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Kelly J. Cooper

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Energy [Sep. 15th, 2010|04:15 pm]
Kelly J. Cooper
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I picked up a copy of From Fatigued to Fantastic! last week. It's written by an actual doctor (Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum) & while the studies he cites are small, they're relatively solid.

His theory on chronic fatigue (largely addressed with regard to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Fibromyalgia) is that some people, after having a very serious illness, get stuck in the fatigued state that human bodies use to keep us from overexerting ourselves when we're sick. This makes some sense to me. In my case, my fatigue started when I was a child, around the same time I suffered through a long series of bouts with ear infections (also a common precursor to ADHD), frequently with swollen tonsils, that resulted in the removal of my tonsils & adenoids, as well as the insertion of tubes in my eardrums to drain the fluid collected behind (I still have those holes, by the by, and sometimes feel them when I take a deep breath, especially on a cold day).

I have subsequently suffered from a number of viral infections also commonly considered precursors to fatigue problems (including infectious mono & CMV).

Dr. Teitelbaum's treatment encompasses a long diagnostic questionnaire that results in a treatment consisting of a variety of supplements to support the patient's ability to produce energy, protect the immune system, balance the hormonal system, etc.

One of the supplements is Ribose, most commonly used by bodybuilders to minimize fatigue after a work-out. It's the simple sugar produced during ATP, if I'm remembering correctly, and it's easily absorbed.

I started taking it last week and it's been helping a LOT. But I pushed myself too hard yesterday (four hours of errands all over Somerville & Cambridge), on top of pushing myself really hard this weekend (to finish a 300+ page thesis edit), at the wrong time of the month (I tend toward low energy when I get my period) and now I feel like crap.

This is all just to say DAMMIT! I'm tired of feeling tired.

[User Picture]From: lillibet
2010-09-15 04:54 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry that you pushed past your current limits, but it sounds like you've found a way to raise those limits a peg and that's pretty cool.

Hope you're able to go easy on yourself for a day or two until you're able to push forward again.
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2010-09-16 02:37 am (UTC)

I hope so too...
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[User Picture]From: wonderreader
2010-09-15 07:52 pm (UTC)


sorry you ended up so tired, but I hop this Ribose and hatever else you find in the book is hepful- that would be great
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2010-09-16 02:37 am (UTC)

Re: fatigue

Yeah, I have high hopes.
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[User Picture]From: catness
2010-09-16 03:07 am (UTC)
That sounds like a fascinating book. I should read that. Someone I was talking to the other day said, "Wait... do you have CFS?" I don't think I do, but I certainly have a *lot* of matching symptoms. Weird. I've definitely been completely fucked since I got hurt on the ambulance, but... *shrug* who knows, maybe I'm just lazy.
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2010-09-16 03:37 am (UTC)
Yeah, I don't have the chronic pain associated with CFS & FM, but I've definitely got the damned fatigue. In particular, he talks about feeling like you've been hit by a truck when you exercise, which I do.

I'm pretty lazy, but I'm not THIS lazy. I don't think you are either. We both get motivated & get shit done, especially when we're interested in the topic (which may speak more to ADHD than laziness).

Given what he writes about how the chronic fatigue protects the body after a serious illness, I could easily see it being true for a serious injury as well.

I'm not pimping the book - he could be totally full of shit. And some recent studies on "natural" cures have found no evidence that they actually help.

Then again, there's evidence that multivitamins are useless, but I feel even worse when I forget to take mine for more than 2 days.

Upshot, he's got an interesting theory: your hypothalamus gets into a down/fatigued state & requires weeks to months of supplement-type & nutritional therapy to convince it that you're healthy & it should reset.

He's also of the opinion that just because you're in the right range (when it comes to blood test results) doesn't mean they're OK, which is a controversial opinion among health professionals that's VERY popular in the hypo- & hyper-thyroid community. For instance, if the doctor tests your B12 levels, the range is 250-1,200 pg/mL (picograms per milliliter of blood). If you're in this range, you're supposed to be OK and not need supplementation. But the range is an average of lots of different people. Maybe your personal range is 800-1,200 pg/mL, so a reading of 300 pg/ML is like 0 to other people.

Thus, doctors - especially endocrinologists - will say you are fine if your numbers look good, even if you don't feel fine. You may need to convince them (as I did with my endo, using extensive documentation of when I felt good & what dosage of thyroid supplement I was on for it versus when I felt bad & what dosage of thyroid supplement I was on for that) to increase or decrease your dosage by a small amount or to switch brands. You may feel the difference, but your numbers don't really show it.

Then again, I've had doctors say "That can't happen" while staring at the evidence of it happening, so... whatever.
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