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  1. #1

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    Energy suggestions - help!

    Ok FSU, I need help. I am severely lacking in energy! I've never been a morning person, but I seriously DRAG these days. Coffee helps but doesn't even bring me back to par. I'm getting 8+ hours per night, and still very much lacking in my get-up-and-go!

    Anyone have any suggestions on how to improve energy? Particular vitamins, exercises, etc.? My most recent CBC bloodwork a few weeks ago had me in the normal range on all the stuff they test, though my hemoglobin was on the low end of normal.
    "Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode

  2. #2

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    If health issues have been ruled out:

    How much coffee and other caffeinated beverages are you drinking? How much sugar do you consume? One thing might be to cut way down on the caffeine and sugar. They do charge you up, but the crash afterwards leaves you feeling even more draggy. IMO, I do a lot better with limited to no caffeine, where I'm not relying on it for a pick me up.

    Another thought is for you to add some mild exercise in the morning, to wake your body up. A walk, a bike ride, something mildly aerobic, to get you going.

    When you sleep, do you really sleep, or is it a disturbed sleep?
    Use Yah Blinkah!

  3. #3

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    Thank you, these are great questions!

    I'm having 1-2 cups of coffee a day - usually Starbucks or similar dark coffee. First cup in the morning to bring me out of my coma, second cup is to keep me lucid in the late afternoon.

    And yes, I do have a problem with sugar, it makes me really sleepy. I don't even get the boost; I simply crash. I asked a doctor about hypoglycemia once and she totally pooh-poohed me, saying it's a myth, but I don't think so. So I do try to avoid it, or at least wait until the end of the work day to consume sugary foods.

    As for sleep...I've always considered myself to be a pretty heavy sleeper, I will sleep through all kinds of loud noises, but I do often wake up during the night for no apparent reason, often in a panic (bad dream??) and my stuffed animals usually are scattered on the floor, so I guess I am flinging them everywhere in my sleep Not sure how to prevent this though.
    "Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode

  4. #4

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    I would get your thyroid and vitamin D deficiency tested. You could probably start taking vitamin D pills. Look for the 2000 IU ones. You could also check out energy lamps. Try meditation and exercise to improve your sleep.

  5. #5
    gold dust woman
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    I would agree with the exercise in the AM advice--when I've been able to do that, it helps. But getting out of bed to start the exercise is the hardest part!

    Vitamin B is also good for boosting energy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Veronika View Post
    I would agree with the exercise in the AM advice--when I've been able to do that, it helps. But getting out of bed to start the exercise is the hardest part!

    Vitamin B is also good for boosting energy.
    My cure for this is to set up my alarm clock on the other side of my bedroom so that I have no choice but to get out of bed to turn it off

    I second getting your thyroid checked. In fact you should run your concerns by your doctor even if you recently had bloodwork. There may be other factors involved that wouldn't come up on a standard blood screening.

  7. #7

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    Echoing the thyroid function tests. Also, have you ruled out pregnancy?

  8. #8

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    These are some excellent points.

    I forgot about D. My vitamin D levels have notoriously been low. I've gotten those mega-doses (50,000 iU) before, which got me from a 9 to 20. But that was a while back; I probably should get re-tested. Especially since I live in New York where the sun is blocked by all the skyscrapers!

    Which vitamin B is appropriate-- B-6 or B-12 pills? Do they come in something smaller than horse-pill size? Or better yet, can I get one of those vitamin B shots?

    My thyroid has been tested in the past and come back normal, but I maybe should ask about re-testing.

    The alarm clock on the other side of the room thing doesn't work on me anymore; I will get out of bed, turn off the alarm and promptly return to bed. The most effective alarm clock I ever had was my ex-boyfriend who used to squirt me with a water gun to get me out of bed...bless his heart...but alas, we've long since broken up.

    And pregnancy is outside the realm of possibility (don't get me started on my lousy love life )
    "Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode

  9. #9
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    Diet---anemia...I'm always fighting to keep my blood count up. Maybe your count might be low.

  10. #10
    gold dust woman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheylana View Post
    Which vitamin B is appropriate-- B-6 or B-12 pills? Do they come in something smaller than horse-pill size? Or better yet, can I get one of those vitamin B shots?
    This is what I take...the pill is very small, about half the size of my multivitamin. It also has Vitamin C.

    http://www.naturemade.com/Products/B...uper-B-Complex

  11. #11

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    As with many others, my first thought was "thyroid". It took 3 or 4 visits to the doctor to get my severely underactive thyroid diagnosed. They did blood work but didn't include a thyroid function test until I happened to mention that--in addition to being lethargic and sleeping 9 hours a day--I had gained about 10 lb. I'm not sure why doctors so commonly test for low iron level but not low thyroid level.

  12. #12
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    Cutting out the late afternoon coffee might help you sleep better.

    Anemia or thyroid may be an issue. Or just stress. Is your work or personal life unusually stressful lately?

  13. #13

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    Veronika, thank you. I'm going to look for a B-complex in the vitamin store and see what I can get!

    acraven, I've never heard of a thyroid function test. I'm going to ask my primary if I should get one of those. I haven't gained weight though. But I know my sister was treated for an overactive thyroid when she was younger, so I can't say there's no family history on thyroid issues.

    I probably should start taking iron supplements again, although it throws off my regularity (sorry).
    "Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    Cutting out the late afternoon coffee might help you sleep better.
    I see a vicious cycle...drink coffee late in the day to push through my workday...fall asleep without trouble but then wake up in the middle of the night. Could be the late coffee. Yeah, I really should cut that out.

    I like the idea of the energy lamp, too.

    Or just stress. Is your work or personal life unusually stressful lately?
    I'm a lawyer at a large NYC-based law firm. 'Nuf said
    "Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode

  15. #15

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    Get a FULL thyroid panel--not just TSH. Also: there is slow-absorbing iron, at least here in the States (not sure where you are). I had the same problem with iron supplements years ago until they came out with the slow-absorbing type.

  16. #16

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    Cool...gonna look into getting slow-absorbing iron. I have quite the task list now. Thanks FSU!
    "Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode

  17. #17
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    I cut out caffeine completly years ago. I used to be sluggish in the morning and now I am not. However, I watch my husband slog his way through the morning until he has his coffee. Quitting caffeine is highly recommended in my book for issues like this. However, taper. Cold turkey is painful.

    Good luck.

  18. #18
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    I can't recommend vitamin D enough — it basically cured me of my cystic acne. Balancing my thyroid wasn't enough to fix the skin problems. I just had to up my thyroid pills because I started taking a lower dose and felt sluggish and lethargic.

    I just started taking a "B-50" complex pill. I wanted just vitamin B but I need vitamin C for heat tolerance (something I fail at, and a theory I read online said C was good for it). Only a few days in so far, but I'm hopeful!

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by sk8er1964 View Post
    I cut out caffeine completly years ago. I used to be sluggish in the morning and now I am not.
    I really should get to working on that. I'm sure caffeine addiction isn't helping matters for me. The key for me will be not to fall off the caffeine wagon when I have to put in late nights at work!
    Quote Originally Posted by vesperholly View Post
    I can't recommend vitamin D enough — it basically cured me of my cystic acne.
    Wow, thank you for sharing! Your skin looks fantastic!
    I just started taking a "B-50" complex pill. I wanted just vitamin B but I need vitamin C for heat tolerance (something I fail at, and a theory I read online said C was good for it). Only a few days in so far, but I'm hopeful!
    Mind if I ask what brand you are using for your B-50?
    "Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheylana View Post
    Mind if I ask what brand you are using for your B-50?
    It's a regional supermarket chain — Wegmans. They have the cheapest vitamins out there, hands down, and the best variety.

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