How to improve energy level

  • 20 Replies
  • 31301 Views
How to improve energy level
« on: July 24, 2009, 01:04:09 PM »

Hi all,

Glad to have found this site. I have thalassemia minor and I feel tired very easily even a full 8 hours of sleep. I feel very frustrated because of this fatigueness.
Appreciate if you can share your experiences and how you improve your energy level.
Thanks!

*

Offline Bigg

  • **
  • 82
Re: How to improve energy level
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2009, 03:11:57 PM »
First, you have to take care of witamin deficiencies. These are very common among general population let alone thalassemics. For me (thal minor) it was vit. D deficiency (most severe deficiency), vit B12 deficincy, and magnesium deficiency (most severe). I can tell almost with certainty that you are vit. D deficient (this is "statistical" certainty - 98% of people is vit. D deficient). It'd be better if you could do some testing for these 2 vitamins (D and B12) - it would allow to adjust the dosage and see how deficient you are (if at all). If the doctor doesn't agree for such testing, then you should do it on your own - if it is possible (this a lot depends on the country you live in - in some countries these tests are simply too expensive). You should know that doctors frequently do not recognize thal minor as a real disease, so it is possible that you will be denied any testing.
Other vitamins are also helpful - like folic acid, multivitamin with Gin Seng. You can read a lot of posts about them on this site.
Very good for raising energy levels (literally - as it promotes fat oxidation, so you have more energy) and for thalassemia itself (it is a strong antioxidant) is L-carnitine.
These are the first thoughts that come to my mind, and these are the first things you should do. If this fails, you should look further.

B.

*

Offline Zaini

  • *****
  • 3448
  • Gender: Female
  • Life is too short to be perfect.
Re: How to improve energy level
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2009, 05:17:03 PM »
Hi Ernew,

As Bigg said,vitamins and supplements do help a lot,i am a thal minor and i have most of the symptoms usually minors have,although doctors believe that thal minor is asymptomatic,its not entirely true,First i'll tell you what things helped me with my fatigue,first of all a good B-Complex,i sensed a change in my energy levels when i started it,but i still had leg cramps and i got tired very easily,then i got my Vit D tested,and i was severely deficient,i was prescribed three shots of Vit D and daily tabs,after having the first shot i noticed a tremendous change,now my leg cramps are not on daily basis anymore,i am going to have my second shot tomorrow and i am looking forward to it  :rotfl .

A couple of other things are wheat grass and carao,write it in our search bar and you'll find really helpful info about it,do you monitor your hb levels?

Hope this helps.

Zaini.
^*^Xaini^*^

*

Offline nice friend

  • Thalassemia Major
  • *
  • 2836
  • Gender: Male
  • If I Can, Why Not You??... If I Can U TOO !!!...
Re: How to improve energy level
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2009, 09:40:34 PM »
Hi Ernew ,
 :welcome To the family Ernew  ( i know, i m too late to say this :grin )...

Best Regards
Umair
Sometimes , God breaks our spirit to save our soul.
Sometimes , He breaks our heart to make us whole.
Sometimes , He sends us pain so we can be stronger.
Sometimes , He sends us failure so we can be humble.
Sometimes , He sends us illness so we can take better care of our selves.
Sometimes , He takes everything away from us so we can learn the value of everything we have.

===========
Umair

Re: How to improve energy level
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2009, 02:49:20 PM »

Thanks for your inputs.

Just curious why it is almost certain that thal minor ppl are vit. D deficient? I should go and get Vit D tested and get Vit D supplements. I stay in Singapore. Anyone has any idea where I could get it tested?

I have recently went to a supplements store and the sales consultant told me after knowing my condition that I should not get B-50 complex rather I should take B12 only. Not sure how true is that. What are your views on the difference between B50 and B12 and which one should I take?

Any recommendations on good brand of B12 and L-carnitine?

Thanks!


*

Offline Andy Battaglia

  • *****
  • 8793
  • Gender: Male
  • Will thal rule you or will you rule thal?
Re: How to improve energy level
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2009, 03:40:13 PM »
It isn't just thals who are vitamin D deficient. The majority of people being tested are being found deficient. In addition, the lower range is being revised upwards because it is being learned that vitamin D is far more important than previously realized. Vitamin D, which is actually a hormone, is responsible for fixing over 40 different nutrients in the body and without an adequate supply, insufficient quantities of these other nutrients will be available to the body. A study done a few years ago in the United Arab Emirates, where sunshine is not scarce, found that almost all of the women tested were deficient in vitamin D. In addition, it was found that it was not a simple task to reverse this quickly. Even with monthly doses of 60,000 IU, only 30% of the women raised their levels to normal within the 3 month study period. You can read about this study in our thread at http://www.thalassemiapatientsandfriends.com/index.php?topic=1184.msg9248#msg9248
Singapore has a similar climate and people tend to avoid the hot sun, so once again, exposure is often minimal.

Very few people get the amount of daily sunshine that the human body needs.We no longer walk around with little to no clothing, spending most of our time outdoors hunting and gathering like our ancient ancestors and our bodies do not get anywhere close to the same exposure to the sun as they historically did. In hot climates, people stay indoors and get little sun. In cold climates, there is not enough sun year round to enable us to get adequate sun. Without sunshine, our bodies have a very hard time producing enough vitamin D. This is such a no-brainer that we have to wonder why the medical profession has taken so long to catch onto this fact, but they now have, and are recognizing the value of vitamin D in so many areas of human health, from building bones to preventing many cancers. In addition, people are being advised to avoid a lot of direct sun because of the possibility of skin cancers, which seem to be rising with changes to our atmosphere that have been brought on by humans since the dawn of the industrial age. Our bodies are designed to get regular sunshine to provide us with this most important nutrient but changes in how humans live have greatly reduced how much sun we do get.  Unless a person works outdoors or is a sun worshiper, it is almost impossible to get enough sunshine. I live in upstate New York, where we only have a few warm months each year, so during the colder months, our vitamin D production from exposure to the sun drops greatly. This summer, getting much exposure has been difficult due to almost constant rain. I recently had a physical and told my doctor I was supplementing with D. He had my level tested and even though I have been taking 2000 IU daily, I was very deficient and the doctor raised my dose to 3000 IU daily. As I said, deficiency is very common, and the amount needed is actually much higher than previously thought. A look around the vitamin section of any grocery store will show that vitamin D supplements which previously contained no more than 400 IU, now contain up to 2000 IU. Almost every day we hear about some new finding regarding the importance of D to our bodies. Whereas the previous optimal range in the body was considered to be 20-60, that is now being revised upward and it has been found that the low end range needs to be at least 30 for the body to produce the normal level of parathyroid hormone, the important hormone that controls calcium levels in the body.
http://www.clinlabnavigator.com/Tests/VitaminD.html

Quote
A 25-OHD concentration of 20 ng/mL is adequate to prevent rickets and osteomalacia. However, a recent editorial in JAMA (292:1416-18, Sep 22/29, 2004) stated that some individuals with a 25-OHD level of 20 ng/mL already exhibit compensatory increases in PTH and suggested that a 25-OHD level of 30 ng/mL is necessary to maintain normal levels of PTH.

Your question is important and thus the lengthy response. This is not a problem exclusive to thals, but with thal, vitamin D deficiency can exacerbate many other problems.

As far as B vitamins, they are water soluble and wash through the body rapidly, needing frequent replenishing. There is no harm in the dose you will find in B 50 or B 100, and you can easily decide for yourself if they make any impact on your energy levels. If you don't have a diet that includes much unprocessed whole grains, you may not be getting adequate B vitamins. I am not familiar with the brands available in Singapore, so I can't really advise you there, other than to say, look for brands that promote natural ingredients. As far as B 12, use a sublingual variety that is dissolved under the tongue. Please be aware that because L-carnitine is also used by body builders,  it sometimes gets and unfairly bad reputation. In fact, in Canada it is only available by prescription due to the ignorance of the Health Authority about its nutritional value. Researchers and doctors are becoming more aware of the importance of L-carntine in preventing pulmonary hypertension (PHT) in thalassemia majors, and over and over we hear from thal minors that they exhibit symptoms that are characteristic of mild PHT. These include breathlessness, poor circulation and numbness in the extremities.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2009, 03:54:44 PM by Andy »
Andy

All we are saying is give thals a chance.

*

Offline Bigg

  • **
  • 82
Re: How to improve energy level
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2009, 08:16:32 PM »
Andy, this is exactly the answer that I would give, except one thing: daily doses of vitamin D needed to get rid of deficiency (when the deficiency is confirmed with test) - I'd say that 10 000 units is barely enough as I know a few people with severe deficiency that get more. We had discussion about that recently, if you remember.
Ernew, if you want to do the test, the procedure is as following:
1. First, try to talk your doctor into testing you. Unfortunetely He/she may not agree to do it.
2. Try to find out, where they perform the test. In many cases they do it at your local lab (they only draw the blood and send it to the lab that does the real test). You'll have to pay for the test, but believe me it's worth it (I can only speak for myself of course, and again in statistical sense, as many people will find that they are deficient). Bear in mind that the results of your test may have wrong reference range attached to it. In my case the reference range was 10-15 (it should be above 0, as mentioned before). Don't ask where did they take this ridiculously low range from - you can see that anything can happen, even in the central state laboratory (as the real test is done there in my country).
3. If you can't find / can't afford testing, you can safely take 2 000 - 4 000 units a day (depending on your weight) - this dosage is recommended by many researchers, because that's how much your body uses.
See for example:
http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/vitaminDToxicity.shtml
4. If you can't find vitamin D at your local pharmacy (it may be for example on prescription only, like in my country), your only option is online order. Drop us a line, as we know at least one good and cheap online shop with vitamin D supplements (but let's not advertise them too eagerly right now).
5. if you buy vit. D supplements, you don't need them with calcium, as they may increase the risk of hypercalcemia. Calcium is for people with ostheoporosis and wrong calcium absorbtion in bones, we don't need it. So, buying  vitamin D without calcium is one of the ways to avoid hypercaclemia - the side effect that the doctors are so afraid of that they would rather not prescribe vitamin D at all  (many doctors have this fear despite the recent research).
6. Another way to avoid hypercalcemia is taking magnesium, which can supress PTH hormone production and thus lower the risk of getting hypercalcemia.

Following these directions will get your vitamin D level in normal range in no time !

***
You may want to read this article - explaining some of the aspects of vitamin D action.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=cell-defenses-and-the-sunshine-vitamin
My "vitamin D quest" started after reading this article, so I like it (a life saviour) and recommend it whenever I can.

B.

*

Offline Andy Battaglia

  • *****
  • 8793
  • Gender: Male
  • Will thal rule you or will you rule thal?
Re: How to improve energy level
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2009, 08:51:25 PM »
Bigg,

To be honest, I am reluctant to tell people what I know is the truth and that is the fact that really high doses of vitamin D are needed to correct deficiency. Why am I reluctant? People have been so worried about overdose on something we get from the sun, that I try to ease then into the idea of the need to supplement first. Once they try a small dose they may actually get their doctor interested in testing for D and then find out where they really stand. What the sales consultant said about not needing B complex just reinforces this thinking. We both know that the amounts of B vitamins in a 50 or 100 supplement cannot cause any harm and may help, but here a supposed knowing consultant doesn't even see the importance of B vitamins to someone looking to restore their energy. Saying B 12 alone is simplistic and probably won't help unless there is a deficiency of B 12. We have a lot of preconceived notions to overcome in our attempts to educate and help, so I do try to at least get people headed in the right direction before asking them to try higher doses. Why are we now seeing 2000 IU vitamin D pills? Because 400 IU is nearly useless. Slowly, things are changing. There are actually very few vitamins that one can get overdosed on, with vitamin A being the main one, along with two B vitamins in extremely high doses.

It's a struggle but slowly we see people coming around. I am really hopeful that the experience of Zaini and yourself will convince many people.
Andy

All we are saying is give thals a chance.

*

Offline Bigg

  • **
  • 82
Re: How to improve energy level
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2009, 06:44:33 AM »
That's true - doctors might get shocked when they hear that you'd want to take vitamin D at doses 10 000 units a day, and they might treat you as a crazy person. In cases like these it's better to say: I'd need 2000 units a day.
I guess in many countries (mine for example) the problem of vitamin D is not recognised at all. In my country this is because vitamin D test costs about 20 euro, whereas other basic tests cost on average 5 euro (CBC costs 2-3 euro).
I wonder if the prices of vit D test are so high in other countries? Does somebody has this kind of info?
Let's prepare a price list!

*

Offline Zaini

  • *****
  • 3448
  • Gender: Female
  • Life is too short to be perfect.
Re: How to improve energy level
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2009, 10:14:53 AM »
Hi,

I don't know about other countries,but i paid 2000 PKR for this test,its like 16 to 17 euro and/or 24 US dollars,and its really expensive.

Zaini.
^*^Xaini^*^

Re: How to improve energy level
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2009, 03:18:23 PM »

Thanks Andy and Bigg for going at length in sharing your knowledge and views. Appreciate it lots.

Didnt know Vit D is so important. The fact that our body can produce Vit D with exposure to sunlight probably cause most of the pharmacy here in sunny Singapore not to carry Vit D supplements and yet the fact is that most people work in offices and they hardly get much sunlight at all.

*

Offline Prets

  • ***
  • 211
Re: How to improve energy level
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2009, 11:51:34 AM »
I often have had low energy levels.


Few things that have helped me significantly -


Calcium and Vit D supplements.

Frequent small meals/snacks.

Wheat grass - I take the powdered form, I mix it in warm water and add a spoon of honey to it, and drink it up. Incidentally after this i have been able to start a low duration, very low intensity exercise program at home. I am underweight so I'm trying to use light weights to try and build strength.

I had a sleep disorder, maybe because of recurrent poor health that prevented me from getting sound sleep. As a result i would sleep more than 16 hours a day and still be drained. Then i started melatonin supplements and now i manage comfortably with 7-9 hours of sleep and dont wake up tired.

Also a regular stretching habit - makes me feel active, provided i manage it throughout the day. Even a single stretch every few hours, makes me feel like my circulation improves and my body stays pain free. ( I always feel that any kind of pain, stiffness  or discomfort instantly makes me feel 'tired' )


I also take folic acid and Vit E with Omega 3, But i'm not sure if it helps the energy levels.


Though my body temperature is always on the lower side, I heat up very fast, so the key is to manage all activities with several breaks. After every little thing I do, i sit down for few minutes and relax and maybe deep breathe a few times. This way - the overall quantity of work managed is ten fold! And I also dont feel as tired as I would after an hour of continuous activity.


One Golden Rule i follow, every time i try something new - be it a supplement or a food or an activity - i judge for myself - whether it suits me, or does it make me feel worse.
I think there is no thumb rule that works for everyone. Even blindly following doctors orders, at times backfires on me, as I am prone to several allergies, even medicines and supplements.

(Yes, most of the doctors i have met so far have branded me a hypochondriac or crazy. My thal minor got diagnosed only after 20 years of doubt and numerous iron supplements that kept me sick.)


Taking complete physical rest - seems to improve my overall health and hemoglobin status over a few weeks - though its not always practical. I dont know if its because I have  a very high BMR or whether it works for everyone.


As a rule i also avoid the sun and heat - it drains me instantly in every possible way.

I also avoid being on my feet - as often as it can be avoided. It instantly drains me. Its even better if i can keep my feet up too, instead of sitting on a chair with my feet on the floor. I think all my blood pools into my legs instantly when i stand, and i start feeling lightheaded and then i am finally forced to sit down or lie down.

Trying to prevent falling sick is also a good idea- i think a lot of thal minors often have frequent low grade infections. Sometimes even a simple throat infection can make me bed ridden for days on end when i am not even ware that anything's wrong with me.


Low BP is a regular issue - I have yet to find anything that can keep my energy levels high if my BP  is just 85/55 (which is actually normal for me).


Taking frequent showers when i feel I am super heating and drained, seems to help me instantly. But i'm not sure if everyone should try this. :-)  It works well for me, so i mention it here.  :-)


Eating sugar helps in emergencies, but its not a good idea on a regular basis, you start feeling MUCH worse when it drops back down. My sugar levels are on the lower normal end, and i need it sometimes when i'm out alone and feel i'm blacking out.


Symptomatic Beta Thal Minor.

*

Offline Moik

  • **
  • 54
  • Gender: Male
Re: How to improve energy level
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2009, 06:41:13 PM »
I have been jogging for a week straight so far just around my block...and some days def seem easier then others.. some days I question its benefits vs harm (because of how i feel after)

But I know it should get easier and not harder

But exercise is especially important for people with thal

Dont force yourself but exercise a bit each day within your comfort range..and it will help you sleep better and improves circulation..so besides suppliments and all.. try to get some cardio in each day! Walking / Treadmill run in place...jumping jacks...make your body work for YOU

*

Offline Zaini

  • *****
  • 3448
  • Gender: Female
  • Life is too short to be perfect.
Re: How to improve energy level
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2009, 05:34:02 AM »
You are totally right,since we minors mostly thrive on low hemoglobin, exercise is very helpful in increasing the circulation thus increasing oxygen supply to the body,when ever i jog or walk in the morning,that day is definitely better then others for me.

Zaini.
^*^Xaini^*^

*

Offline abakar

  • *
  • 3
  • Gender: Male
Re: How to improve energy level
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2009, 08:42:23 AM »
Hi, I don't know about other countries,but i paid 2000 PKR for this test,its like 16 to 17 euro and/or 24 US dollars,and its really expensive. Zaini.

In the country I live in (Russia) the test for vitamin D costs from 70 to 80 US dollars!

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk