Endometriosis and Fatigue

Of all the symptoms of endometriosis- pain, bloating, and bleeding- fatigue is probably the most underrated symptom of all. Fatigue is pervasive and extremely difficult to manage. The simple word “tired” doesn’t even begin to cover it, muchless explain the experience to others.

Fatigue is invisible

Invisibility and the inability to explain endometriosis fatigue just tends to make matters worse. When I went to doctor and explained my symptoms, fatigue was in the top 3. She looked at me like I was crazy. “Perhaps you aren’t sleeping enough” or “Let’s check your iron” were always her responses. But you know what? It was never any of those. It was the fact that my body was working overtime to create endometrial tissue where it doesn’t belong!

“I’m tired” doesn’t cut it

“What’s wrong?”

“I’m tired.”

“Hmmm. That’s too bad. I’m tired too.”


That conversation just makes me want to scream! You don’t get it! When it comes to describing fatigue from endometriosis, it is very difficult to paint a clear picture without sounding totally whiny. The fatigue is unlike any type of “tired” there is out there. That simple phrase, “I’m tired”, doesn’t begin to describe the fatigue. That feeling like you are carrying around lead weights, especially around your waist, and every step feels monumental.

No way to fight back

What’s really bad about it is that there really is no way to fight back. Yes, getting my endometriosis “under control” helps, but in all the years I’ve been fighting it, there are very few times when I felt it was truly “under control.” There are little things we can do, which all contribute to helping, but there is no cure all.

Caffeine helps the fatigue a little, but then that just makes the pain worse and often leads to further inflammation. And let’s be honest, even large amounts of caffeine can only do so much. There is no magical cure to manage endometriosis fatigue

That simple fact is so frustrating. There is no real way to manage it. No way to cure it. And certainly no way to accurately explain it. At least with the pain, we have some options to help get through the day. But when it comes to the fatigue, not so much. But there are things we can do to try and limit endometriosis-related fatigue.

Tips for limiting fatigue

Sleep

I’m sure you don’t like hearing it any more than I did, but this is part of it. Get “appropriate” amounts of sleep. Even too much sleep can be a bad thing. Trust me, I’ve been there.

Exercise

Regular exercise, even a gentle stroll out in the fresh air, can be very invigorating. You don’t have to run a marathon. You don’t have to be a workout diva. Just put one foot in front of the other a few times a week. It will make a world of difference.

Food

Eating a balanced diet (rich in vitamins and healthy proteins) can help your body create more energy and chase away that flat, blah, fatigue feeling.

Check your mood

For better or for worse, hormones rule our lives and they can really take a toll on our energy. Hormones directly affect our mood, if your mood is out of whack, that will quickly drain your batteries down to zero.

Living with fatigue from endometriosis is never easy, nor will most people really understand what we go through. Do you suffer from fatigue? How do you cope with it?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Endometriosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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