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Why am I tired all the time???

Posted by Lori Anne

I am a 35 year old female.  Happily married with 2 children.  A 14 year old boy and a 10 year old daughter.  I have been diagnosed with high blood pressure and cholesterol and take meds for both.  Also I take celexa for panic attacks and nerves.  I have shortness of breath and  burning stinging in upper abdomen when I do very much. Such as my laundry room is downstairs and I can go down and put a load of laundry on and by the time I come up the steps and I am out of breath and sometimes get lightheaded.  I have relayed my concerns to my family docter but for the most part he says I just have a lot on my plate and probably am stressed.  Just feel like their is more to it then that.  Help please if you can come up with some kind of diagnosis.  Thank you for your time. 
Answers (1)
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Dear Lori Anne -


Since you posted in the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) group, I'm guessing you wonder whether you might have CFS.  I'm not a doctor, but I've lived with CFS for the past 8 years, and both of my sons have it.  It doesn't sound to me as though you have CFS, but there is certainly something going on that needs to be investigated thoroughly.  You may need to find a new doctor if your current one won't do that.


Despite its name, there is a lot more to CFS than being tired.  The best way to describe it is that it feels like having the flu all the time (to varying degrees, with good days and bad days).  Its other symptoms often include: recurring sore throat and/or swollen glands, flu-like achiness, headaches, unrefreshing sleep, and an intolerance to exercise.  This last one means that you might feel great while exercising but within hours of any kind of exertion you suddenly feel as if you have a terrible flu - that exercise-induced relapse can last for days or even weeks.


You don't mention any of these symptoms besides the fatigue, which is why I thought CFS was unlikely.  In addition, CFS causes a condition of low blood volume so that most people with CFS have LOW blood pressure.


To be sure, you can take this self-quiz:

Here is more info:

On this page, if you follow the link to the information on Diagnosis, it includes a long list of other conditions which can cause fatigue.  Perhaps reviewing that list with your doctor would help in knowing what else to consider.


Personally, I would be most concerned about the shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and pain in your abdomen.   Unfortunately, doctors tend not to listen when a patient (especially a woman) complains of feeling tired, even though it can be a symptom of many medical conditions.  To get you started with some ideas of what may be behind your symptoms, you can also try the Symptom Checker at WebMD: 


You need to go back to your doctor and tell him that you know there is something wrong and that you want his help in finding an accurate diagnosis.  Given the shortness of breath, perhaps ask for a referral (if you need one) to a cardiologist.  if your doctor still discounts your symptoms and won't look into them, you need to find a new doctor.  I know how hard this can be, but it is essential that you have a doctor who respects you and will listen to you.  Ask your friends about their doctors and see if you can find someone who is more open-minded and will listen.  It's a bit of a stereotype, but I have found that female doctors do tend to be better listeners.


Most important, do not give up.  You deserve good medical care!  It is necessary to be your own advocate and be very persistent in order to get the medical care you need.  I was severely ill for more than a year before I finally found a knowledgeable doctor and was accurately diagnosed with CFS.  I saw about 8 doctors that year and had dozens and dozens of blood tests! 


Good luck and please feel free to contact me again if you have any further questions about CFS.  All the best to you -


Sue Jackson 

NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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