Extreme fatigue as sunset approaches

Answered on June 03, 2017
Created June 03, 2017 at 5:20 AM

I'm a 46-yr old male. 6'0", 185 lbs. 34 in waist. Pretty muscular. Over the last several years, I have experienced more and more fatigue that begins as the sun approaches sunset. Up until a few years ago, I never experienced that. In fact, I was previously a night person. I was energized as the sun set and could easily go until 3 or 4 in the morning. Now, I'm a zombie by about 10 pm.

For almost the last two years, I have eaten extremely clean. Little to no processed foods. Zero alcohol. No dairy. No eggs. Lots of vegetables, esp leafy greens. Quite a bit of meat: grass-fed beef, wild-caught salmon or sardines, or pastured chicken. I work out five days week: high intensity interval resistance training and/or a 30-minute run usually doing about 4.5 miles. I also walk most days with an average of 15,000 steps/day. I also typically do intermittent fasting most days of the week using a 16-18 hr fasted window.

Prior to two years ago, I ate what I though was "healthy": low-fat, high carb. I've always worked out. 

About three years ago, I broke two ribs. Because I had to remain mobile for my job, I couldn't be immobile for any extended period of time to allow the ribs to set,. Thus, the ribs weren't healing on their own. So, I had rib plating surgery to fasten the ribs back together which involved placing titanium plates over the broken ribs. It was a pretty extensive surgery and I was effectively sedentary for about a year recovering. I gained a bunch of fat and experienced all of the ancillary consequences you might expect as a result of that.

Two years ago is when I first visited a paleo functional health specialist who got me straigtened out. According to DEXA, in the first six months, I lost 15 lbs of fat and gained six pounds of muscle. Since then, I'm down about another seven pounds total but haven't done another DEXA. On my last DEXA, I was in the top .1% of my age group (44-50) for body comp.

Fasted blood glucose two years ago was typically in the high 90's. Now, it's usually in the mid 80's. 

Another important point is that I travel constantly within the US for work on a weekly basis for my job. I'm constantly back and forth between the US West and East coasts and points in between. I live on the West coast of the US and often have to wake up at 2 or 3 am West coast time when I am on the East coast or in the Central time zone of the US.

I'm also on airplanes in and in airports...a lot...like WAY too much. Ugg. And no, I can't really do anything to change that situation any time soon. Oh, and typically my fasted blood glucose spikes way up to 100 or above after I return home from a work trip. I don't check it while I'm on the road.

Overall, I'm feeling much better with one MAJOR caveat...the extreme fatigue starting as the sun begins to set. It seems like I first noticed this starting to occur four or five years ago. But, over the last couple of years, it has gotten to the point where it is having a pretty big impact on my life. The fatigue manifests itself as mild brain fog, extreme sleepiness, and markedly poorer vision with my eyes feeling "strange"...like they move much slower than duing the day.

And this changes with the seasons (ie, I get tired earlier during winter and later during the summer...it's all tied to sunset it seems).

Any ideas? My functional health specialist and naturopathic doctor haven't really provided any useful info with regards to this. 

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1 Answers



on June 03, 2017
at 01:24 PM

I seem to have the same thing, though I don't have any implants nor broken bones.

As far as I can tell this happens due to air pollution, whenever I commute and walk in NYC it happens more often.

I feel a deep fatigue and then everything seems too bright for me.  Like I'd need to wear sunglasses even indoors.

B vitamins and sulflorophane seem to help.

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