Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Where'd This Energy Come From??

If you've read my blog for long, you know I have *always* struggled with having enough energy. I have generally, on average over the past ten years or more, felt sluggish, tired, and unable to get a lot done in a day. At first I figured it was because of my weight; after all, carrying around close to 300 pounds IS exhausting. Then I thought maybe it was some medical problem like thyroid or metabolism issues; doctors ruled those things out with blood tests. After I started losing weight, I thought the answer might be exercise. So I started biking, walking, and strength training. I admit I did feel better after exercise and movement, but it was often a drag to get it done. I was just tired and would rather sit. When I started Medifast I had some times when I felt more energetic, but it was still an issue on and off. I knew it was not just a sugar/carb/gluten thing because when I was eating Primal earlier this year, it still did not resolve, even though I felt better in general. Finally, I decided it was a combination of my age and my lack of good sleep.

Well, I might have been wrong about that... at least about the age part. I know good sleep is essential and I am working on that, but over the past week I have *not* gotten great sleep but my energy has soared! I feel better than I have in ages, and am getting tons of things done. Yesterday after I took every shelf out of the fridge and scrubbed it, sorted stacks of papers, paid bills, filled out paperwork, washed the dishes, cleaned the kitchen, took all the furniture outside and mopped the whole upstairs, cleaned a bathroom, took my daughter to the dentist, shopped, played with my daughter, helped her do homework, took both dogs out for play sessions, sorted clothes, helped my son with his essays, and worked in the yard. And I felt GOOD! Happy. Energized. I have had several days like that in a row and it is so noticeable I really had to stop and think: what changed?

Yes, the days are a little longer, but not that much. Spring is energizing. Yes, I am back on Medifast, which for some reason seems to help with the energy a bit (being off junk, getting good nutrition, not eating excess fat and calories). But this energy is *new* and different. Why?

I think all this time, the MTHFR has been a factor in my lack of energy. All this time, I had this genetic defect  and didn't know it. All this time, I was taking sublingual vitamin B drops and wondering why they barely helped at all... when actually, I was taking the wrong kind (cyanocobalamin) that my body was unable to process. And I was lacking in other B vitamin essential for energy, all because I have the MTHFR mutation.

About a week and a half ago the specialist set me in the right direction, with the *right* kind of B12 (methylcobalamin) and prescription B9. And within days I felt like a new person! Mood is much better and energy is through the roof! I am so thankful for this doctor who has guided me to supplements my body needs to function well. He also prescribed another supplement, an enzymatic cofactor called BH4, which I will start to take next week. I will have to be on these supplements for life, as will my son, but it is so worth it! Every cell in my body feels alive, and when I have done plenty of work in a day, I have that good kind of tired that tells me I need some rest. It's a great feeling.

So today I will be cleaning out the kitchen cabinets, doing some deep cleaning in the kitchen, washing 6 or 7 loads of clothes, boxing up and mailing some packages, making essential calls, doing some more grocery shopping and making dinner, vacuuming, dog training, taking kids to doctor appointments and dance classes, and doing all the other things I did not have the energy for before. I am so, so thankful for the way I feel and for all the doctors who helped figure out the puzzle... and for your support!


Colleen said...

Such great news Lynn. I've been reading your blog for years and have always suspected there was more going on than meets the eye with you, but you mentioned so many clean blood panels I figured you just had worse metabolism damage than I do. Maybe the increased energy will get your BMR up and help you achieve your health goals!

Patricia F said...

Wow that's amazing. I wonder if the B12 vitamins in the MF food was partially responsible for your added energy?

This makes me wonder if that might help my own energy levels. Where can we go to find out if this/MTHRA might be affecting us as well? I'd never heard of it before.

Cindy said...

I think many people have lingering issues that they can't get pinned down.
You really have to stay after the doctor and try an new one and be persistent until you find an answer.
With that said I better go call the physiotherapist that was recommended to me now.

Lyn said...

Thanks Colleen :)

Patricia F~

You can ask your doctor and if he recommends a blood test, that will rule out or find any MTHFR mutations. There is a good site for info at mthfr.net.


good luck with the physio!

Fair Enough said...


Just a personal observation/question: I don't have that much experience with the Pacific Northwest-I've never actually even been there. That said, I notice you keep saying "Spring" for this time of year and find it really surprising! I didn't think anywhere in the US experienced Spring as early as January/February, except maybe for places that are warm/tropical all year. I know where I am personally, we honestly don't see Spring until sometimes May. Definitely not before April. It has also definitely snowed all through "Spring" and we often barely see Spring. It jumps pretty much right from winter to summer.


Anonymous said...

I am SO HAPPY FOR YOU! I really hope this is the answer for you and kudos for not giving up on seeking solution. Please continue to update us on this issue.

Lyn said...


well, ok, it isn't really spring :) I am just being optimistic. We've had an exceptionally sunny (although still cold) week, and the sunshine is just so nice! No blooms or new growth yet, so maybe it is me who has gone from winter to spring, rather than the seasons.

Anne H said...

When I added back the B12, I felt born-again. Now I "remember" all the B complex and can't wait to get up in the morning!
Looking Good, Lyn!

Lori said...

I am so happy for you. It is too bad you suffered needlessly all those years, but you are getting that time back now. I'm sure the weight loss will follow in short order.

Anonymous said...

Well in Snoqualmie Washington we've had a couple days this month over 50 degrees, less rain than usual and some trees are budding! The birds are singing and I saw several rabbits on my morning walk with my dog today. We would definitely call this an early start to spring up here :)


Anonymous said...

I just had to add my two cents about "spring." I live in Tennessee and while it isn't spring here yet, the daffodils are blooming. That is always the first sign spring is just around the corner and makes me feel more hopeful.

We are having some sixty something degree days mixed in with colder ones.


dlamb said...

Lyn, research indicates that low carb and low cal eating causes euphoria.

Lyn said...

Thanks guys. It sure feels good, like I am finally truly functioning well. dlamb, I chuckled a little about the euphoria... I am still waiting for that! But I am sure the low carbing does help! :)

16 blessings'mom said...

Lynn, I am so glad to hear you have all this energy! You are such an inspiration in your dedication to get healthy. I had to laugh about the "spring" thing. My son is in the Army, stationed in Washington state, the weather there is a bit springy compared to here (central New York state, right in the path of lake effect snow from Ontario)...here we crack out the shorts and drive with the windows down when it hits 40! Snow snow snow, spring won't show her real face until at least April/May. But just the thought of it....! Anyway, I am happy for you!


Darcy Winters said...

That's wonderful news! I've been thinking I need to get back to taking a B Complex myself. I am tired all the time and even when I get enough sleep - I have no energy.
Keep us updated on if it continues to work for you!

Vickie said...

Be very careful NOT to over do pressure/weight/impact/time on your feet. I realize you are feeling better. And I am glad for you. But be very careful not to send yourself back thru a cycle by expecting too much of your feet. Swimming is still your smartest option. Your bike might also be helpful.

Lyn said...


yep, they were pretty sore yesterday. I didn't have any pain until I sat down for a half hour and got back up. Ouch! Will be more careful from now on. I do bike, but don't have pool access anymore as my trial gym membership ran out. I think the outdoor pools usually open in May and then I can do some swimming once or twice a week.