Fatigue During Pregnancyby Bradley G. Goldberg, M.D.
Q: I'm Almost 12 weeks and I stay so tired its unbearable. I don't have any energy to do anything. What can I do to change this?
A: Fatigue is a very common complaint in early pregnancy. Many women will feel worn out, and will feel that they need more sleep, especially during the day.
Most of the time there is no harmful pathology behind this symptom, and it will usually improve by the 4th or 5th month of pregnancy.
However, if the symptoms are severe enough to be distressing to a patient, I will do an evaluation. This consists of checking a complete blood count (CBC) to look for anemia. Also, an electrolyte panel should be performed. This will include tests of kidney function and glucose (blood sugar) levels.
A TSH to check thyroid function should also be performed. And if you work with small children, or if you are around them often, consideration should be given to a Mono test as well.
If all these tests return as normal, then you can be reassured that most likely there is no significant pathology involved and that the fatigue should improve spontaneously.
In the meantime, other measures you can take include making sure that you are eating a proper diet. Avoid sugary foods, caffeine, and fatty or greasy foods. Instead fill up on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, pastas and seafood. Also, it is a good idea to be on an exercise program, though you should clear this with your physician first.
Herbal remedies such as Ginseng may benefit some non-pregnant patients, but due to a lack of studies, I would stop short of recommending these supplements during pregnancy. I wish you the best.
Bradley G. Goldberg, M.D.,
Chief of Staff, CRMC
Coffee Women's Center, P.C.
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