Doctor, doctor: Swine flu in pregnancy and unexplained tiredness | Dr Tom Smith

I'm a 44-year-old man who has bouts of a "fading away with hunger" feeling that leaves me tired and listless. The impact is so great that I have to sit or lie down. That said, when I am at work, I'll eat as much as I can for lunch and carry on working regardless, waiting for the tiredness to go away – this takes around an hour. I have had blood tests, but these did not identify any underlying cause. Any ideas?
Three possibilities come to mind. One is that your blood glucose levels are falling – this would explain your symptoms and the recovery about an hour after eating. The second is that you may have a digestive problem, possibly with your stomach. The third, less likely, explanation is that you may be having a heart rhythm problem that is lowering the blood flow to your brain. Single blood tests taken in the surgery when you are well would not detect them, so please go back to your doctor again and tell them that you are still having these attacks. That should alert him or her to take further action.

I am 34 and have asthma. It got worse in my pregnancy with my two-year-old son, but was fine as soon as I'd given birth. I'm now keen to try for another baby, but worry about the risk to my own and my baby's health if I were to get swine flu, because having asthma in pregnancy would make me at high risk. Should I wait before conceiving?
The predictions suggest that swine flu will be with us well into winter, so if you do decide to wait, you'll have to settle for conception next spring. Is that too long for you? The "pro" for not waiting is that, so far, the illnesses have been mild. The "con" is that there have been (at most) two or three serious complications in pregnant women. The chances of you becoming severely ill, even with asthma, are still small, but not zero. Sadly, I can't be any more helpful than that. Talk to your doctor about your dilemma, because he or she has a better knowledge of your case than I could possibly do in this forum, and as such will be better able to assess how much at risk you may be if you were to conceive.

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