How do you cope with fatigue?

Hi- any tips for coping with fatigue? I'm getting really down now and don't want to end up depressed. Can't do anything much, even reading or watching tv is a effort and I'm too distracted. When I try to get dressed and do something I end up unable to sleep that night, in pain and really ill, and even more fatigued the next day. How do you get through this????

23 Replies

Hi Jeanlouise, read your post, sorry to hear you feel so rough. I'm new on this site to connect with other people feeling the strain of thyroid illness, I tend to do everything - and I mean everything - in little 'bites' at a consciously slower speed. for me its been the only way for ages. When I do get ( if I do!) a energy burst its usually adrenaline ( Im a singer, so a bit of pre stage nerves, or stress of some kind - life in general! ) I do everything to relax and 'save' that energy..... can talk more if you like, if this is the kind of thing you are after...

Thank you for the advice, I'll try to do that- think I've been pushing myself to do too much. Must be tough in your profession!

Oh darling. You don't say what you have and what meds or supps you are on. Do try and sit outside even just for 10 mins, I find this lifts me. Also don't beat yourself up if you need to rest. Sending you healing hugs x

Thank you for your kind reply- I'm on 50 mcg which the doctor won't increase as my tsh has fallen back to within range. I'll try to sit outside but to be honest I'm struggling to motivate myself at the moment (self - defeating I know!!). My vit D was very low and I'm on a course of supplements for that, so I definitely will try to get outside. Thanks again, it helps to just connect with people who 'get it'.

You aren't supposed to just cope with it! It is a sign that something is wrong and needs to be addressed.

I know, but my gp just seems to think I need to wait it out.

I would not take this as an answer. Many self medicate rather than stay ill.

What medications are you on? If you are under-active, have you been tested for low b12? I had mine tested and it was in normal range but on the low side and thyroid patients need to be at the upper end so I supplement and felt like I have more energy as a result. Also supplementing magnesium is a good one for fatigue as it helps release the energy from your food. Vit D will help if you are feeling low aswell.

Hope you feel bether soon x

Thanks very much, I've been on vit D as it was very low, my b12 was in the 30th I think- gp said it was ok. I'm on 50 mcg which she won't raise as my tsh is back within range. Might be seeing a specialist soon so I'll check b12 figures. Thanks,

faith63, of course this needs to be addressed but it is something that most of us suffer from I think. I would endorse kate45 and just do a little here and there as you can. I might hang up the washing and then I rest, load the dishwasher and then I rest. If I need to sleep, I sleep - this morning I got up at 8.15 then I went back to bed at 9 and slept until 12. It can't be helped and you just have to try to be kind to yourself.

Thanks for your kind reply- the outline of your morning helped, as I can see it's 'normal' with this condition to have so little energy. It's awful isn't it! How long have you been like this, if you don't mind me asking?

Feels like forever! but definitely worse over the last year, and I've had to cut out so many things because you pay the price afterwards I think I was diagnosed maybe four years ago but I reckon I've had it a lot longer. I would thoroughly recommend reading Stop the Thyroid Madness by Janie Bowthorpe which thoroughly recommends getting yourself on NDT, the majority of people do not improve on levo. I have recently started taking it myself (I have to source it as you cannot get it on prescription here in France) and am hoping for improvement soon. Trouble is, other things such as adrenals and, as you mention, vit D and so on can give the same symptoms, this is where the book is very helpful.

I also try to make sure I do meditation and relaxation etc every day, it really helps if you suffer with anxiety.

Thanks again, I do hope you see improvement soon. Like you, I suspect I've had this longer, but the doctor has been saying it's my age - I now know it could have been thyroid symptoms. I'll order the book and will try relaxation techniques (gp tried to put me on anti depressants, but I don't feel depressed ). Interesting about cutting things out- do you mean foods? I can't tolerate chillies or Chinese food at the moment, and haven't touched alcohol for six months. My chocolate cravings have gone, thankfully. That was strange as up until a couple of years ago I didn't eat much chocolate at all. This is a peculiar condition!!

Ah no - although a lot of people feel better on the right diet. I just meant any activities that cause me stress, for instance my husband does the weekly shopping now which helps me a lot. You're right, it is a peculiar condition and you find odd things happening, like me with puffy ankles, and you wonder if it's thyroid and usually it is.

My GP seems desperate to put me on anti-depressants although I am not depressed, and I have had this in the past so I know what it's like. And of course statins for cholesterol which is thyroid again.

It's bloody hard sometimes but lovely to have forums like this to get advice, such a help.

I'm so sorry you're going through this. As others have asked, have you had B12 and other deficiencies checked for? And how open is your doctor to tackling these symptoms by adjusting treatment?

My own strategy for coping with a similar situation is to try and be positive about any little thing I'm able to do during the day rather than think about everything I haven't been able to do. I also find it's horribly counter-productive to push myself. The most important thing for me, though, is hoping/believing that things will get better, which is why I wondered about your treatment and your doctor.

Thank you so much for your kind reply- you're absolutely spot on with the advice as I seem to spend most of the day getting worried and upset about all the things that need doing, what people at work are thinking and whether the person who has taken over my role is doing a better job!! And I'm losing hope that things will get better as my doctor isn't treating me at all since putting me on 50mcg- when I contacted her after my blood test last week she wouldn't speak to me and got the receptionist to tell me that there was no need to increase the dose as it was 'normal'. When I then made an appt she seemed very irritated, tried to put me on anti- depressants (I know I'm not depressed - yet! ) and told me I probably had chronic fatigue and there's nothing she can do. I'm on Vit D supplements too, since January.

I'll definitely try to be positive about things I manage to do, instead of the other way round. I'm not getting much support now from friends and other family- I think they've lost interest as time has passed. The odd text message isn't much comfort when you're stuck in all the time, and I feel guilty asking for a visit when they're so busy.

Thanks again, hope you're doing okay.

when I read your post it reminded me of how I used to feel'I still get days like that ,but am on lots of vitsvitd,b12 and nutri thyroid supplement as well as self medicating with thyroid s.You really do need to pace yourself,breathe deeply,dead sea salt baths,meditation.Try to get out in day light for a walk for at least 20 minutes.I think when you realise you have to treat yourself differently than how you used to be there is a breakthrough.Even messages from this site will be a breakthrough.Sending you healing.

Love and lightxx

Thank you for your kind thoughts and words. Getting out in the light does seem important so I'll try. And sea salts is an interesting idea too, thanks. It's the boredom of the pointless days, wasting time - I'm used to being busy and making lots of plans! When I'm better I'm never watching tv again- so sick of it! I can't always read and I've been unable to tolerate the laptop for a few days (that's why this is a late reply! ) so it's getting used to the idea of this nothingness that I'm really really struggling with. And how other people treat you too. You're right though, messages on here really do help. Thanks again, sorry to hear you still have rubbish days too. X

I am in a bad place too at the moment but this site is wonderful and everyone is so kind and helpful. Take care x

Oh I'm so sorry. Hope you're feeling better soon. Thank you x

Hi - I was diagnosed (finally) in Aug 2013. Got up to 100 mcg of Levo by March 2014 and while I felt better I wasn't well. 'Crash and burn' happening 2-3 times per week rather than every day (and by that I mean having to have an afternoon nap because I was just so knackered on top of sleeping 9-10 hrs per night - pre illness 7.5-8 more than sufficient). The docs said it would take a year to get back to where I should be. By Sept 2014 I'd had no improvement whatsoever so I demanded NDT (privately) and got 1 grain; by end of Nov my T4 levels had dropped below normal again (my TSH does not elevate - I'm a 'weird' case which is the excuse for why it took over 7 years of symptoms and constant visits to the quacks before I was diagnosed) and they upped me to 1.5 grains NDT. It's taken a few months and I still have the odd bad day (about once per fortnight) but for the rest of the time I have no symptoms (intense cold/exhaustion/severe hormonal migraines/weight gain) and feel like I've dropped 40 years in age.

So, gone from having to have a 3-4 hour nap a few days per week to 1 hour gym workouts three times a week, started a low carb diet at the beginning of Feb (and appear to be slowly losing weight) plus generally feeling fab. All in a few months on NDT

Now just hoping the bald patches on my head will grow back but that might be too much to ask for! Sad I know but I noticed at least 8 hairs on my eyebrows about 4 weeks ago and got overjoyed (I completely lost them about 2 years into the 4 year period of being in an 'advanced' stage before I got diagnosed)

I have the DI102 gene snip plus a high family incidence of under active (90% of females over 35 in my family are being treated) and this might be why NDT works better for me but all I can say is take it (along with B complex and such like)

Hi, thank you for your reply- that's really interesting and I'll certainly bear the NDT in mind. I'm glad you've found something that seems to be working for you , funnily enough I'd just been reading your reply to a different post and was shocked at what an awful time you've had. I'm about to change MY gp- she put me on 25 mcg of Levothyroxine in January but gave me no advice or info at all, I didn't even know about waiting an hour before food until I read it on here. I went to see a specialist myself, who said it should be 50mcg so my gp increased it, but she still insists I've got CFS and won't increase it any more as my tsh is back within range. Over the last few years I've been told I've got stress, IBS, peri - menopause symptoms, asthma, allergies, viruses! I'm angry because my sick pay ends soon and I feel my gp has set me back by months. How much are they costing the economy?! I just want to get well and back to work!

I know and it's why I'm pursuing my complaint about my old GPs. I think thyroid is an undiagnosed complaint and I know that it's taken (and is taking me) a long time to recover because of the huge amount of damage that's been done due to a failure to diagnose; particularly for the 3.5 years I was in 'advanced symptoms'. My view is that it is just lumped in with 'women's problems' because most people who get it are over 40 and female and we're a group that is most definitely second class citizens in many doc's viewpoints

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