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Post SAH tiredness treatment

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There are countless posts on the forum about tiredness after SAH, going on for years in many cases. The medical advice seems to be that you just have to cope with this and it will reduce in time, but not necessarily to where you were before. There seems to be no medical interest in helping people deal with this, although I know many people have suggested ways of coping such as energy drinks, naps etc. The effectiveness of these varies between people.

However I have been wondering if there is anything else that can be done? I noticed one post where someone mentioned their doctor prescribed ritilan, with some beneficial effects. I also saw a reference to Vinpocetine - which is not licensed as a medicine but is sold as a food supplement. -- quote from the Amazon website " It is shown to enhance cognitive performance and deals with short-term memory loss. It may also have a significant effect on the circulatory parameters including total cerebral blood flow. " There is a interesting Wikipedia article about it here

There is also another interesting article on about.com here.

I have not tried it, and AM CERTAINLY NOT recommending or even suggesting anyone should take it - but I would be interested in other people's views on this topic.

I had my SAH 10 months ago, and went back to my part time job after 3 months. My tiredness improved steadily for the first 6 months but I feel it has leveled out since then, still a long way short of what I was like a year ago. No aneurism.

Edited by shricthism
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I asked our neuro nurse about this at one of the meets. Her response was that although has been used in the US & Canada its not used here as the benefits are not proven. She also advised that long term the benefits are outweighed by the risks in her opinion. I'm no expert though so others may have a different view.

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Why am I so tired? - http://www.bafound.org/common-questions-1

It's well worth going to see your GP about tiredness - I had a series of blood tests carried out, such as thyroid, hormones, iron, calcium post SAH - I was found to be deficient in folic acid, low levels of B12 and calcium. All of these added to the SAH fatigue problem and I had to take prescribed supplements for quite some time.

I'm still having to take the calcium tabs and also have a daily teaspoonful of Feroglobin B12 which is a gentle liquid iron, zinc and B complex made by Vitabiotics which seems to help with the reduction of my fatigue. This isn't prescribed by my Doctor as it can be bought over the counter/supermarket and I don't recommend that anybody else takes it. Blood tests should be considered to rule out other causes, as I know that supplements can often mask problems.

I have a full set of blood tests taken at the GP surgery every 12 months and would say that just because fatigue/tiredness is seen to be a common after effect of the SAH that they don't just put up with it, because a cause may be found that might not entirely cure the problem, but it may help to relieve some of it.

I have looked for the magic answer/cure to the tiredness/fatigue for years and I'm afraid to say that I still haven't found it. Medical science seems to think that it could be caused by damage to the pituitary gland which is a structure at the base of the brain.

Interesting article though, but I know that I wouldn't take Ritalin and would rather manage the tiredness (which has improved over the years but definitely not back to normal pre-SAH level) ... then again, I don't have the work issue to contend with, as never made it back on a regular basis. Shame that there hasn't been more research into this area.

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My answer has been to accept it as part of who I am. I usually have all the energy I need, but occasionally, I get wiped for a few days. On day one, it is easy for me to see that I am 'just tired today'. Then day two comes and it is irritating. Then if it is still there by day three, I am crying about it and feeling like it will never go away. Then day four comes and it is completely gone. Strange as it is, this is typical for me. So, in general, I accept this cycle when it comes (until day three, then I have a warped view).

It does give me time to spend reflecting as I lay in bed. So it isn't all bad. I make better decisions because of that.


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Hi, I am one of the ones that have been given a stimulant drug. The 2 of us that I know of both had NASAH not a SAH. I do not think people with annies could take them.

My personal problem with fatigue is I was first crashing at noon which was ok but when I started to hit the wall 2 hours after I woke up it became a problem with work and life in general. I am not happy with taking them by all means. But my best days are taking them with my pain meds ( I have constant headaches on and off for months at a time). It by sounds wrong to me and I explain it to my doctor that it is like being an addict. Mind you that taking headache meds for more than 3 days in a row also give me rebound headaches. I take a little amount of medication as possible.

I was fatigued just prior to my NASAH and one of the things I have really noticed at the 2 year mark is that the more I recover the more I shut down with exhaustion. I just cannot get past that feeling of 50% here with energy. I have to work for insurance so until I can change that - this is what I must do.

I have tried many supplement etc for fibro/Me/ CFS and only basically eat whole foods in my diet. I constantly think I am "cured" when I have a good day! I fall for it over and over again. I just thought I would add this to your thread.


PS one of the strangest things when I first started my stimulants was a link in my brain connected and I was able to cook again! It was so cool I kept thinking that would continue to happen with more areas but it has not!

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Hi, I am one of the ones that have been given a stimulant drug.

Mary thanks for your contribution, I have had far less pain and suffering than you and at times feel I should be happier with my condition than I am! My headaches all stopped about two months after the haemorhage. Since then ( 8 months) I have only taken a couple of mild painkillers all together. The tiredness was of course intense at first, but was gradually reducing and up till a couple of weeks ago, I was leading a very similar life to that I had before the SAH. ( or what you call a NASAH).

Almost the only thing I was not coping with completely was my work. I have been working short days and avoiding more intense brain work. However in the last few weeks the tiredness has really come back and hit me, and I don't really know why. I am back to sitting around in the daytime, which I haven't had to do for the last few months.

This is why I have been thinking about what more I can do to recover and started this thread. Interesting that you say you have been given a stimulant drug - can you tell us what it is?

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I will pm you that information but it is not a magic cure by all means. I have been on both popular ones in the US. I read Gill's post and link the other day which made perfect sense to me. I am not having a good thinking week and frankly I am going backwards at the moment. Could it be the new computer with windows 8?? LOL.

I really do think I am doing too much with working. I cannot process by the middle or end of the day ( this has all gotten worse instead of better for me lately). I need more help, I get a bit confused at times but I also work in a loud busy serious environment where I need my brain cells.

As always you need to get this checked by your dr. I cannot say that enough. I see a specialist in Fibro end of Nov. and my Neurosurgeon in December for my MRI. I will revisit this issue with both of them.

I am thinking I need to make a therapy appointment and get a new plan. My old plan was to add a life to my work life. I seem to have work skills but not home skills or fun skills- must be using that precious space up with working. That is hard for me to admit. I think I would never get anything done if I did not work as it is the only time I have my routine.

I frankly have a difficult time when I am off knowing what I should be doing as I have to save my energy for work and this now has been going on for 16 months or so. It is so difficult at times that I have to make a list but cannot even process making a list. I always write the same thing "dinner, clean kitchen and one other thing".

The skills to execute the plan or even the list is what I think or feel have been replaced or used up by working. If I could take my work skills and routine and switch them around I would be happy. I will say I put returning to work as a priority and it was and still is but that in mental health ways is way backwards.


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Penny, I think I will need to get a new GP first - he shows an incredibly small amount of interest in any medical condition (eg SAH) that I have been to see him about - I don't think I would even get in the door if I went to see him because I am tired 10 months after a SAH. I can picture him now - "And what did you expect?"

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