High energy days followed by low energy days

I am physically active and athletic (workout, enjoy outdoor activities). For the most part, I can function daily with good energy, mental focus, and positive outlook. I need this for work since my job is physically demanding.

What I cannot pinpoint, is why I have high energy days and then low energy days. A blood test a couple years ago indicated nothing is wrong, other than low Vitamin D level. I'm a woman in late 50s and I am not ready to be sedentary. However, for some days that I plan to do a workout, or go for a mtn bike ride, a run or something outdoors, my body is like a weighted down door stop. I am so exhausted that I end up talking myself to staying in and relaxing until my energy level rises again. Then I'm like a loco-motive go go go...and the cycle repeats.

I am not sure if it is hormones, post-menopause, depression, or vitamin deficiency. Or, if feeling stressed about money issues, family issues, work issues, to past traumatic life experiences that create my physical mood swings, or if all of this compiled together leads me to feel complacent, not worthy bc nothing is ever going to change and this is as good as it gets for me.

I have had heavy bouts of depression throughout my life, but I could always remedy by working out or going mtn biking, hiking, just getting outdoors. Yes, I do take low dosage AD/AA. I have had insomnia most my life and then discovered the wonderful world of sleeping with sleeping pills. That is now a low dosage too as I became too dependent on higher dosage. Trying to completely quit the sleeping pills, but darn it, I love to sleep when I need to. Then menopause hit and I have slowly declined wanting to do anything. Now in post-menopause, I have also gained 30#s that I can't seem to shred no matter my workout regimen and nutritional intake. It's driving me nutz....

I feel that if I could go to a detox camp for a month, to eliminate all medicines and toxic environmental surroundings, I could detox my body, mind and spirit from all the crap I hold onto in my head; which I feel causes me all of my sickness and symptoms.

It would be such a blessing to feel completely wholesome, positive, healthy, energetic and happy; and, of course 30# lighter.

9 Replies

  • Welcome to the forum, Mochalatte.

    Menopause is a known trigger for hypothyroidism so it may be time for another thyroid blood test and ferritin, vitamin D, B12 and folate too as these are often deficient or low in hypothyroid people.


    Ask your GP receptionist for a copy of your results with the lab ref ranges (the figures in brackets after your results) and post them in a new question on ThyroidUK for comments/advise.

  • see, great minds think alike. While you typed that, I was writing it too.

  • Clever clogs aren't we? :-D

  • Thank you for this valuable information. I have read up on the link you provided and googled hypothyroidism. This never even crossed my mind since I was told, some years ago, my thyroid was functioning with non problems. Weird bc some of the symptoms, described, I have had in my younger days, i.e. constantly cold and then in my 40s my hands were getting really cold and stiff after a run. Now, post-mp I don't have these problems. Just feeling like I'm drugged and lethargic for a day or two and then super energetic. I think bc I can't stand how I start to feel when I don't workout for a few days in row.

    My thoughts have been on low estrogen and hormone imbalance, so I have tried different supplements; but I hate taking a bunch of pills for two long, and then I stop, scolding myself to eat cleaner and I'll be okay.

    And, I have thought about going to the doc to get a post-pm checkup, and another blood test -- but I wanted to lose my weight first. haha, sort of a double whammy.

    Thanks again :-)

  • Mochalette,

    Weight loss can be an issue if your thyroid is underperforming. Good idea to check your sex hormones too if you can persuade your GP to test them.

    Make sure you get a printout of your results with the lab ref ranges. If you post them on ThyroidUK someone will interpret them. GP's normal is often far from optimal which we need.

  • Sounds good. I have never asked for a print out from any test...I'll definitely do this for the next test.

    Thanks much

  • Hi Mocchalatte I am about the same age as you - 52? well am post menopausal anyway, sometimes wonder if it was a bit early but hey do I care? It's just my own personal opinion but I think you've just got to accept that you can't run around the way you used to. I only cycle for exercise, other than that I have quite a sedentary lifestyle, but then I always have been a bit lazy.

    I love cycling but if I try doing it every day I soon get fed up. If I just ride my bike about 3 times a week its great but anything more and I'm like you, it all seems like hard work and I just don't have the energy to be bothered. I think that is maybe what your problem is? You're trying to do too much and carry on the way you always have instead of allowing your body to physically rest and recuperate before you call on reserves of energy again. It takes longer to recover as we get older, that's just the way it is. Maybe on the days when you don't feel you have the energy for running, mountain biking etc you could just go out for a brisk, long walk. Walking is still good exercise but its a bit gentler on the joints, plus you're still out in the fresh air and hopefully if it's sunny soaking up some vitamin D too :)

    Weight gain of 30#s ?? Well am assuming the # isn't stones :D so that means lb's. 2 Stones does seem quite a bit but.....you don't say over what time period that is. Maybe you need to look more closely at your diet? Perhaps you're still eating the same amounts as you did when you were more athletic so aren't burning it off the same, plus they say our metabolism slows down as we get older. Funnily enough I was reading a book yesterday called The End of Dieting by Donna Aston. She says that people at our age think it's natural to weigh more than we did in our 20's, but she points out that as we age and tend to naturally lose muscle bulk and our bones become less dense we should theoretically actually weigh less.

    Stress and lack of sleep are well known for encouraging weight gain. Apart from that did the blood tests include testing for underactive thyroid? This can cause problems such as yours ie lack of energy, weight gain, feeling generally under the weather. Perhaps take a look at the symptoms of an underactive thyroid and see if you identify with many of them? Also if you're carrying 30lbs more in weight and still trying to do the same kind of physical exercise, it is going to feel a lot harder than it used to do. Sorry I sound like I'm being judgemental about the gain in weight and I'm really not, I know how hard it is to keep weight from creeping up.

  • Hi Sinfree,

    Your posts makes me chuckle bc I can relate so much. I don't want to accept that I cannot be as active, now, as I was younger. All of my life I keep trying to improve my physique. I have had some good seasons, where I'm in top-notch shape, toned, low body fat and in my preferred wt. range, of ~130 lbs (smile, #). And then other seasons where I struggle, like now.

    I have been doing aerobics, step, kb, and wt. training for 30 yrs, along with biking all my life and started jogging/trail running in 2002. In my earlier years, I always noticed the older folks hanging right in on tough mtn bike rides and I was in my late 30s. They were strong riders too, some were in their 50s, 60s, or 70s - they may have been slower, but steady and strong. I remember hiking my first 14ner Mt. Elbert (Leadville, Co) in 1998, and I admired this older couple (~70s) that I met at the summit. I would tell myself, I sure hope I can do this when I'm in my 70s. My Dad (late 70s) still snow shoes and he is slow, but steady; we have a good time SS when we can get together.

    So, I never really thought that my age should slow me down. Something I didn't say in my post, was three years ago I injured my back at work and it took me a year to completely heal, and then as soon as the doc cleared me from my injury, I developed heel spurs in my both heels -- most painful experience ever. It actually took me six months to realize what was going on and then another six months to give up working out so my heels could heal (tongue twister). So, two years of recuperation is when I put on the 30lbs...yes, bad eating -- feeling sorry for myself and very frustrated bc I was not able to keep up my workout regimen and getting outdoors to hike, run or bike.

    Mocha, my 4-legged best friend that has been with me on all my excursions since 2003. Plus, in her strong, youthful days, I had to run her before I would go to work...she is a Catahoula (herding dog) and needs to run--very energetic. Now she is in her late 90s (dog years) and up until 3-wks ago, I have taken her in my bike trailer to go on our bike rides, but she had a stroke three weeks ago and luckily is getting better. I have no stroller (or conv. kit for the trailer) to walk her. I feel so much guilt, as it is now, when I go on runs and bike rides w/out her...and not so much bc she is old and can't go, but bc she has separation anxiety and paces and howl-wines all day when I'm gone at work. I recently installed video surv. and I learned about her constant pacing and howl-wining and looking for me while I'm away. Mocha is the one who adopted me back in 2003, so it breaks my heart -- the guilt I feel is tremendous right now, even to go for a walk when I feel lethargic is easily overlooked. Also, knowing that my time with her is limited, I just never know if she will be alive when I come home. I can't stand the thought of her dying alone. Part of my depression is knowing her health issues.

    Along with my own health concerns, I think I easily talk myself out of pushing myself to do anything physical -- workout, rides, and jogging that is. I do have my organic garden that keeps me busy and yard work...so, to no avail I have at least this blessing to keep me somewhat active.

    I still chuckle when I read your comment about the 30#. I never thought of stones. Is this a UK term for #? I'll have to ask my good friend Tim (from the UK).

    I did read that after menopause the metabolism slows down and lose muscle tone. Hence, why I have had a workout regimen for 30yrs. I love doing wt. training with my free wts, tower power for pull-ups etc, medicine ball, for winter months I have a treadmill and a spinner. I have always been under the impression that being physically active and doing body wt training with wts and cardio workouts that I won't lose as much muscle tone or bone density, esp., in my 50s...ouch!

    I think the hypothyroid suggestion is valid and I need to ask my doc about getting checked for this. My mind still believes I'm 25, love those days...but when I look in the mirror, reality check kicks in.

    I don't believe or think you are being judgmental...in my heart-of-hearts, I know when I do not eat clean and I know I am being a part of my own wt gain problem bc of the days I go eating carelessly, and believing I will burn those kcals off during a workout. When I eat clean, I feel so much better...at least mentally. I just never thought I would let myself get to this level and then not be able to lose the weight...I have always been able to lose weight by working out and eating clean. But, not so easy nowadays.

    Thank you for you kind-hearted wisdom, I truly enjoy learning valuable advice from others.

    Cheers :-)

  • Aww, that's a lovely reply Mochalatte (considering it looks like I was trying to teach my gran to suck eggs :D ) , umm hope you've heard of that saying otherwise you'll wonder what I'm going on about. Haha, yes the lb's Vs stones. It's a UK thing. I have to get a calculator out when people start talking pounds, as 130lb's means nothing to me :o still at least its easier to convert than kilo's - then I'm really lost.

    Well you've just about worn me out just reading all the things you've done over the years let alone actually do them. And here was me so proud of my little self for riding my bike about 30 miles per week. :) Sorry to hear about your dog. It's heartbreaking when you realise that you might not have too long left together, especially when she's been your workout partner for so long, aww and so sad that she gets so upset when you're out. My grand-daughter who is one now is a bit like that, she has always since birth kicked up a fuss whenever my daughter is out of her sight for more than a minute, but now she's 1 year old and launches herself across the floor sobbing if her mum so much as nips upstairs to the loo, it starts to get a bit worrying, you would think she would have grown out of it a little by now.

    Ah well, I hope you get your health worries sorted out, although by the sounds of it, they're all fairly understandable really. When your body is used to all that activity for so many years and then to suddenly have to stop it all for a couple of years, you're bound to put some weight on, even if you carried on eating really healthily. Perhaps when you get all your worries and stress sorted out you will have more energy to get back into regular exercise then you'll feel happier about things. Probably still worth checking out the thyroid thing, just in case, as it can affect mood quite detrimentally.