Diagnosed with endometriosis?
Tired all the time?
Are you getting normal hours of sleep each night and feel like you can barely function during the day?
Wondering if your endometriosis is to blame?
Endometriosis wreaks havoc on your body. It causes pain, nausea, infertility, and discomfort; but can endometriosis make you tired?
Yes, it can.
This guide explains how endometriosis causes tiredness and ways you may get some relief.
Endometriosis affects between 6 and 10 percent of women.
According to Better Health Channel, endometriosis “is a condition in which cells similar to those that line the uterus – the endometrium – grow in locations outside the uterus.”
The endometrium-like tissue thickens on parts of the body that it shouldn’t, but unlike the tissue in your uterus, it doesn’t have anywhere to shed itself each month during ovulation.
Endometriosis can affect your hormones, your immune system, and your digestive system.
How do I define endometriosis?
Pain, lots of it.
Endometriosis can only truly be diagnosed by a type of surgery called a laparoscopy that allows a doctor to see the endometriosis tissue. Although there are treatments that can help with the side effects of endometriosis, there is no known cure.
Common Side Effects of Endometriosis
The most common side effect of endometriosis is pain.
All kinds of pain...
- Pain during sex
- Painful periods
- Painful urination or bowel movements
Other common side effects of endometriosis include:
- Lower back and leg pain
- Recurring yeast infections
Unfortunately, for those of us who suffer from endometriosis, the list of possible side effects goes on and on.
Surprisingly, one of the most common side effects seems to be talked about the least:
Does Endometriosis Cause Fatigue?
When discussing the side effects of endometriosis, one question seems to be the most underrated...
Does endometriosis make you tired?
Yes, it can.
In fact, research shows it may be one of the most debilitating symptoms of endometriosis.
A study conducted from 2010-2016 by Human Reproduction, studied 1120 women, 560 diagnosed with endometriosis and 560 with no known diagnosis.
The study found that fatigue more than doubled in women with endometriosis than in those who were not affected by the disorder.
So, what’s the link between endometriosis and fatigue?
Research shows it could be a number of things.
Why Does Endometriosis Cause Fatigue?
Studies show that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is one of the most common disorders in people with endometriosis.
Endometriosis can cause you to lose more blood during your period, which can lead to anemia. One of the tell-tell signs of anemia is constant fatigue.
Endometriosis affects your immune system. When a part of your body becomes inflamed, your immune system responds by working with proteins in your body known as cytokines to fight off the inflammation.
So, how does endometriosis make you tired?
Basically, your immune system is using all of its energy to fight off the effects of endometriosis resulting in extreme fatigue.
Not only does the disorder affect your immune system, but it puts a lot of stress on your body.
Stress and Endometriosis Fatigue
Have you ever noticed that after a stressful time at work or in your personal life you feel exhausted?
Stress stimulates the production of cortisol in your body, which is one of the hormones that puts your body into fight-or-flight mode. When you’re stressed continuously, your body doesn’t know when to turn off that mode.
Endometriosis is painful, so painful that it puts stress on your body.
Maybe endometriosis is causing tension in your relationship.
Are you stressing over sex because you know it’s going to be painful for you?
It shouldn’t be.
We know all too well what that’s like, so, Chiavaye created a product to help reduce at least one stressor caused by endo.
Stressing over your next flair up, or the physical stress that comes with the pain of endometriosis can cause your body and mind to feel fatigued.
Endo and Fatigue - Signs to Look For
How can you determine if your fatigue is caused by endometriosis?
Here are a few key signs:
- Brain Fog
- Low Energy Levels
Endometriosis Fatigue - Brain Fog:
Having trouble focusing?
Walk into a room for something and forget what it was?
Is the word on the tip of your tongue but you just can’t get it out?
That brain fog and endometriosis may be linked together.
Pain, stress, and constant exhaustion don’t allow your brain to function the way it should.
Endometriosis Fatigue - Lightheaded/Dizziness:
Have you ever stood up and instantly had to sit back down because you felt dizzy?
Have you been doing dishes and felt like you had to sit down immediately because you became too dizzy to stand?
After you’ve been sitting down do you feel better, but you still feel a little light-headed?
Have you questioned why you’re so dizzy?
Endometriosis fatigue could be to blame.
Chronic fatigue can affect the nervous system. When your nervous system isn’t working properly, your blood pressure and circulation can become too low, making the simplest tasks become exhausting.
Endometriosis Fatigue - Insomnia:
Is there a link between endometriosis and insomnia?
Does the pain have something to do with it?
I’d say there’s a good chance!
According to Robert Bolash, MD, pain is linked to insomnia. He says, “Pain worsens sleep patterns and sleep disturbances worsen pain–it’s a vicious cycle…”
If the pain or the fear of pain is keeping you up at night, your endometriosis is probably playing a key role.
So, can endometriosis cause extreme fatigue?
Fatigue Associated with Endometriosis: Is It Common?
Is it common for fatigue to be associated with your endometriosis?
About half the women who are diagnosed with endometriosis report that one of the most frequent symptoms is fatigue.
Yet doctors tend to overlook the symptom.
Treatment for Fatigue Associated with Endometriosis
The good news?
There are treatments that may help with endometriosis fatigue!
The first step is figuring out why/how endometriosis is making you so tired. How can you fight endometriosis fatigue?
- Talk with your doctor: there may be underlying causes associated with endometriosis fatigue.
- Make lifestyle changes: changes in your everyday activities may make all the difference in how fatigued you feel. We believe one of the best ways to combat endometriosis is by moving your body regularly!
At Chiavaye we do not claim to be doctors. Before you choose these treatment options, we highly recommend that you visit your doctor.
Can Your Doctor Help With Endometriosis and Fatigue?
Yes, your doctor may be able to help endometriosis and fatigue. While there is no known cure for endometriosis, your doctor may be able to provide relief for some of the symptoms.
Discuss with your doctor that you think your endometriosis is making you extremely tired.
He/she may have labs drawn to check the following:
One study found that Graves’ disease is associated with endometriosis. When talking with your doctor, they may suggest having labs done to check your thyroid-stimulating hormone levels (TSH) and your thyroid levels.
Vitamin D/Iron Levels
Your doctor may also have labs drawn to check your vitamin D and iron levels. Low levels of iron and vitamin can also contribute to endometriosis fatigue.
Based on your labs, your doctor may prescribe medicines or supplements to help with the symptoms.
Conventional Treatment for Endometriosis Fatigue
Treating endometriosis fatigue really starts by treating endometriosis. Finding relief from symptoms of endometriosis may in fact relieve the fatigue, too.
Some conventional treatment options to help are:
- Over the counter pain medicine - ibuprofen may help with that pain and inflammation
- Certain birth controls or hormones
Natural Treatment for Endometriosis Fatigue
I get it, taking medicines, going to the doctor, and extreme measures like surgery, none of it sounds ideal.
It’s been seven years since I had surgery.
After dealing with endo for years, I’ve found natural treatments that have reduced the symptoms of my endometriosis, including fatigue.
Here’s what worked for me:
Exercise: The fatigue caused by endometriosis can make it feel impossible to workout. But just 30-40 minutes a day helps fight the fatigue caused by endometriosis. Low-impact exercises, like yoga or going for a walk help me get some pep back into my step.
Nap: Catnaps, even just one thirty-minute nap, lessens the fatigue I feel from endometriosis.
Hydrate: Dehydration can cause your brain to work at a much slower speed. Drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of water every day may help lessen the symptoms.
Switch up your eating habits: Anytime someone asks me how I manage my symptoms, I mention the enormous success I’ve experienced from eating an anti-inflammatory diet. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables with less processed sugar can help reduce that inflammation throughout your entire body; resulting in less fatigue caused by endometriosis.
At Chiavaye, we’re here for you.
We’re women who know what it’s like to live with endometriosis.
We don't want you to suffer from the side effects of endometriosis any longer.
How do you manage the fatigue caused by endometriosis?
Let us know!