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I am so tired!!!
9 Replies
Cher0208 - June 1

I am so tired. My fatigue is at its worse. It's becoming more and more of a habit now for me to come home and lay down in the dark with a big comforter and watching reality t.v. until late at night. I feel like I have concrete blocks on my feet. And I am falling asleep on my train ride with my mouth open and my head on a strangers shoulder. LoL...embarrassing! I am neglecting a lot of my responsibilities, including cooking myself food and taking supplements.

I definitely feel depressed and can't seem to shake it. And I know that anyone would advise me to go to the doctor and I don't want to. I don't want medication or to waste another $20 copay. What is a good supplement to take for fatigue?

I am currently taking a multi vitamin which I ran out of, Coq10, vitamin d3, fish oil, L-carnitine, magnesium before bed, biotin, vitamin c and zinc.

Interesting note to anyone who takes L-glutamine (and I think January mentioned that she was using it). I have been taking it for a few months now. I teaspoon at night AND in the morning. I can tell you the milligrams per tspn when I get home. The L-glutamine is also in my whey protein shakes so it looks like I was seriously overdoing it. I started to feel as if I was losing vision in my right eye, which is kind of hard to gauge being that it is a lazy eye and I can't really see out of it that well anyway. This went on for a few weeks and was starting to drive me crazy. My doctor referred me to an ophthalmologist and he found nothing wrong. Something clicked a few days ago when I was on this forum reading something. I don't remember what it was but I googled "L-glutamine" and "eye". I found only ONE blip written on a random blog about l glutamine being toxic to the eye nerve. This person wanted to know what they could supplement with to heal leaky gut syndrome as the l glutamine was toxic to their optic nerve. Could not find any real article on it or anything. But guess what? I stopped taking it and the next day my eyesight seemed to improve. Or actually, it just stopped bothering me. It's still a lazy eye but I was beginning to feel like it was a dead eye and I was seeing only out of the left eye. Now it isn't bothering me at all!

One last thing, my voice has been hoarse for almost a week now and I seem to have a lot of symptoms of hypo thyrod. I know testing can be tricky. My tests were once a little low and then the next time it was fine but I know there could still be an issue causing all these symptoms, hand and finger numbness, fatigue, depression, hoarse voice etc. Anyone have advice? What could I supplement with or eat to fix this problem if it is a thyroid issue?


kvc33 - June 1

For starters, why are you staying up late? That is the worst thing for FM. If you are exhausted when you come home from work then go to bed and rest, no TV. Do some deep breathing to refresh yourself. It is common for sore throats to come on when you are overtired. You can't supplement your way out of FM in my opinion. There is no substitute for good sleep habits.


Cher0208 - June 1

I am staying up until about 11 or 12. Getting about 6-7 hours a night when I would feel better with 8-9. When I get home I am too tired to do anything so I collapse on the sofa expecting to fall asleep and then I can't. By the time I have enough energy to get up I have a ton of shit to do, hence going to bed later than I'd prefer. It's a common cycle. Sleep is step one and nutrition is step two, depending on who you ask. I do believe supplements and the right eating can make the world of a difference. And that is what I am asking advice on. There has to be something to improve energy, so if anyone can suggest something that has worked for them, I'd greatly appreciate it!


January - June 1

Hi cher - I did some fast googling - on glutamine and optic nerve - got some weird site about Viagra, which didn't make a lot of sense…? And, I wonder why it wouldn't affect both eyes if it's the glutamine? I did find information about glutamine being problematic for those with diabetes (Did you get an A1C test for diabetes?), Alzheimers, liver and kidney disease. In general, most sites think it is pretty safe - it is a naturally occurring amino acid - but I wouldn't condone taking high doses of anything! You make a good point - we should always be careful to read ingredients because sometimes they slip extra supplements in. (That's why I don't like using combinations of supplements.) Especially, if you have medical problems, your doctor should know everything you are putting in your body.

Why did you decide to take the L-glutamine and why twice a day? Certainly, if you stopped it, and your vision got better - you might want to stay away from it until you figure out what is going on. It could be something as weird as the supplement you bought was contaminated or not good quality. Or it could be that this supplement is not good for YOU. (I tried 5-HTP, and while it helps a lot of people, it was not good for ME.)

But if you are feeling bad, I'd say, really, go check in with your doctor - it's better for them to see you while you are symptomatic. And take a list of all your supplements. You should know what you're taking, how much and why.

Unless you have a good medical background, your doctor should always be aware of supplements you are taking, because each person has a unique body chemistry and, possibly, diseases or genetic conditions that contraindicate certain things. Considering your medical problems, you should probably be extra careful about checking with your doctor.

Did you check on the Porphyria Foundation website for the list of drugs that can trigger reactions? It's rather extensive. Maybe supplements can trigger symptoms in some people -??

So sorry you feel miserable, but something is off - and this is really when you SHOULD go see the doctor. As you know… sometimes we have to go back repeatedly to get adequate treatment. If we don't go back, they assume we have recovered. Sounds like you have a decent medical team from your previous posts. I would really encourage you to go in and take a list of your concerns. It's worth a $20 co-pay to keep your vision and the rest of you healthy! Take good care of yourself.

And PS, if you don't like Western medicine, find an alternative practitioner - but find somebody with a good medical background to help you out.


Cher0208 - June 1

Hey January,

My boyfriend, who means well, told me I could take it up to twice a day. Each heaping teaspoon is 4500mg. That's 9,000mg a day. It was my fault for just taking whatever he told me to take and not doing any research whatsoever. I just did a google search and found:

"However, anyone with cirrhosis of the liver, kidney conditions, Reye’s syndrome, or any type of disorder that can result in an accumulation of ammonia in the blood are advised to avoid supplemental glutamine.

In addition, because of the potential for side effects and interactions with medications it is crucial that you always speak to a knowledgeable healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplements, including glutamine. This advice is also recommended for anyone suffering from a health condition."

The brand is Vitamin Shoppe. I don't like using them though. I usually take higher quality supplements, so it's always a possibility that it's low quality and may have contaminants.

Never been tested for diabetes, but I will make an appt. with my GP and ask her about that as well as a full panel thyroid test.

I did check for interactions with porphyria but didn't find anything. I thought it might affect my right eye because it's the weaker eye?? Not sure but like you said, everyone is different. Once I have enough money to do it, I will seek out a new nutritionist, one who actually knows about nutrition unlike the last guy.

Thanks as always, January for your kind words and insight. Definitely have to write down a new symptom list and shlep on over to the doctor.


kvc33 - June 2

Over the years I've tried hundreds of supplements- vitamins, minerals, herbs, probiotics, juices, extracts, enzymes, amino acids, and more. Mostly all to no avail and at great expense. Some things I've tried on my own and others with the help of a naturopath, either way the result was the same. As well, what helps one person makes another worse so there is nothing that I can really 'recommend'. I can say to always start out with a low dose and try things one at time, keeping a record of whether your symptoms are getting better, worse or staying the same. My bf found that vitamin B12 gave him more energy for a while, but like most people he just used that increase in energy to do more physical work and ended up back at square one in a few months. It did clear up the sores on his face, he is a senior however and they are often deficient in B12. You are not able to get to sleep even though you are exhausted because your nervous system is overstimulated from too little sleep and too much activity. I know that's not what you want to hear but it is the truth in my view. If you are willing to go to bed earlier there are some natural things you could try to help you get to sleep faster. Both camomile and decaf green tea are relaxants. You could also try an herbal insomnia formula that contains such things as valerian, camomile, passionflower and hops. GABA is another supplement you could try. It is the substance that increases in our brains when we take a prescription tranquilizer such as clonazepam. 5-HTP, another supplement, increases serotonin and may help a person get to sleep if taken at bedtime. It CAN NOT be taken by those who are on anti-depressants. If you go to the prohealth website you will find many supplements purported to increase energy. None of them worked for me. I have also tried glutamine and it did nothing for me or to me. If you want something cheap and low risk, you could try making a tea with cinnamon and honey. My bf has been doing that for months and has seen an increase in energy since doing so. I use light therapy to help regulate my sleep cycle. Most of us have Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome which means that our bodies make hormones at the wrong time of day and it throws our sleep cycle off. Light therapy helps to correct that. You can not use it if you have macular degeneration. As for diet, going off diary, gluten and sugar has allowed me to get to sleep without drugs or supplements for the first time in eighteen years. A version of The Zone diet is probably best for us as it requires a balance of protein, carbs and fat at every meal. It helps to keep blood sugar levels stable and that helps to maintain energy during the day and improve sleep at night by avoiding the highs and lows. Fish oil is said to be good for the brain and olive and coconut oil contain healthy fats too. As January will tell you, food allergies play a big role for us and can cause all kinds of both physical and mental symptoms. My sister knows someone who ended up in the mental hospital from eating the wrong foods for her! I hope this is helpful to you as it took quite a bit of energy for me to write this much. Cheers!


Sonja44 - June 2

St. John's Wort can be used as an anti-depressant. Melatonin can also assist in deeper, more re-freshing sleep...But you definately need to turn off the tube and start eating better.

There is no quick fix for CFS/FM and you will need to adjust how you care for yourself with the ebbs and flows of the illness.


January - June 2

OMG, Cher!! 4500 mg is a HUGE amount of glutamine!! Stop it! I take 500 mg, and NOT every day. When you see your dr. ask for a routine panel to check your liver and kidney function. You had mentioned in another post you were craving sugar and carbs - so you could have some kind of blood sugar problem…but you could have any number of things going on - and you really need to be followed by a doctor.

Unless you have a solid education in science and medicine, I would not recommend experimenting on yourself without the advice of a medical professional. No extreme diets, no supplements, etc. You can make yourself really sick if you are just taking things without understanding what they do in the body. AND DO NOT BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ ONLINE!! Remember, everybody has a different biochemistry - we are all unique. People post comments, or what works for them - but it's YOUR responsibility to do the research and to understand it, along with how it may affect you - before you put it in your body.

Please take good care of yourself. For now, just eat as healthy as you can, and try to turn that tube off and get some sleep. Don't take big doses of any supplements. You can look online to see what the recommended doses are - but stick to the low end. For example, it's not good to take too much zinc. I wouldn't go over 15 mg. and certainly not every day. Here's what Medline Plus says:

"Zinc is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when applied to the skin, or when taken by mouth in amounts not larger than 40 mg per day. ROUTINE ZINC SUPPLEMENTATION IS NOT RECOMMENDED WITHOUT THE ADVICE OF A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL. In some people, zinc might cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, metallic taste, kidney and stomach damage, and other side effects. Using zinc on broken skin may cause burning, stinging, itching, and tingling.
Taking high amounts of zinc is LIKELY UNSAFE. High doses above the recommended amounts might cause fever, coughing, stomach pain, fatigue, and many other problems."

Zinc is a good example. You get some in the food you eat. If you take a multivitamin/ mineral daily, you probably get some zinc in that. If you are taking a zinc supplement, then that increases the dose even more.

When you see the doctor, make sure you take a list of everything you have been taking and write down the amounts. It's possible something is aggravating a condition you have.

And hey! It's OK to catch a nap when you come home from work! Try to get as much rest as you can. Sleep extra on the weekends. No wonder you are fatigued. If you have bad insomnia,
ask the dr. about sleeping meds. There's melatonin, a natural supplement (again, no big doses!), and Ambien, a prescription. I've read some bad things about Lunesta - but please talk to your dr.

Hope you feel better soon. Take care.


Cher0208 - June 2

Thank you kvc22, sonja44 and of course January! Kvc22, thanks for writing all of that. I had forgotten about the simple and safer solutions like chamomile before bed etc...

Feel kind of silly now for taking a supplement like that in such a high dose and not ever researching it. I'm usually better about things like that. I google everything!

Last night, I didn't watch any t.v. at all, took care of a lot of things including cooking and got to sleep at a reasonable time. And I feel a major difference today.

Thank again to all who commented, I have some clarity now as to what could possibly be going on.

Enjoy your weekend!


kvc33 - June 2

Good for you, Cher! You listened to us. I hope you will be back on track now and stay there.



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