7 Ways to fight extreme fatigue after hysterectomy

Feelings of fatigue after hysterectomy will often come and go. There will be days you will feel full of energy, and the next day you may feel very tired. This has a lot to do with how active you are. Doing too much during the first weeks after surgery may result in pain and exhaustion. 

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extreme fatigue after hysterectomy

It can be hard to predict in what way a hysterectomy will affect your energy levels while you recover from the surgery. However, it often comes as a surprise how draining the feeling of fatigue can be during the postoperative period.

Is it normal to feel so tired after hysterectomy?

In a study from 2002, women were asked a number of questions about how much they suffered from fatigue after hysterectomy surgery. About 74% of women reported feeling mild to severe fatigue, especially during the first 6 weeks after surgery. Surprisingly, they noted that fatigue occurred more often and lasted longer than pain.

How long does fatigue after hysterectomy last?

Fatigue can be expected after having major surgery. In general, feeling fatigued will gradually improve as you recover. Be realistic and realize that this is a steady process that will take several weeks.

However, it is not uncommon for women to have these feelings of extreme tiredness up to 6 months and sometimes even longer. When fatigue persists beyond the post-operative recovery period and negatively affects your daily life or your work, it is important to find a solution and talk to your doctor.

Understanding what may cause fatigue after hysterectomy

You may feel worn out during the postoperative period for the following reasons.

  • The more invasive the surgery, the greater the trauma and the more fatigue you may experience. Your body needs to go into high gear to repair the injured tissues and reserve all your energy for your recovery. So it is no surprise that this makes you feel drained after the hysterectomy.
  • The medicines used for anesthesia can cause fatigue as well. The effects of these medicines usually wear off pretty fast but can take longer for an older person. As anesthesia leaves your system, the fatigue should greatly improve.
  • Blood loss during surgery, but also chronic heavy menstrual bleeding before the surgery may cause anemia. When the number of red blood cells is reduced, you will experience more fatigue.
  • Likewise, the pain medicine you must take before and after the surgery can make you feel sluggish and tired. These medications are prescribed to minimize side effects and ensure you can soon return to your normal daily activities.
  • Again, the presence of an infection can dramatically increase fatigue.
  • Missing out on several proper meals the day before and after surgery may make you feel much weaker and tired.
  • Being inactive for a few days can have a huge effect on your physical strength. Immobility causes changes in the body that will make you easily tired.

How to combat fatigue after hysterectomy?

How can I get back my energy after hysterectomy? Here are 7 important things you can do to address fatigue after hysterectomy.

1# Get enough rest

 You need to understand that you have had major surgery and give your body time to heal. The best way to do this is by taking enough rest. This means you should get at least 9 or 10 hours of sleep at night. But also, during the day, your body will benefit from an afternoon nap.

Read also: Trouble sleeping after hysterectomy – 10 Tips for managing sleep issues.

2# Slowly increase activities

Even if they release you from the hospital within a few days, hysterectomy recovery will take up to 6 to 8 weeks. During this time, you should slowly increase your activities and abide by the weight-lifting restrictions your doctor gave you. Listen to your body and slow down if you feel discomfort or pain. Forcing yourself to do more than your body can cope with will unquestionably result in extreme fatigue after hysterectomy.

3# Eat well

Nourish your body with well-balanced meals. This will help the healing process and restore your energy levels. You need to drink a lot of water as this will help to wash away the remains of anesthesia from your body. Being well-hydrated after surgery is important so your body can deliver nutrients to the surgical site and remove waste from your system.

4# Manage pain medication

Painkillers help to minimize pain after surgery and ensure your body recovers more easily. It is important you take the pain-reducing medications prescribed by your doctor. But as you gradually recover and you have less pain, you should also slowly reduce the painkillers. Some pain relievers are very addictive and can make you feel drowsy all the time.

5# Check for anemia

If you feel very weak and have other symptoms like dizziness, shortness of breath, and a pale appearance, you may have anemia. If you suspect anemia is the reason, then talk to your doctor. After a hysterectomy, he can run some blood tests to check for an iron deficiency. Most likely, your healthcare provider will prescribe supplementation with iron and an iron-rich diet. Usually, these measures will soon resolve the fatigue after hysterectomy.

6# Balance your hormones

Fatigue can also be the result of a hormonal imbalance following the hysterectomy. The sudden hormonal transition can cause a variety of disturbing symptoms, including sleep disturbances, hot flashes, night sweats, and fatigue. When you are struggling with these symptoms, it may help to speak to your doctor about hormone replacement therapy. With the right hormonal treatment, you can better manage the symptoms of surgical menopause, such as fatigue.

7# Get help if you feel depressed

Fatigue is a common characteristic of depression. Many women are feeling down after a hysterectomy, and often, it is difficult to judge if you are dealing with actual depression. However, if you have many of the other symptoms that come with depression, it is time to reach out for professional help. Your doctor may arrange counseling or prescribe antidepressants to help with your depressive and anxiety symptoms. Again, some women see improvement in their depressed mood once they start hormone replacement therapy.

Read also: Essential Advice for Husbands After a Hysterectomy – Practical Tips For Emotional Support

What to take for fatigue after hysterectomy?

Here are some supplements that can be helpful if you are suffering from post-hysterectomy lack of energy and fatigue.

Maca root to alleviate fatigue

Maca root is a cruciferous vegetable that grows on the high plateaus of the Andes mountains. It has been used by native Peruvians since antiquity to treat the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause and for the Inca warriors to obtain energy before the battle.

Navitas Organics Maca Powder, 16 oz. Bag, 90 Servings — Organic, Non-GMO, Low Temp-Dried, Gluten-Free

The findings of this study suggest that Maca root may be a useful non-hormonal plant preparation to treat hormonal imbalances women may experience during menopause. Moreover, Maca powder helps to relieve anxiety and depression, alleviate fatigue, improve mood, and increase libido.

Treat fatigue with Amberen

If, besides fatigue, you are suffering from hot flashes, weight gain, aching joints, and more…you may want to try a more advanced formula.

Amberen is a supplement that addresses a myriad of menopause symptoms that may have a negative impact on your daily life. 

Bioidentical progesterone cream

Restlessness and night sweats can cause insomnia and make you feel drained during the day.

Despite a lack of concrete medical evidence that bioidentical progesterone creams offer effective menopause relief, many women feel much better when using them.

Nellacare’s progesterone cream can be applied to the breasts, lower abdomen, or inner thighs. It contains no GMOs, Parabens, artificial colors, or fragrances, and the added coconut oil and shea butter protect the skin from drying out.

Progesterone Cream (Bioidentical) for Menopause Relief 3000 mg - Made in USA - Bio-Identical Progesterone Cream for Women - Soy-Free & Non-GMO

Daily Iron Supplements and Multivitamins

MegaFood blood builder is a supplement that combats fatigue and makes you more alert and energized. Often, iron supplementation causes gastrointestinal problems like nausea and constipation, but with MegaFood blood builder, this is not the case. You can take it any time of the day, even on an empty stomach. It contains folic acid and B12, which your body needs to build new red blood cells.

This will help you if you have iron deficiency anemia after surgery. Blood Builder also includes beetroot and Vitamin C for better iron absorption.

Ashwagandha to fight fatigue

Youtheory ashwagandha Capsule, Helps Maintain Normal cortisol Level, Helps Reduce Stress, 60 Counts

Ashwagandha is the last supplement I’d like to bring to your attention that can help you feel more vital and less fatigued. A famous adaptogenic herb (actually root extract) that can reduce cortisol levels as well as stress and anxiety symptoms

Ashwagandha may also be beneficial if you suffer from an underactive thyroid, according to this study. You can add the powder to your favorite recipes or simply to some warm water or milk.

The takeaway

When increasing your activities after a hysterectomy or suddenly returning to a strenuous job, fatigue is something you can expect. Such activity causes stress in the body that is trying to recover from surgery. So, as a response, your body sends you a message that urges you to rest. Furthermore, the trauma from surgery, medications, and anesthetics causes fatigue as your body gets into a healing mode.

At this instant, getting help from family or friends with strenuous housework is vital so you have time to rest and recover. Let your body guide you. If you experience increased fatigue or pain, slow down for another few days because this is a sign you may have been overdoing it.

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