You've followed some or all of the suggestions in Part One, Easy Solutions, but you're still not as energetic as you know you should be. What now? Here are more complex solutions to eradicate tiredness for a happier you.
You Deserve More Energy - Now What?
You're armed with the information you gained through working with your doctor. Plus, you've addressed any obvious tweaks to vitamins, minerals, hormones, sleep, diet including water intake, etc.
Now, it's time to look at other potential solutions which may require more extensive testing, wouldn't normally come from your medical doctor, etc. In other words, you've tried most of the obvious fixes. Now, it's time to look at less obvious possibilities.
Cellular Level Breakdowns
Most common tests for vitamins, minerals, hormones, etc. check for the levels of these things in your blood. So basically, what's being determined is the amount of the particular element circulating in your bloodstream at the time your blood is taken.
Those tests work well most times in helping to understand if you have deficiencies. However, they don't tell you if that particular element is actually taken up and used by your body at the cellular level. You won't get an end benefit, such as improving your energy level, if there's a breakdown at the cellular level.
These types of breakdowns are scientifically complex. Unfortunately, if you have any of these happening to you, then your energy levels could well be affected.
B12 and Folate
There are potentially numerous issues that could impact your body's ability to utilize B12 and folate. The key is to get both of these vitamins into your body in a form that can be utilized at the cellular level.
Most of these issues can be addressed by the following:
- Take B12 as methylcobalamin and methylfolate. These forms are bioavailable and more easily utilized by your body.
- Supplement B12 as a sublingual (under your tongue) or shot. If you have digestive issues, you may not be absorbing B12 intestinally.
- Take both methylcobalamin and methylfolate. If you're deficient in B12 and deficient in folate and you only take B12, then you will not benefit from the B12.
Take high doses of both to determine if your energy levels improve. Both of these vitamins are water soluble. The only negative to trying high dosages will be wasting your money and having bright yellow urine. However, if you are even subclinically deficient in either and you take them, your energy levels should improve. For more in depth information on B12 and Folate, read the article, Understanding Your Lab Tests: Vitamin B12 and RBC-Folate Levels.
I have a symptom of B12 deficiency not on the usual list of symptoms: tinnitus. When I take B12, and it's absorbed and properly assimilated, my tinnitus goes away. Thus far, my only symptoms of B12 (and folate) deficiency are ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and low energy.
I've tried B12 shots, sublingual B12 powder, and liquid B12. All were very high potency. The shots are supposed to be the most bioavailable. Interestingly, the shots only make the tinnitus go away for about a day and a half.
I'm still searching for a B12 / methylfolate combination that builds my B12 levels enough to permanently eradicate my tinnitus. I'm sure when I find it, my energy levels will also improve.
Iodine is a trace element required for thyroid health and other functions in the body. Populations worldwide are at risk for iodine deficiency due to iodine deleted soils, not including iodine rich foods in the diet, etc.
Iodine deficiency is considered a worldwide health risk and the World Health Organization tracks it by country in their Iodine Deficiency Database. The National Institutes of Health has a fact sheet on iodine if you'd like to read more about it.
Any deficiency that affects the thyroid can, and probably will, affect energy levels. Bottom line, if you're deficient in iodine, you're probably going to have low energy as a symptom.
Iodine supplementation seems easy and simple on the surface. You just take a supplement, boost your levels and reap the benefits. However, some of the symptoms of too much iodine and too little are similar.
Your doctor can perform a urine test for iodine levels. Basically, if you're excreting iodine in your urine in an acceptable range, then you're considered to be OK for iodine consumption.
Even though I hadn't had my iodine levels tested, I decided to try iodine supplementation to eradicate tiredness. My multivitamin contained iodine, so I knew I shouldn't be clinically deficient. However, if there was a cellular level breakdown in iodine uptake, I might not be assimilating the iodine in my supplement.
Type of Iodine Makes a Difference
I tried three different types of stand alone iodine supplements and found I couldn't make myself take them after several doses. I had an aversion to them although I had no obvious negative side effects. Those supplements ended up in the trash can.
Detoxadine Works for Me
Then, I stumbled on Detoxadine from Global Healing Center while researching online about low energy (for the hundredth time at least). I read the information about the supplement and the reviews. I was extremely impressed by the overwhelming positive reviews for Detoxadine.
So, I recently ordered Detoxadine. Both Beck and I are taking it at the recommended three drops per day for several months. We then plan to drop down to several times a week as recommended.
I've been extremely impressed by my overall increase in not just energy, but alertness and well being. I can feel the impact within a very short time of taking the drops.
Beck can tell no difference though. He also has no problem with low energy. He plans to continue taking Detoxadine since he eats a lower salt diet with few high iodine food sources.
I suspect my positive results are due to an inability to utilize iodine except in certain forms. According to the Global Healing site, "The nascent iodine in Detoxadine is pure and much easier for your body to absorb and use. In nature, iodine is attached to other elements as a compound, it doesn't exist pure. In these forms, absorption can be as low as 20%, making it biologically inefficient. Detoxadine is different because it provides a bioavailable, non-toxic nascent iodine that rapidly enters your bloodstream and disperses throughout your body."
And It's Guaranteed
Best of all, Global Healing Center has a 180 day guarantee for Detoxadine. All the products sold on their site have a 90-180 day guarantee, including paying for the return shipping cost - even if they've been opened and used! (I'm not compensated in any way by Global Healing Center for this rave review.)
Thyroid: T4 to T3 Conversion and T3 Supplementation
Lab tests for thyroid hormones include T4, which your body breaks down into T3, and available T3. At the cellular level, your body uses T3 only. Even if your thyroid tests are marginally acceptable, you may still benefit from taking T3.
Your doctor will have to write a prescription for T3. You will need to work with your doctor on dosage. I began with a small dosage and worked my way up until I began having increased pulse rate and blood pressure. Then, I reduced my dosage to just below this threshold.
If you decide to try T3 supplementation, here are some suggestions based on my own experience:
- Have sustained release (SR) T3 compounded
- Find a pharmacy that already compounds SR T3 for other customers by calling and asking
- Have dosages prescribed of 7.5 mcg, 15 mcg, and 30 mcg
- Take your blood pressure and pulse for several days throughout the day before you begin taking the T3.
- Begin with 7.5mcg SR T3 every 12 hours. Each day take another 7.5mcg as long as your pulse and blood pressure remain stable. (Like before the T3 supplementation).
- Do not overlap dosages! It's better to take the dosage later than earlier, but on time is best.
- If you find your energy level and overall mood has improved, then remain on the dosage of T3 (even if your pulse and blood pressure haven't gone up).
- Always make sure your pharmacy has given you sustained release T3 and your dosages are correct. I had to change pharmacies multiple times due to errors.
- Monitor yourself for negative side effects of T3 supplementation. Negative side effects are an indication you either do not need supplementation or your dosage of T3 is too high.
This may seem an extreme solution, especially if your thyroid hormones are in acceptable range. I was at the point of trying anything when I discovered T3 supplementation.
Low Body Temperature and Wilson's Temperature Syndrome
I began this SR T3 supplementation / experimentation because I had low body temperature and low energy. I also discovered Wilson's Temperature Syndrome online. If you have low body temperature and low energy, I suggest you go to the site and read about the syndrome.
Five discrete times, I followed the protocol. I took SR T3 in specific amounts to correct thyroid imbalances which can cause low body temperature.
Unfortunately, my body temperature didn't increase and stabilize. As a result, I stopped the Wilson's Temperature Syndrome protocol, which is somewhat difficult to follow.
I Chose to Continue T3 Supplementation
However, I continued taking T3. Why? Within a very short time of beginning the SR T3, I noticed an improvement in overall energy and sense of well being.
I vary my T3 dosage depending on my physical reaction. I've learned to easily tell when my dosage is too high. My heart rate accelerates even at rest when I'm taking too much.
Oddly, I can take the same dosage for weeks or months, then I notice elevated pulse and have to drop the dosage. As far as I can tell, nothing else changed to cause the negative physical reaction. However, as soon as I drop the dosage by 7.5 mcg, the elevated heart rate goes away.
I was finally able to decrease my T3 dosage to once a day which is far easier to maintain. Generally, I take 60 to 75 mcg daily, which is considered a low dosage overall. Taking T3 significantly improves my overall mood and energy levels. Best of all, I have zero negative side effects other than minimal elevated heart rate very infrequently.
Note that I am currently not taking T3 while on the high level iodine supplementation for two months. I have noticed no decrease in energy levels. If anything, my energy levels are significantly higher than before I began the Nascent Iodine supplementation.
D-ribose: Cell Food
D-ribose is a sugar the human body uses to manufacture adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP fuels our cells and therefore our bodies. D-ribose supplementation seems to help when there is a breakdown of energy production at the cellular level.
My doctor recommended d-ribose powder when I complained of low energy. I use it daily because I can tell a difference in my energy levels when I don't take it for several weeks. It's a subtle enhancement to my energy levels, but each bump up in energy helps.
I purchase the Vitacost brand of d-ribose from their site. I've tried many other brands of d-ribose over the years. The Vitacost brand is as efficient in boosting my energy levels as other more expensive brands.
Diet: What and When You Eat (and Drink)
There are many diet-related causes of tiredness, and they can be interrelated and grow worse over time if not corrected. Here are a few considerations:
Poor Diet (As in What You Eat and Drink Every Day)
Not eating enough of the correct foods to provide adequate intake of nutrients will eventually cause low energy. In order to get the correct amount of essential nutrients from diet, a regular variety of fruits and vegetables must be eaten daily.
No bad effects may be noticed from poor diet for many years. But, eventually, negative effects will occur.
Why not include diet in the easy solutions? Food habits can be difficult to change. Eating is often an emotional experience, and non-optimal eating habits often run in families.
If you know you could make better food choices, then it might be time to take a good quality multivitamin. While most medical professionals agree it's better to get nutrients from foods, if you're routinely eating foods low in nutrients, then it's time to admit you may need a supplement.
I currently take Garden of Life Multivitamin for Women - Vitamin Code 50 & Wiser Women's Raw Whole Food Vitamin Supplement with Probiotics, Vegetarian. Garden of Life has multivitamins for all life stages.
While I probably eat better than most, I believe taking at least half the dosage recommended each day makes a difference in my energy levels.
We tend to crave what we're allergic to for foods. If you're craving certain foods on a regular basis, especially foods not high in sugar (since sugar is addictive on it's own), then you probably have food allergies.
Food allergies will cause pervasive tiredness as a symptom. You do not have to break out in hives, etc. as a result of a food allergy.
To determine if you have food allergies, you can have allergy tests for sensitivities or try an elimination diet. In an elimination diet, you only eat foods that are least likely to cause allergic response, then add in potential allergens one at a time.
Unfortunately, if tiredness is your primary symptom, it can be difficult to determine which foods are contributing. You'll need to add foods back in more slowly to make sure you determine what is causing your tiredness.
Blood Sugar Fluctuations
Both low and high blood sugar can cause tiredness. Eating a diet low in simple carbohydrates and sugars can help to stabilize blood sugar. Also eating every three to four hours helps to maintain blood sugar levels. Dr. Axe has a good article, How to Maintain Normal Blood Sugar.
Caffeine Usage and Adrenal Function
One reason I believe I have low energy is my adrenal glands are exhausted from too many years of a high stress lifestyle. I've tremendously reduced my stress, however, it can take up to five years for the adrenal glands to return to normal state after many years of high stress.
I make sure to take a sustained release vitamin C, multivitamin with high levels of B vitamins and also take herbs to support my adrenals like ashwagandha, rodalia and tulsi.
My doctor told me years ago, when I was still in my high stress lifestyle, that I needed to stop using caffeine. I couldn't bear the thought of getting up in the morning, getting on a conference call with co-workers and executives from around the world, and not having a huge mug of tea to get me in the right mental state to be able to perform at the level expected.
I knew the caffeine was causing my body to utilize stored energy and was further stressing out my overstressed adrenals. However, I prioritized my professional performance over my physical health.
Within the past year, I finally slowly weaned myself from caffeine. To do so, I had to find substitutes I liked to replace my caffeine-filled beverages.
Organic naturally decaffeinated tea and coffee are my mainstays. I like Choice Organic Decaf Black Teas which are decaffeinated with carbon dioxide. For coffee, my favorite is Organic Kicking Horse Coffee, Swiss Water Process Decaf Dark.
More to Come
It's highly likely I'll have a Part Three post for this series. I'm constantly trying new products. I admit I make myself a human guinea pig with the goal of having the highest energy levels possible and radiant health.
I'm still experimenting with B12 / methylfolate combinations and iodine, continuing to try herbs, vitamins and minerals to support adrenal and thyroid health. I'm planning to try a different multivitamin. I also may find other potential solutions for low energy I want to try.
I believe once I strengthen my adrenals and thyroid gland enough, I'll be able to reduce, then stop the T3 supplementation without impacting my energy levels.
My goal is to eradicate tiredness. I'll keep trying and experimenting until I do.
What are your experiences with pervasive fatigue and low energy? Please share your own successes in the comments. I'm sure I've only scratched the surface of potential ways to overcome tiredness. Sharing your own experiences will help others to know what I've shared that work for you and other solutions you may have tried that work for you.