Low energy levels

4 watchers
Jul 2015
8:30pm, 8 Jul 2015
760 posts
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Firstly, apologies for a long,whiny self indulgent thread opener...

I feel to be lacking in energy, in general. I can't decide if I'm not training enough, or too much; not eating enough, or too much; if I am deficient in something or if I just need a kick up the bum!!

When I first started running, although I may be sore, I felt energised. The endorphins were great!
Of course, you get used to a certain level of exercise and don't get that same pump any more.
I run for a club, I am slow but am currently marathon fit and have completed 3 Ultra's to date.

Eating wise- I think I mostly eat well. I like my fruit and veg but sometimes struggle to eat enough protein. I do take an iron supplement as I figure it can't hurt!
I have remianed within 6lbs of the same weight pretty much all of my adult life, so I presume I'm eating the right amount.
I aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water/liquid a day, often drinking more.

I have been to the doctor several times in the past complaining of fatigue and being run down, getting one cold after another that sort of thing and always my bloods have come back normal. However, I am not sure exactly what I have been tested for as I never get a follow up appointment 'cos they're normal!! Indeed, the last time I went (a year ago) and said I was exhausted I was met with rolled eyes.
I have also been tested for diabetes which came back negative.

I do have a busy job, but it is the least manual job I have ever done. No heavy lifting etc. I am very good at doing 'nothing' at home and always include rest days in my training.
The only big thing is that I don't sleep very well, and suffer from periods of insomnia. The most recent being about a month ago when I didn't sleep for more than a couple of hours a night for two weeks. I felt pretty shitty then...

I feel like Harry Enfield 'Kevin' character, dragging my knuckles along as everything is too much effort. Choosing which sausages to buy at the shop today was making my brain hurt...

So, if you're still awake, any ideas??
Jul 2015
9:39pm, 8 Jul 2015
1,051 posts
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Fist of Monkey
What time of day do you train? Evening training, especially hard sessions, always messes with my sleeping.

I've never slept well, it really does cause me problems. My doctor recommended various tactics to improve what she called 'sleep hygiene' it made a big difference at the time but now I'm back to old habits. nhs.uk
Jul 2015
9:48pm, 8 Jul 2015
538 posts
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I went experiencing fatigue especially when exercising. I also don't eat red meat and have heavy periods. I asked if my haemoglobin could be tested. The GP recommended my serum Ferritin( iron stores) were tested. Apparantly when I went to discuss the results, serum ferritin isn't tested for routinely. My level came back low and I have been started on ferrous sulphate tablets. These are 200mg. The GP said this dose equated to around 64mg of iron( I think I recall this is the number he said). I was taking a standard multivitamin with iron- but the amount of iron in a vitamin supplement is lower than ferrous sulphate. you have to ask for ferrous sulphate over the counter( cheaper than on prescription). I had a terrible 10k race on Sunday. I just had no energy and had to walk from 8K. This is my 3rd night of taking the ferrous sulphate. GP said it can take several weeks before my serum ferritin is back to normal levels. I am hoping in a couple of months I will be feeling fit and healthy again.
Another thing that can cause tiredness is low thyroxine. I have also heard that low Vit D can make you feel under the weather. A friend thought she had ME, it turned out she was v deficient in vit D. She started a supplement and feels like a new person.
Hope you find out the cause of your low energy.
Jul 2015
5:03am, 12 Jul 2015
2,571 posts
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I've started vit d as a recommendation, suffer bouts of poor sleep..posting this at 5am 😱..we don't absorb iron well apparently so take vit c at same time ie fresh orange...depression is also a key factor, wish my legs worked as good as my head sometimes lol
Jul 2015
6:59am, 12 Jul 2015
234 posts
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Fragile Do Not Bend
You have a busy job - you didn't mention anything about workplace stress but if your job is stressing you that can be incredibly exhausting even if it's not a manual job.
Jul 2015
9:14pm, 12 Jul 2015
762 posts
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Gosh, I can relate to a few of these things!
Next time I go to the Dr I will ask more questions about what I have been tested for in the past and ask about the serum ferritin and T4.
Depression is indeed a factor and I do suffer with a low grade depression at times, although I am good at the moment.
Job stress- well, there are times when it goes beyond stress! My boss can be a tw*t at times. On the other hand my colleagues are so very boring. If I didn't have my running club buddies, I think I would go mad.

This specific week, I have been having a week off exercise following a bad bonk part way round the Yorkshire 3 Peaks. I have been going to bed about 11pm, and sleeping through til about 5am then dozing til getting up time. I still feel drained. The fitness is there, stormed the 199 steps at Whitby Abbey today with ease and resting heart rate is in the mid 50's.

Not been taking the iron tablets consistently enough yet to notice any difference, but I can add a glass of OJ to my routine, just to make sure. I don't like the idea of taking any higher dose without consulting my Dr.
As for Vit D good excuse to sit out in the garden!!

Just annoying that even when I do sleep, I don't feel any more awake.
Also, I know I feel better after exercise, but struggle to gather the 'oomph' to get going in the first place.
Jul 2015
7:26pm, 22 Jul 2015
765 posts
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Ok, been to the doctor this evening. She is also a runner so knows where I am coming from. I asked her what I've had tested on my bloods before and she said- iron, thyroid function, diabetes markers, kidney and liver function. I'm booked in to have them all done again. In the meantime she has changed my contraceptive pill and said we need to work on my sleep. She did mention prescription sleeping pills, although I pulled a face at that. I'd like to explore other options before taking sleeping pills! she also mentioned trying a light box, to get a big dose of stimulation in the morning which should leave me more sleepy at night helping to reset my body clock. She also mentioned avoiding exercise in the evening, dam it.

She was fine with me taking standard supplements for iron and VitB.

I asked about Vit D and she said in an otherwise healthy person, it was unlikely to have Vit D deficiency, especially as the tiredness isn't worse in winter.
So blood test isn't until a week on Friday so I'll just have to wait and see...

The only time (recently) I've felt ok sleeping wise was over the Christmas break where I managed to jiggle holidays etc and I ended up with a fortnight off where I could sleep and wake as I pleased. During that time I went to bed late every night, slept later than on a normal work day, but slept through and subsequently felt vaguely human. If anyone would like to try and convince my boss that I should start work at 10 or even 11am instead of 8.30 that would be great.
Aug 2015
6:16pm, 1 Aug 2015
93 posts
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I suffered chronic lethargy from 1st May this year. Nothing came up in a blood test and work was busy but not stressful. I started taking 1000mg Vit C each day plus Iron and Magnesium. I also reduced carbs. After 4 weeks it seemed to work and I'm full of beans now.
Aug 2015
6:24pm, 1 Aug 2015
777 posts
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Been to the vampire, I mean nurse to have my blood taken. Results should be ready on Thursday.

I am feeling quite a bit better, but there are so many factors at play- is it the point in my cycle? Are the Tesco's iron tablets finally kicking in? Is it 'cos I've removed about 80% of the wheat from my diet? Is it cos I was so knackered I've had a rest and that's what I needed all along?

Is it cos my OH is away and I am a lot less stressed?!

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About This Thread

Maintained by cackleberry
Firstly, apologies for a long,whiny self indulgent thread opener...

I feel to be lacking in energ...

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