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Brainstorming possible ideas.... please help!

I get sick from time to time, but I'm not actually 'ill' persay. I keep up with my workouts (if I can get out of bed), and I'm not sick or congested... I'm just exhausted. Completely so. My brain feels like it takes longer to process things, my head just feels 'cloudy', and I'm so tired that getting out of bed is nearly impossible. I get 6-8 hours of sleep a night, more if I can... and I try to keep a balanced diet (it's not a 'sugar crash'). This happens every once in a while, the last one was in a few months ago... and now currently again. They've checked my thyroid, they've checked my blood count, nothing shows any change or level problem.

Anybody had a similar problem? Or ideas for changes I could make to see if it helped? And by sleeping too much, I mean I took a 4 hour nap today (after 7 hours of sleep) and I've slept 18 hours in one day the last time this hit... It tends to linger. They've also checked for a virus and its not Epstein-Barr, or any other virus that they've tested for... Help please?

Wed. Jan 10, 6:27pm

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I take it you're looking for Alternative Medicine ideas...?

I don't think acupuncture will do you much good, but you might want to talk with a Naturopathic Doctor (beware though - many of them just want to sell you their line of overpriced supplements. if you can't get a recommendation from someone, try to find a practitioner who doesn't have his/her own products to sell.) Als, see if Traditional Chinese Medicine has something to offer - they gave a friend of mine some weird dietary changes to make temporarily and his hay fever went away for 3 years. Alas, I can only offer anecdotes and not scientific proof to back up these suggestions, but these two practices take a more whole-body approach to a health problem than our system does, which makes them more effective for "syndrome"-type issues such as you describe. Anyway, that might be a starting point for your googling if nothing else.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007, 7:10 PM

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OP with more info...

thanks! i'm not necessarily looking for alternative medicine, more something my doctor didn't think to check or ideas for things that others have noticed in their own eating (i.e. if a food tends to make them tired- turkey style) that I could monitor in my logs to see if this thing is triggered by a food/situation... any ideas really. Thanks for the alternative medicine ideas... I just really don't know what to do.

The last time I went to the doctor with joint pain and the syptoms above they checked for arthritis, 'felt sure' it was a virus, and found nothing... they said if it stayed that they'd like to put me on antidepressants. I didn't like the way it was flippantly assumed that anti-depressants would 'fix' my symptoms, and I also think that given my focus on weight loss (i'm still at an 'obese' BMI) putting me abruptly on something that more than likely could lead to weight gain might not be the way to go... Also, they've checked for mono, but since this is recurring, any other ideas might be helpful as well...

Thank you!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007, 7:18 PM

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brain cloud

maybe you are not getting a deep sleep, which would cause you to not feel rested and more tired. Have you looked into sleep Apnea?
Also, you mentioned that your joints ached and you had a brain cloud. Those things were happening to me and I went to a rhumatologist to see if I had Fibromyalgia, which they still haven't completely confirmed if I do or not, but they say it's border line and put me on a medication called amitriptaline (sp?) to help and although It helped me to get a deep sleep, it also caused me to gain weight because they neglected o tell me that a side effect might be a strong craving for carbs!!!!! Duh-- no wonder I couldn't pass the checkout counter without having to have at least one candy bar(which i never had a problem with before) any way-- i got on another medication called Temazepam which had no hidden carb cravings and has really helped me to feel rested and the brain fog was lifted!! I actually can wake up feeling more refreshed and ready to get out of bed!!! I don't know if this will help, but I thought I'd put in my two cents. Good luck.

Thursday, January 11, 2007, 1:14 AM

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Hi. I can really relate to what you're going through. Do you stress a lot? or Are you under a lot of stress? What you are describing sounds like it could be adrenal fatigue. You may want to go visit a naturopath or an acupuncturist who also is an herbalist to get something to support (and strengthen) your adrenals. There isn't much that a traditional physician will give you to help with this..other than tell you to rest and avoid over doing it.

Also to the 7:10 pm. poster -- Traditional Chinese Medicine is practiced by most liscensed acupuncturists.

I know you said you want to work with a regular physician but it sounds like they've hit a stone wall.

Thursday, January 11, 2007, 1:28 AM

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Are you drinking enough water?? I notice that it has a real impact on my energy level. It has made an amazing difference for my father, as well. He is older and not well, so a weaker system involved. But, he was having fatigue, dizziness when he stood up, bladder infections, swelling in his legs. All those symptoms have improved DRASTICALLY because he pumped up his straight-up water intake to at least 2 liters a day.

Thursday, January 11, 2007, 8:03 AM

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What is your current diet like? I would love to hear what it is that you are eating on a regular basis...

Thursday, January 11, 2007, 8:37 AM

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2 more possibilities worth looking into:
1) depression
2) burnout

Thursday, January 11, 2007, 9:23 AM

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Thank you for the ideas! I definitely struggle with getting enough water, so that's something I can start and work on on my own... Thank you all for sharing your experiences. I'm a graduate student, so burnout (although likely) is not really fixable at the moment... I have a couple more years to go.

My current diet: Well, for the most part I try to follow WW Core. I do however use my flex points, and occasionally get myself into a situation where I need to go off plan. I am trying to limit myself to whole wheat. I eat lean meats (I do eat chipped ham, but the 97% fat free kind). I've added some soy products from Morningstar Farms as well (because of the late nights and the need to grab something in a hurry). I try to cook ahead so that I have 'real meals' during the week... I have vegetable soup in my refrigerator right now, for dinner tonight. I drink 2-3 glasses of milk everyday and I always have fruit in a bowl in the kitchen (which then finds its way to me, it doesn't do much good in the bowl). I'm trying to make 'real' and permanent changes... so I'm really viewing this as a gradual process. My weaknesses are sweets, but I try to limit myself. My goal level of working out is 4 times/ the summer I was going everyday but it's not practical now. I like to use the elliptical, stationary bike, and walk/run. I will do some weight machines, but being a college gym, they tend to get overrun by bulky males (a phenomenon I was previously unfamiliar with... I never heard of guys using the machines?!)

Anyways, that's me in a nutshell.
Again, thank you! If anyone else thinks of anything, feel free to keep posting...

Thursday, January 11, 2007, 9:37 AM

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Additional thoughts

Three things come to mind.

Have you had a mono test? I would think that would be the first place they look. I've actually had mono twice (that's not supposed to happen) and I could barely get out of bed.

I had a very strange bout with low blood pressure a few years ago. 65 over 35. I had to increase fluids and electrolytes to bring it back up. It sure affected my ability to exercise and be functional.

I will also second the depression thought. Although you have tried an antidepressent they aren't all right for everybody. It might be worth trying a different drug. Having suffered from major depression I can assure you that, if it truly is depression, the correct medication can make a huge difference.

Thursday, January 11, 2007, 9:43 AM

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I dunno -- I get 5-8 hrs of sleep a night during the week, and 10-12 (okay, rarely 18 -- maybe once or twice a year) a night on the weekend. Nothing wrong with that as far as I can tell. Most people I know would take a 4-hr afternoon nap on Sundays if they had the time. Face it, you need more than 6 hours of sleep. When you create a deficit, it will catch up with you! Depending on how long you work out, you may be overtraining occasionally, too. Sometimes your body says "throttle back!"

Thursday, January 11, 2007, 9:46 AM

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