Illustrated Remission, Energy & End of Insomnia - Returned to Running


New Member
I'm not selling anything, I'm not saying you should do this, I'm documenting as completely as I can what is working for me. I'm not online much so probably won't be around to answer questions but I hope you find this useful.

(Summary) I’m 45, female, complete anime nerd, shut-in / socially nervous, former runner and community college instructor in remission. I now take Iron twice a day in a divided dose morning and evening for energy (despite not testing low and having normal CBC blood test) and in the morning I drink a large ‘green’ drink which has completely resolved my life-long insomnia. I no longer have PEM and have returned to running / weights/crosstraining. I put in four runs a week of 2.5 - 5 miles and actually recover. So far my GI is better, not perfect but doing pretty well considering I have dairy in my diet now and GI irritating iron.

I’m still recovering and I’m not sure I’ll ever be “normal” but probably this is as good as it gets for me personally.

CAVEAT: Taking iron can be DANGEROUS. I take the recommended dose. I talked to my doctor who gave me an ‘okay’. I have a DNA test and know I don’t have hemochromatosis. This is one of those supplements no one should ever mega dose. Iron causes GI issues.

CAVEAT2: I know this ‘fix’ is too simple to be anything other than a little disappointing. I know people will give it a go. It won’t work. More disappointment. I’ve been there. But if it helps just one person in a thousand that's awesome. Additionally, I was nervous because I know the nutrition hounds are going to freak when they see that high-sugar fruit juice drink in the a.m. and write me nasty comments about the Pepsi corporation selling me expensive apple juice. It's horrible and shouldn't work but it does *shrug* I've really been tense about the armchair nutrition experts just ripping me a new one about this post. I hate conflict so if this dietarily triggers you, man, I'm sorry - I'm really sorry but please be nice and move on. Thanks. Just maybe appreciate the time I took to take the photos and write this out. Maybe write me off as a one-off weirdo who was anemic and didn't know it.

CAVEAT 3: I have read more than one post angry and negatively directed at a person who feels better that usually goes along the line of, "you must not have really been sick" and then the OP gets to spend a year of their life recounting horrible stories about their life in a defensive posture, "I was sick!". **sigh** It's a mixture of two things, anger that someone gets well and you don't (me, all over - you got well before me? Well I was bitter about that - see: chip on shoulder) and the human condition to never get believed. Watch a marathon of, "Monsters Inside Me" and you'll see cases like, "I was vomiting blood but the doctor said I was fine to go home" or the kid covered with Leprosy and they told him he was fine (they could clearly see the problem!)

I’ve tried to be as upfront as I can in exactly what I do, so I took photos of exactly what I take. And again I'll most likely never be 100% whatever 100% is.

  • 1 Cup of Naked Brand Green Machine (works with or without the other stuff)
  • 1 Teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar with the 'mother' in it because I keep reading that's good for AMPK production. Personally I just like the taste of it in the drink, I don't think it does anything.
  • 1 Scoop of Greens Superfood Berry Flavor, not sure this does much either but seems healthy so I keep wasting money on it.

  • 10,000 i.u. of vitamin D (5,000 i.u. pills x2) because I live in the dark
  • 500 Vitamin C
  • 180 Vitamin E
  • 3 Grass Fed Beef Liver (also high in Iron, A, and B vitamins) but costs an arm and a leg
  • Mega Food Blood Builder Minis (because Iron really messes up my gut and makes me nauseated and constipated the tiny doses every twelve hours helps avoid the consequences of iron.)
Not Pictured:

  • Fructaid, an enzyme for fructose malabsorption. I can't digest fructose well at all. When my GI gets into trouble I can take this up to an hour after eating and it still works. Regular enzyme tablets do not contain this enzyme. And regular enzyme tablets do not work on fructose. Fructaid how I love thee.
  • Muscle milk brand protein drink one scoop per day - so I can look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. I recover much better with this protein drink then without it and my GI does better and stays healed up so I've kept it. Again, the nutritional hounds will have massive issues on several fronts with this product and I'm not saying they're wrong. They're correct, it's horrible, it works, I deeply apologize.
  • I meditate every day with the Calm app or Headspace for about 30 minutes. Not sure how I got a copy of both. Hmm. At night I do Yoga and stretch out which is also good for recovery but I never had energy for anything like that previously. I don't have a day job and probably never will, so there is that too. It's easier to do all this crap when you don't have as many responsibilities - I get it.

I kept a journal in Google Sheets

(EDIT: This has a Vegan column, my family went Vegan for a month, doesn't represent my normal diet, I have nothing close to that kind of discipline even though I love critters.)

I based this off a dot-journal. I thought I would post an example, above, encase you would like to track your symptoms (just fill in what you want to track of course). I had an entire year where the fatigue never improved at all and all the values were the same: bad. I also tracked my blood sugar and weight on a different sheet. Those are still the same.

Starting out - monitoring with my Fitbit (which I also wore at night). Can you tell when I started taking Iron? I track my weekly totals on a page in my Google Sheets. I send myself an email reminder weekly to fill it out. I also use Habitica to remind me to do things.

My current diet is usually: Green drink, coffee, workout, lunch is refried beans on a toastada with goodies on top like peppers, lettuce, salsa or just a salad, and supper is often a bit of chicken, vegetables especially cabbage my favourite, and a bit of rice. I love to bake so sometimes there are some rolls happening, a homemade cake, a scone or something else popping into my day. This is how I prefer to eat but you know, nomatter what you eat someone is going to freak out and think you're horrible, how did food become such a battleground? I don't know, but that's too bad.

I'll be honest, I was incredibly nervous about posting this -- I'm not a perfect ME/CFS person, I love coffee. I live in a cold dark area and it makes me filled with joy in an otherwise pretty ho-hum predictable existence of fatigue. I’ve fallen for every fad diet out there even though I hate to diet. I’ve taken a lot of questionable supplements. I’ve taken questionable over the counter pills like Benedryl every night for ten years to sleep and Zantac for ages even when it didn’t work. I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff and figure at least 50% of my current health problems are most likely self-inflicted through sheer ineptitude. I would describe myself as a gullible over-educated person who thinks they know stuff but apparently doesn't really.

Athletes do use more iron but although I love running, I’m more of a book worm who had to take up some form of exercise than an athlete. I was very literally always picked last for every team in P.E. I was nicknamed simply: DORK, all my high school years.

I'm really shy and I don't really do message board or online communicating so I'll say goodbye here. I want to say biochemistry is super complicated. We all have very complex health pictures built over a lifetime that create who we are. It's important to listen more to yourself & your own body than the Internet, books, health gurus and all that. For years it seemed like no matter what I did I just got worse or stayed the same. I had to block out the guru voices that took up so much space in my head and like to lecture me. Remission is just remission, I could be back at the starting block tomorrow, you know how it goes.

Best of luck to you all!
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