Bad Fatigue

Help Support ValveReplacement.org:

rich01

Active member
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
41
Location
Virginia US
I have severe aortic stenosis and waiting on acceptance into TAVR trial. I have been feeling fine, asymptomatic, until about 3 weeks ago. Suddenly I have overwhelming fatigue that sends me back to bed a few hours after getting up. I sleep for 2 or 3 hours before getting up again. Then I have trouble sleeping at night, making the fatigue worse.

In the last 3 weeks, I have had a couple of good days when I think maybe the fatigue was caused by something else, but then it returns. I had an echo the first of June that was almost the same as the one in January.

Is this a common symptom of severe aortic stenosis?
 

tom in MO

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
999
Location
MO USA
From the Mayo Clinic:

Some people with aortic valve disease may not experience symptoms for many years. Signs and symptoms of aortic valve disease may include:

  • Abnormal heart sound (heart murmur) heard through a stethoscope
  • Shortness of breath, particularly when you have been very active or when you lie down
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Fatigue after being active or having less ability to be active
  • Not eating enough (mainly in children with aortic valve stenosis)
  • Not gaining enough weight (mainly in children with aortic valve stenosis)
  • Swelling of the ankles and feet
Since you have been told you need a valve replacement and are waiting for surgery, I'd talk to your cardiologist today.
 

rich01

Active member
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
41
Location
Virginia US
Thanks for responses, but I guess my post wasn't clear enough.

I know the symptoms of aortic stenosis and I have enough sense to contact my cardiologist. What I was asking for is real life experiences from people who have had or currently have aortic stenosis.

I mow about 2 acres of lawn a week with an electric lawn mower. No fatigue during or after, other than what would be expected of a 70 year old from cutting grass for about 2 to 3 hours. It takes me about 10 hours a week to cut the entire 2 acres.

I do a lot of other outside work without unusual fatigue, but 3 weeks ago, I was suddenly extremely tired to the point of having to take long naps every day (2-3 hours). I rarely have taken naps in the past. At first, I thought it might have been related to astaxanthin which I had just started taking. I stopped taking it, but still had the fatigue and need for extra sleep.

I believe the fatigue in aortic stenosis is because of lowered oxygen levels in the bloodstream resulting from blocked blood flow out of the heart. I have checked my blood oxygenation several times and usual readings are 95%-98% (95% and over is good). Heart rate is normal as is blood pressure.

Yesterday I felt fine and spent about 1 1/2 hours cutting grass, another 1 hour weeding the garden and yard clean-up, and about an hour working on a new drainage ditch. No fatigue.

So has anyone with aortic stenosis experienced not just fatigue, but a sudden need to take long naps accompanied by fatigue and complete lack of motivation? Was it temporary? How long did it last? Did you feel tired for a few days, then OK, then fatigued again?
 

carolinemc

Well-known member
Joined
May 31, 2010
Messages
632
Location
kansas city, mo
From the Mayo Clinic:

Some people with aortic valve disease may not experience symptoms for many years. Signs and symptoms of aortic valve disease may include:

  • Abnormal heart sound (heart murmur) heard through a stethoscope
  • Shortness of breath, particularly when you have been very active or when you lie down
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Fatigue after being active or having less ability to be active
  • Not eating enough (mainly in children with aortic valve stenosis)
  • Not gaining enough weight (mainly in children with aortic valve stenosis)
  • Swelling of the ankles and feet
Since you have been told you need a valve replacement and are waiting for surgery, I'd talk to your cardiologist today.
[/QUOTE
This can be normal for patients during the waiting for surgery. I had developed Enlarged heart while waiting for OPH and it did a number on my energy and sleeping patterns. Sleep for three hours, be awake for three hours, sleep for three hours and then work an eight hour day. I do not know how I made it to work during that time. Cleaning house, I had a small apartment at that time, took all day to clean, energy was very low. And I was eating good, for a life long patient of Aortic valve stenosis since birth, even was overweight(obese) at the time. Shortness of breathe was bad too. Was glad when I had surgery and it got better over time. It was a rough two years of my life waiting and having OPH and recovery. Just my personal experience, Mayo Clinic had most of mine right, a few differences, not everyone has the same. Hugs for today.
 

rich01

Active member
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
41
Location
Virginia US
having read your extra detail, I think the same as I did when I answered last time. I've had aortic stenosis twice now, and three ohs's.

Is my answer clear enough now?
Actually no. Did the fatigue just suddenly start one day after no problems before that? Was it just fatigue, or were you also so sleepy you had to take a nap?

What I am not understanding is why aortic stenosis would increase need for sleep. The only thing I can think of is possibly you absorb oxygen better when sleeping.

As I posted, I did lot of work yesterday with no fatigue. Woke up this morning feeling OK and just finished 1+ hours cutting grass. I just came in to drink some water and then back at it. No fatigue, no sleepiness.
 

rich01

Active member
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
41
Location
Virginia US
I have seen no mention anywhere of aortic stenosis having napping or sleeping as a symptom. The only time I get fatigued from physical activity is something like swinging an ax, but I think that has more to do with my physical condition than as.
 

vitdoc

Active member
Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Messages
37
Location
Southern Ca.
What you are asking is could there be something else causing your fatigue. The answer is yes. There is a long list of things . So see your primary doctor and have them check you out. I could list a bunch of things but it would be better to be checked out properly.
 

rich01

Active member
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
41
Location
Virginia US
What you are asking is could there be something else causing your fatigue. The answer is yes. There is a long list of things . So see your primary doctor and have them check you out. I could list a bunch of things but it would be better to be checked out properly.
No, what I am asking is terribly simple. Of the tens if not hundreds of people on this board who either have or have had severe aortic stenosis, did they ever experience sudden fatigue and sleepiness that lasted for multiple days. I realize my op was not clear, and have tried to clarify.

I know enough to talk to my cardiologist (appt in Aug) and primary care doctor (appt in 2 weeks), plus I had an echo about a month ago. I am looking for 1st hand experiences from real people who have or have had aortic stenosis. An answer of No is as helpful as Yes.
 

Agian

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2013
Messages
2,118
Location
Adelaide, South Australia
When I was in the waiting room, I looked up aortic stenosis and read a lot about it. I cannot recall reading that excessive sleepiness was a symptom, in isolation. I didn't experience it. Tiredness, yes.

Do you sleep well? Sleep apnoea can make you sleepy.

I'm a real person.
 

rich01

Active member
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
41
Location
Virginia US
When I was in the waiting room, I looked up aortic stenosis and read a lot about it. I cannot recall reading that excessive sleepiness was a symptom, in isolation. I didn't experience it. Tiredness, yes.

Do you sleep well? Sleep apnoea can make you sleepy.

I'm a real person.
Thanks for response. I have searched and haven't found anything on sleepiness either.

I was sleeping OK until this episode started. Once I started needing and taking naps, my nighttime sleep wasn't very good.

It was very strange because I was doing fine and then when I woke up one morning, I was super tired and took a nap after only being up for a couple of hours. I almost never nap, so this was unusual for me. This pattern happened the majority of days over the next 3 weeks. This is my 2nd day feeling good again, so it's wait and see.
 

Duffey

Me and Granbon
Joined
Sep 29, 2004
Messages
5,053
Location
Far side of the moon
No, what I am asking is terribly simple. Of the tens if not hundreds of people on this board who either have or have had severe aortic stenosis, did they ever experience sudden fatigue and sleepiness that lasted for multiple days. I realize my op was not clear, and have tried to clarify.

I know enough to talk to my cardiologist (appt in Aug) and primary care doctor (appt in 2 weeks), plus I had an echo about a month ago. I am looking for 1st hand experiences from real people who have or have had aortic stenosis. An answer of No is as helpful as Yes.
Yes, I did experience sudden onset of sleepiness but it wasn’t when the stenosis was at its most severe. I have never been a nap person but I suddenly found myself feeling the need for a nap, going to bed and waking 2-3 hours later. It became a daily ritual. That was probably 10 months or so before AVR and lasted until I had replacement.
 

pellicle

Professional Dingbat
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
6,156
Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
Actually no. Did the fatigue just suddenly start one day after no problems before that? Was it just fatigue, or were you also so sleepy you had to take a nap?
well at the risk of being obvious - "we are all different" and so how YOUR specific symptoms present is more than probably different to how it will for others. These small "indicators" which you are obsessing over are absolutely not the ones you need to be paying strict attention to, the ones you need to pay attention to are the actual scientific measurements of blood flows that any medical imaging will perform.

The symptom you presented could easily be a cold .. this is why I said in my very first post "go and see your cardiologist soon"

Note "soon", I did not write "immediately" or "urgently" but soon. The rest of this discussion is verging on "sooth saying" and "entrail examination" as a proxy for the real deal.

What I am not understanding is why aortic stenosis would increase need for sleep. The only thing I can think of is possibly you absorb oxygen better when sleeping.
firstly the "feelings" of the needs for sleep are often triggered by things such as fatigue (as mentioned). Sleep is a complex thing and as much psychological as physiological. So again I say rather than look for a pink toe nail, make a reservation to see your cardiologist and begin the actual medical imaging needed to see if its time for surgery now.

As I posted, I did lot of work yesterday with no fatigue. Woke up this morning feeling OK and just finished 1+ hours cutting grass. I just came in to drink some water and then back at it. No fatigue, no sleepiness.
so the onset of symptoms comes and goes, that's not uncommon as you may be running right to the edge of onset of symptom but on an "off day" (yes, even elite atheletes have off days where they don't perform as well) you may trigger it.

The thing is that if you are on the edge and symptoms are presenting (as evidenced by your posts) then you are going to be causing your body to adapt to this and that will manifest as "reduced energy levels". This is not desirable because this will mean it takes effort and training post surgery to recover your levels ... I know this because I've had to do it three times now.

So like I said in the short answer in my first post: go see your cardiologist and begin the actual proper measurements and assessments needed (rather than stamping your foot here and arguing about is some unquantifiable measurement such as "a lot of work" an indicator or not).

Best Wishes
 

Superbob

Steely Resolve!
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Messages
8,176
Location
Coastal Carolina
I had no fatigue or sleepiness that could be attributed to aortic stenosis. However, as I have aged, I have had some fluctuations in hemoglobin levels. Have you had CBCs as part of laboratory blood draws to see if you might be dipping into anemia territory, for whatever reason? Could be your iron or B-12 levels or a whole host of factors.
 

rich01

Active member
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
41
Location
Virginia US
I had no fatigue or sleepiness that could be attributed to aortic stenosis. However, as I have aged, I have had some fluctuations in hemoglobin levels. Have you had CBCs as part of laboratory blood draws to see if you might be dipping into anemia territory, for whatever reason? Could be your iron or B-12 levels or a whole host of factors.
I'll talk to my doc about that. I was already planning on asking for some blood tests, so I will see what else she recommends based on the fatigue and sleepiness. She's been real good at trying to keep me as healthy as possible leading up to valve replacement.
 

scott.eitman

VR.org Donator
Joined
Jun 7, 2010
Messages
449
Location
Beachwood (Cleveland), OH
In 2010, prior to my 2nd OHS/AVR, after a 68 mile bike ride, I began having lower stamina. I hoped the surgery would relieve this...it did not. For years I thought it was due to OHS. Two years ago, I went Whole Food Plant Based and my fatigue went away. My stamina improved.

Glad to answer questions...I just say read the Engine 2 diet book. It is a quick read with lots of easy to read data.
 

rich01

Active member
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
41
Location
Virginia US
In 2010, prior to my 2nd OHS/AVR, after a 68 mile bike ride, I began having lower stamina. I hoped the surgery would relieve this...it did not. For years I thought it was due to OHS. Two years ago, I went Whole Food Plant Based and my fatigue went away. My stamina improved.

Glad to answer questions...I just say read the Engine 2 diet book. It is a quick read with lots of easy to read data.
Thanks. I have suffered from fatigue my entire adult life, but what I have been experiencing recently is worse and accompanied by sleepiness which I didn't have in the past.

I found a major cause of the fatigue a couple of years ago - I don't digest or metabolize saturated fat well. I learned this by running my 23andme data through a program that looks for this type of problem. I was having stroke level blood pressure spikes and the doctors couldn't figure out what was causing them and just kept prescribing more and more drugs. I finally did my own research and finally got it under control. The spikes were being caused by a high saturated fat diet and a leaky gut.

Changed to a low saturated fat diet and with my doctor's help, fixed the leaky gut. Blood pressure is now normal with just 1 med and cholesterol is excellent. Plus I am now down about 95 lbs and hopefully will get BMI below 30 in the next couple of weeks.

So my diet was not giving me the nutrition I needed plus the saturated fat was being treated as invaders that had to be attacked. This resulted in constant state of inflammation and poor nutrition over 50 years. As you might guess, this also resulted in high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity. A WFPB diet with occasional fish or seafood has helped a lot, but it looks like it's too late to prevent aortic valve replacement and a stent.
 
Last edited:

carolinemc

Well-known member
Joined
May 31, 2010
Messages
632
Location
kansas city, mo
Thanks. I have suffered from fatigue my entire adult life, but what I have been experiencing recently is worse and accompanied by sleepiness which I didn't have in the past.

I found a major cause of the fatigue a couple of years ago - I don't digest or metabolize saturated fat well. I learned this by running my 23andme data through a program that looks for this type of problem. I was having stroke level blood pressure spikes and the doctors couldn't figure out what was causing them and just kept prescribing more and more drugs. I finally did my own research and finally got it under control. The spikes were being caused by a high saturated fat diet and a leaky gut.

Changed to a low saturated fat diet and with my doctor's help, fixed the leaky gut. Blood pressure is now normal with just 1 med and cholesterol is excellent. Plus I am now down about 95 lbs and hopefully will get BMI below 30 in the next couple of weeks.

So my diet was not giving me the nutrition I needed plus the saturated fat was being treated as invaders that had to be attacked. This resulted in constant state of inflammation and poor nutrition over 50 years. As you might guess, this also resulted in high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity. A WFPB diet with occasional fish or seafood has helped a lot, but it looks like it's too late to prevent aortic valve replacement and a stent.
And you are in your 70's, which is also a factor. You are super young 20 something these days and you will tire more easily as you age. Diet changes can help, but you are getting older and you have to admit that. it is a hard thing to do, but nothing wrong with it. You are still quite active despite it, give you credit for that. But listen to you body, it is saying you can still do a lot, but at a slower pace, and it will still get done.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Eva
2

Latest posts

Top