5

votes

Super exhaustion - help me figure it out and go to my doctor with ideas?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created December 27, 2011 at 12:48 AM

For a little over a year now I have been suffering from a hardcore energy drop late afternoon. Between 3-5 I hit a point where I could pass out where I am (I have been in the car with my kids a couple times when I am forcing my eyes open because I am so tired!).

It is a little better when I do strict paleo, but still there. I had my thyroid tested last year - family history of low thyroid function on both sides - and it came back normal.

Ideas? Suggestions? Thoughts? Please help!

ETA: the amount of sleep I get at night seems to have no effect, neither does weather, wake time, or meal times.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

excellent point

B33f7c04c09d8bbbf181dd8aca04f373

(554)

on January 13, 2012
at 02:30 AM

Thank you, I finally saw my doctor and got a blood panel today, hopefully I will have some answers soon.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on January 12, 2012
at 07:04 PM

Posting your diet would be helpful.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on December 27, 2011
at 11:59 PM

i'm with mer. def. get your hemoglobin count checked, you could have an iron deficiency.

Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

(3125)

on December 27, 2011
at 10:31 PM

anemia should be considered in the differential diagnosis, +1 im no doctor but i play one on TV. LOL

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 27, 2011
at 10:05 PM

I went to a sleep clinic and got tested overnight- it was bad so no wonder I was super tired. Had to use a CPAP machine for quite awhile, then got over it when the weight came off.

B33f7c04c09d8bbbf181dd8aca04f373

(554)

on December 27, 2011
at 04:43 PM

I know. I used to snore very badly, but I don't know if that is still the case. I will have to ask the hubby. I know since starting paleo I have not had the constant stuffy nose that used to contribute to the snoring.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 27, 2011
at 03:01 PM

I actually had sleep apnea before I lost a bunch of weight. It is scary to almost sleep when driving.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on December 27, 2011
at 03:22 AM

Oh sorry, here's the link http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/adrenal-info/

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on December 27, 2011
at 03:17 AM

would have been my suggestipn. an indicator would be morning headaches.

B33f7c04c09d8bbbf181dd8aca04f373

(554)

on December 27, 2011
at 02:19 AM

It was low normal when tested, but I never remember to take my vitamin D, so that could be a factor.

B33f7c04c09d8bbbf181dd8aca04f373

(554)

on December 27, 2011
at 02:06 AM

thank you - I still think it might be thyroid related. I am making another doctor's appointment soon, and I am really hoping to get more blood tests done.

B33f7c04c09d8bbbf181dd8aca04f373

(554)

on December 27, 2011
at 01:56 AM

Thank you for the suggestion :)

164ed7cd8d84c926bc66f366619bf853

(495)

on December 27, 2011
at 01:19 AM

Well, I mention it b/c I'm going thru adrenal fatigue detox currently & taking myself off of caffeine, so I thought I'd share. :)

B33f7c04c09d8bbbf181dd8aca04f373

(554)

on December 27, 2011
at 01:19 AM

Thank you for your answer with the exception of sunlight I've tried the rest. :) this is beyond "tired" this is I nearly passed out and ran off the road into a ditch today because I couldn't stay awake. And it happens pretty much every day.

B33f7c04c09d8bbbf181dd8aca04f373

(554)

on December 27, 2011
at 01:16 AM

I generally drink between 1-3 cups of coffee, sometimes more sometimes less. Doesn't make a difference.

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18 Answers

5
67ee8b721f3a1a3154aa7e7b58ae2876

on December 27, 2011
at 08:23 AM

I'm writing as a Chinese Medicine practitioner of 17 years??? deep fatigue showing up at that time of the afternoon suggests adrenal fatigue and a weakness of the Kidney/Bladder meridians -- I'd suggest you find a good practitioner of Chinese Medicine - a Licensed Acupuncturist, in most States??? and receive some supportive care with Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology, which is not necessarily a quick fix - but can comprehensively help you deal with the root of these symptoms. Coffee overstimulates weak adrenals, so it would be better for you to wean yourself off it, get lots of rest, deal with any stressors that are in your life, as well.

4
0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on December 27, 2011
at 11:23 AM

Have you considered anemia? I was anemic with my first pregnancy and the fatigue was like nothing I had ever experienced before. I had a long commute for work and would need to stop once or twice along the way home for fear I'd fall asleep.

Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

(3125)

on December 27, 2011
at 10:31 PM

anemia should be considered in the differential diagnosis, +1 im no doctor but i play one on TV. LOL

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on December 27, 2011
at 11:59 PM

i'm with mer. def. get your hemoglobin count checked, you could have an iron deficiency.

4
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 27, 2011
at 02:33 AM

Is there any possible chance you have sleep apnea? Has anyone mentioned that you snore when you sleep? Apnea can lead to dozing off during the day and waking up pretty tired because you never get any restful complete sleep cycles during the night.

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on December 27, 2011
at 03:17 AM

would have been my suggestipn. an indicator would be morning headaches.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 27, 2011
at 03:01 PM

I actually had sleep apnea before I lost a bunch of weight. It is scary to almost sleep when driving.

B33f7c04c09d8bbbf181dd8aca04f373

(554)

on December 27, 2011
at 04:43 PM

I know. I used to snore very badly, but I don't know if that is still the case. I will have to ask the hubby. I know since starting paleo I have not had the constant stuffy nose that used to contribute to the snoring.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 27, 2011
at 10:05 PM

I went to a sleep clinic and got tested overnight- it was bad so no wonder I was super tired. Had to use a CPAP machine for quite awhile, then got over it when the weight came off.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

excellent point

4
0242b468fe1c97997749db416c92e7ed

(4528)

on December 27, 2011
at 01:46 AM

Hi Becky,

Which thyroid tests did you doctor run? It's definitely possible to have thyroid issues with a "normal" TSH. Given your family history, make sure they test free T-3, free T-4, reverse T-3, as well as thyroid antibodies to completely rule out the thyroid angle. I'd also strongly recommend requesting a full hormone panel (preferably saliva). Thyroid problems and sex hormone production often go hand and hand. In fact, hormone imbalances such as estrogen dominance (which can mean excessive estrogen OR low progesterone) can can actually mimick hypothyroid symptoms, which include extreme lethargy. After three years of dedicated paleo, I'm now dealing with hypothyroid and estrogen dominance issues of my own, but it all started with symptoms of chronic fatigue. It's absolutely worth investigating, and it's worth jumping around from doctor to doctor until you find one who will take your symptoms seriously. Good luck!

B33f7c04c09d8bbbf181dd8aca04f373

(554)

on December 27, 2011
at 02:06 AM

thank you - I still think it might be thyroid related. I am making another doctor's appointment soon, and I am really hoping to get more blood tests done.

3
164ed7cd8d84c926bc66f366619bf853

(495)

on December 27, 2011
at 01:09 AM

Re: the coffee response above... are you consuming a lot of caffeine? Too much caffeine, stress, etc etc can lead to adrenal fatigue symptoms. Just an idea.

B33f7c04c09d8bbbf181dd8aca04f373

(554)

on December 27, 2011
at 01:16 AM

I generally drink between 1-3 cups of coffee, sometimes more sometimes less. Doesn't make a difference.

B33f7c04c09d8bbbf181dd8aca04f373

(554)

on December 27, 2011
at 01:56 AM

Thank you for the suggestion :)

164ed7cd8d84c926bc66f366619bf853

(495)

on December 27, 2011
at 01:19 AM

Well, I mention it b/c I'm going thru adrenal fatigue detox currently & taking myself off of caffeine, so I thought I'd share. :)

2
3f3236d1f951d4b4c25eff387699a905

(554)

on December 27, 2011
at 11:44 PM

I get like that if I eat too many carbs and have noticed many others be like this too. It's not about being tired at all, just blood sugar dropping. It might be worth it to go through the low carb flu, since going low carb completely cured me of it.

2
19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on December 27, 2011
at 03:21 AM

Isn't this adrenal/cortisol problem? I read about it ages ago and been working on fixing it. I'm much better now. Some of the symptoms I thought were from hyperthyroidism were actually from adrenal fatigue.

http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/adrenal-info/ That page has a link to the different stages of adrenal fatigue, as it gets worse. Afternoon burnout is a symptom.

See if that page helps. I believe the main points are to eat lots and lots of good quality salt, and avoid caffeine. Both of those helped me.

If reading that page rings a bell, look here on paleohacks for posts tagged with cortisol and adrenal-fatigue. Best wishes.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on December 27, 2011
at 03:22 AM

Oh sorry, here's the link http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/adrenal-info/

2
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on December 27, 2011
at 01:23 AM

Are you well-hydrated? I can get an energy drop at that time of day if I forget to drink.

How's your Vitamin D level?

I have sooooo much more energy now that mine is sufficient. (50-80 ng/ml)

B33f7c04c09d8bbbf181dd8aca04f373

(554)

on December 27, 2011
at 02:19 AM

It was low normal when tested, but I never remember to take my vitamin D, so that could be a factor.

1
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on December 27, 2011
at 07:48 AM

The symptom is common... Cause may vary. However I would try at least 7.5 hours of sleep per night and eating solid quality meals with no snacks. However in the begining you may need a snack at 3:00 to get you through this. Keep the snack low carb.

1
1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on December 27, 2011
at 05:52 AM

I went through a phase like that a few years ago when my kids were smaller, and I never figured it out, but I had a feeling it was my hormones changing again. Is there ANY way you can take naps? That's what finally took care of it for me...naps in the late afternoon and then not staying up too late at night.

Also, if you read about Ayurveda (Indian medicine), you can find out about the natural energy cycles of the day. There is one body type that really slows down at that time of the afternoon, so they benefit by learning how to work with it instead of fight it. I'm that body type, and I really try to make it so I am doing something on the quiet and mellow side during those hours. I know you are a mom and it's nearly impossible to get time to take naps and be mellow, but hopefully this helps.

1
1e578768ccd29f0507c5c7ed14112048

(10)

on December 27, 2011
at 01:55 AM

how much greens are you getting? I would add a green smoothie (1 qt) to your daily diet and also starting taking liquid chlorophyll

1
E170f95ead5ab9311a3b2d8211d3d578

(10)

on December 27, 2011
at 01:41 AM

Chronic lyme disease? Sounds like a familiar story - thats what mine ended up being. Worth sending a test out to IGENIX lab.

1
Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

on December 27, 2011
at 01:04 AM

I am pretty sure this happens to a lot of people, and the remedy is the same:

Coffee.

Edit: Okay I'll be more serious.

  1. Consistently get a lot of sleep (~8hrs)
  2. Regular exercise, but keep it controlled, 30 medium (not hard) minutes 3x/week
  3. Look at your food choices. Too low carb can lower energy for some, too high carb lowers energy for many.
  4. Get plenty of blue light/sun.
  5. Coffee

Like I said, feeling tired around 3-5pm is fairly common. Happens to most people. Also, people who tend to be overweight naturally tend to be lower energy just from lower sympathetic activity. Genetics suck.

B33f7c04c09d8bbbf181dd8aca04f373

(554)

on December 27, 2011
at 01:19 AM

Thank you for your answer with the exception of sunlight I've tried the rest. :) this is beyond "tired" this is I nearly passed out and ran off the road into a ditch today because I couldn't stay awake. And it happens pretty much every day.

0
6d6314b6bf45d5dc884a706bc3d9d820

on January 12, 2012
at 06:23 PM

Adrenal fatigue seems to be one viable explanation for these symptoms if you can't get enough sleep and you're always tired. Thanks for bringing this up.

B33f7c04c09d8bbbf181dd8aca04f373

(554)

on January 13, 2012
at 02:30 AM

Thank you, I finally saw my doctor and got a blood panel today, hopefully I will have some answers soon.

0
3fe2bf1367970868757ddf7ed7c62531

(817)

on December 30, 2011
at 01:39 PM

my thyroid was bad. i got very tired too. I cut out all caffeine and sugars (fruit, honey and coconut sugar). Only veg, meat, fish, some dairy and occasionally fruit. Did not take to long for me to feel better. Now when i have a coffee, within hours I am a mess... wanting to sleep anywhere and everywhere. I now know I can have a little honey or coconut sugar ect without ill effect, but just not daily!

I also saw even more improvement when I got off of my thyroid meds. but since you are not on meds for it that is not going to help. Are you on any other meds, any at all? Might look into getting off them if so or trying for natural alternatives to them - they could be having an adverse effect. My bc really mad my sleepy, so I switched to a IUD.

Also! Due to the priceyness of beef, I had been avoiding it. But I was getting low iron back on my blood test so I am now including it in more often. Like said above, maybe check your iron?

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 28, 2011
at 11:41 AM

Splash cold water on your face, let it dry off naturally, you skin will absorb the water and use it to freshen your insides. Do this every 11 minutes.

Drink room temperature water from a glass cup.

Rub cold water on the back of your neck.

Smack the back of you head (the part the sticks out the most) with your palms very hard. This is a big wake up call for the mind, refreshes your thoughts. Also, give yourself a vigorous scalp massage on the spot.

Take of your shoes and socks, let your feet breathe. If you can, give your self a light foot massage. Grab the toes, pull them back and forth, see if this lifts your mood.

Do everything in your power to remove trapped gas from the body. It could be there and your not aware.

Jump on one foot on the spot about 15x, do the same with the other foot. This helps pump blood around the body.

Lay down on your left side for a little while. This helps pump blood around the body.

Stay away from artificial light as much as possible.

Stare at your eyes individually in the mirror. If you can't stand to do this, and you notice red in them, then you probably need to...

..power nap for about 10-20 mins.

0
Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

on December 27, 2011
at 10:23 PM

you might just be running out of gas. eat a banana and see if you PEP up. PEP=phosphoenolpyruvate

0
F02990386b12528111740ad6279ba29d

(1363)

on December 27, 2011
at 12:52 AM

Have you tried 100% strict auto-immune paleo and/or tampered with amount/timing of carbs? Easy and worth a shot!

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