estate sales for things to put on Ebay, I LOVED it, but not since this all happened. I am still listing some stuff I have at home, but I am too weak to go to sales or stores now, after a few minutes, I have to sit down. I can only list one or two items before I have to lay down. I think you are all right on about the hormones. I can't thank you enough for putting this into focus for me. I'm just not sure how to go from here. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
Last edited by moderator2; 02-07-2008 at 09:20 PM.
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Well, I have been doing a lot of online research tonight and into the wee hours. It seems the condition most acurately describing what I am going through is called "Crashing Fatigue". The best answer seems to be HRT. BUT, that supposedly increases the risk of stroke 30%, and even more so for stroke survivors, which I am. I see a lot of ads for what I suspect are quack remedies, using the same wording for differnt kinds of supplements, etc. I can't find any feedback from anyone who says they work. And don't the natural herbs, etc, also carry the risk of increasing stroke probabilities? I desperately want to get better, I feel like I am living in a twilight, I spend about 20 hours of every 24 in bed. I can barely walk from room to room, I have pressure like a big weight pressing against my stomach (not chest) like a big fist is pushing in, no pain, no shortness of breath. Does this get better? Or can you die like this? I know my doctor won't give me HRT. She has heard these symptoms for months, and just says it takes time to recover from a stroke. I don't think she has a clue. (And how can an indocrinologist, 5 visits, blood work-ups and all, just ignore all of this? At least my thyroid tested normal.) I had fatigue before the stroke. My last period was in May, then increasing tiredness, and then a stroke about 3 mos later. Now this extreme fatigue. I feel too weak to talk sometimes. Is there anything out there for me? I'm really scared. I feel like I could have another stroke or even a heart attack the way things are going right now. Living like this CAN'T be healthy! And I'm not getting better. This crashing thing has been going on for about 7 straight months now. Isn't it dangerous to NOT to have enough hormones? Especially after being used to higher than normal levels from PCOS for 35 years? I'm sorry to be so long-winded, but I am desperate and need someone to listen, my doctors certainly don't. I truly appreciate being able to talk to all of you.
Thank you for all of your support and ideas. I called my doctor's office, and she wants me to come in next Wednesday, but I think she is planning on giving me the bad news that its too risky for me to have HRT, and nothing can be done for me. So, what, I just wither and die? I'm 57, for gosh sakes! I've gone from having an active, happy life to being a virtual boatanchor! And if the problem is caused by no hormones, does that mean its never going to get better? My body isn't going to start making more hormones, is it? Is "crashing fatigue a temporary thing? (Its been going on 7 months now and the only thing changing is I'm having more and more horrible sweats, night and day). Living at risk is better than not living at all. I can't do ANYTHING!! And my poor husband! We were both competition archers, I can't even hold a bow now, I can't even stand up or walk around for more than a few minutes at a time. Getting groceries is a nightmare. He doesn't want to leave me home alone (we have no family at all) so I go and usually sit in the car and read. I was used to bombing around all day, running errands, shopping, getting our oil changes, tire rotations, now I can't even drive because of the extreme fatigue. Its kind of like a living death. Well, I will let you know what she says next Wednesday. Again, thank you all.
Hi Cherie. I suggest having your thryoid, adreanals, and hormones tested.
Regarding the thyroid, ask to have the Free T3, Free T4 (besides the T3 and T4) and thyroid antibodies tested in addition to the normal panel. They are not usually done but are necessary for a comprehensive view. Even if your results are in the normal range, if antibodies are present treatment is warranted. These are all simple blood tests.
Saliva testing seems to be more reliable than blood tests for adrenal and hormone testing. Adrenal fatigue can cause the crushing fatigue you describe. Many doctors do not do this testing. To find one in your area who may, I suggest contacting a compounding pharmacy and see if they can recommend a doctor. There are natural hormone treatments that are safer than HRT. Check out labs, such as ZRT Labs, that do saliva testing. Some you can do on your own. Then you can bring the results to a doctor who can interpret them.
Do not give up, you will find out what is wrong. Keep us posted okay?