Latest | Categories | Top | Blog | Wiki | About & TOS | Imprint | Vision | Help | Fractal Generator | Futurist Directory | H+Pedia

Health and energy levels

(Michael Hrenka) #1

As I’ve written in my introduction, I currently still suffer from a chronic disease often referred to as ME/CFS. What is basically does, is reducing my energy level, so that I can do much less than if I was healthy. There are good phases and bad phases which come in more or less unpredictable cycles.

At the moment, during the last days, I’m in a relatively bad phase, so I haven’t had the energy to do a lot for this forum. I’ve tried to counter this phase with some powerful supplements, but I think this bad phase came from working hard on a chapter about basic income without adapting my magnesium intake to my increased work level. This is something I need to keep in mind: The more I do, the more magnesium I need to take. This is something I learned over the last few months, but I didn’t consider the magnesium thing this time. ME/CFS is such a complicated disease and it’s also terribly difficult to manage properly. To see what I mean, let me list up what I do to remain on a relatively high level of energy, productivity, and well-being:

  • Taking lots of supplements daily
  • 2 g vitamin C (more, if needed. Need is indicated by sore throat and other symptoms of cold)
  • The high dosed “Two per day” multivitamin- and multimineral supplement
  • 2 g magnesium citrate (I should take more, if I do more)
  • during the winter months 5000 IU vitamin D, also 100 mcg vitamin K2
  • several grams of curcuma (tumeric)
  • several grams of the super food maca
  • the grapefruit seed extract “Citricidal” to keep my gut flora dysbiosis in check
  • I also experiment a lot with other supplements. Most of them don’t do much. Some do help significantly. vitamin C (or antioxidants in general), magnesium and multivitamin seem to be the most crucial
  • I’m generally on a vegan low-carb diet. If I eat too many (especially refined) carbs, I get problems, especially sleep disturbances and neurological symptoms
  • I mediate daily
  • I do bodyweight exercises
  • When it’s not as cold as it is now, I usually ride my bicycle a lot
  • I also should be doing the Gupta Program which involve some helpful NLP-like exercises
  • I only rarely enjoy caffeine or alcohol
  • Sometimes I jump on my high-tech rebounder (mini-trampoline). It’s fun :smile:
  • Long walks through forests also seem to help a lot, especially when it’s sunny. :sunglasses:

Doing all of this, most of the time I can almost pretend being a healthy person, even without the help of antidepressants which I have taken for years. But then I do anything wrong and boom, I’m in the next low-energy phase in which my energy level and motivation are severely impacted. Luckily, I have learned to cope with the frustration this situation brings about. I just focus on optimizing my health further and learn more about how to manage my disease. Slowly, very slowly I am making progress towards recovery.

I’ve written this mainly to explain why I’m not more energetic about this project. And to express my personal frustration. Also to indicate that I really need some dedicated help if this platform is going to become something really significantly successful.

Oh, and I generally advise people to take megadoses of vitamin C. It’s really effective at minimizing diseases! Also, everyone should take (more) magnesium when under higher stress levels. The health system is rather crappy in general, so you don’t get such recommendations for mainstream health professionals, but they are rather effective.


it turns out, that it is important for my energy- level, to have many different kinds of work to do. so i can choose every day what fits most. from thinking, reading and writing to cooking, DIY and gardening, photography and selfexperiments most of my work needs creativity. if i have a kind of could-do-list with some challenging things for the next day, it lifts my energy level when i get up in the morning. but it often changes, because i stop doing one thing when i am not in the mood anymore. but that is not a problem if my list is long enough with many variations.

it drains my energy when i am under pressure and people demand something from me. in that case, every action becomes an opressing bondage, even when those actions usually mean fun. relating to that, it is important what i tell myself. i have to be able to give me the freedom of choice - and that means in the extreme that i allow me to stay in bed for hours crying, if i have to, and i don´t chastise myself with self- reproach.

in addition to that i am on a paleo-diet since october and it works! i would recommend it to everyone to test it for one month. i found out that it is benecifial for health to leave every sugar and cereal products out of my diet.

(Maximo Ramallo) #3

Share your thoughts and we give you support. I know how important is to have support, so at least you cover that in the virtual world :thumbsup:

What a wonderful activities. Wish you share something you write, or at least some cooking recipes.
DIY and gardening, as your other activities, are something everyone should try.

Got my own feeding habits deeply rooted, but would be great to know alternatives, this one looks interesting.


thank you. but there is a problem: my writings are written in german and i don´t know when i will have translated them. for now i could share some of my photographs…

(Stephen Oberauer) #5

Hi Michael

It’s interesting reading your thoughts about health and energy levels. I do feel the need to understand some of it a bit better though…

…like, which health system is “rather crappy”?

Mainstream health professionals (doctors) tend to get their information from analysis of scientific trials. These trials use double-blind tests with large groups of people. Should we not get our information from such sources?

Here’s an example:

(Michael Hrenka) #6

If this were done right, it would be a good starting point. But even if there were no problems with actual medicine and science, this approach would be insufficient, because it’s a statistical approach that doesn’t take different constitutions of individuals into account sufficiently. The best thing would be a personalized medicine in which everyone collects huge amounts of data about him- or herself, which is then analysed by artificial intelligence which would then suggest the most appropriate health interventions.

Needless to say, the current health system is “rather crappy”, because the incentives of “big pharma” cause a systemic distortion of medical science and suboptimal investments into effective treatments. Also, doctors are paid for treating patients, not for curing them or keeping them healthy! This causes further deviation from an ideal, optimal working health system. Think about these systemic incentives, and you won’t actually need to collect any evidence that there are big problems with the system we currently have – instead, it’s the logical and expected conclusion that our system has these problems.

(Stephen Oberauer) #7

I agree, a system with a profit motive will never be honest… the reason I check trial data before buying vitamins :wink:

(Michael Hrenka) #8

As if you could earn a lot with selling vitamins. The really huge profits are made with patented synthetic drugs.

The advantage of using vitamins is that they usually have less side-effects than synthetic substances.

Since I have started taking potent antioxidants (such as OPC or vitamin C megadoses) the frequency at which I suffered from noticeable infectious diseases has decreased dramatically. Even better: Whenever I start feeling slightly sick, I just take more grams of vitamin C until my symptoms disappear. For some symptoms like sore throats this approach has had 100% efficacy and worked nearly immediately! This indicates to me that an insufficient antioxidant status creates a susceptibility to certain symptoms or diseases. Fixing this security hole thus has dramatic effects on my health. There is no clinical trial which could be as valuable to my health as this personal science approach!


i can confirm that experience. although i usually take smaller dosages, it helps actually immediately in the phase of the beginning of an infection and i am thankful, that you once gave me that advice, to take vitamin c.

(Stephen Oberauer) #10

I don’t want to argue. I feel like it takes quite a lot of effort not to write too much here, because I have read so much about this stuff and I’m quite passionate about the scientific method. From what I’ve learned so far, you’re a good guy, and I’m quite pleased to have gotten to know you a little bit, and I would like us to be friends. So, although I could get into a long debate here, I’d like to leave you with one thought, google “How big is the vitamin (or supplement) industry?”

(Michael Hrenka) #11

Revenue of the worldwide pharmaceutical market $980.1bn

according to

Compared to that, the size of the supplement industry is a bid hard to estimate correctly, since many different numbers are going around:

$23-billion-a-year business

Very interesting to note also:

Supplement promoters sell themselves as an alternative to big pharma, but giant pharmaceutical firms actually own the bulk of the industry. Pfizer owns Centrum, Bayer owns One a Day, and Procter & Gamble owns supplement maker New Chapter. Even Wall Street is getting in on the action. The Carlyle Group, a private-equity giant, owns NBTY (formerly Nature’s Bounty), and hedge funds are trading on industry players like the Vitamin Shoppe, betting that healthconscious baby boomers and other promising demographics will keep buying.

according to


according to

According to the estimates of the Nutrition BusinessJournal report, the global nutrition and supplements market stoodat US96billionasof2012.Ayearlater,itwasapproximatelyUS96 billion as of 2012. A year later, it was approximatelyUS104 billion globally.


So, the pharmaceutical industry is still about 10 times larger than the supplement industry. This is about what I had expected. What do we do with this information? Is this proportion appropriate? Would it be appropriate if both industries were about equal in size? Is that even the right question? Why do we have two different industries in the first place? Isn’t that kinda stupid? Either you cure people, or you don’t.

And you should try not to kill people too much:

(Michael Hrenka) #12

A lot has happened since I’ve started this thread more than a year ago. Until about two months ago my health was improving at a pace that has been quite remarkable for me. Then certain stress factors (both private and related to my day job) really kicked in, which I have been able to deal with – for a while, until I got to my limits where it all got too much. These stress factors seemed to have pushed my nervous system so much that my health has started deteriorating. That’s a very unpleasant place to be in, but at least I have lots of experiences in dealing with setbacks like this. The first thing I need to do now is to increase my “energy level” somehow, without overtaxing my nervous system.

Looking back, it seems that dealing with this forum has been quite a stabilizing factor for my health, so I’m planning to become much more active here, again. Apart from all the other things I plan on doing to improve my health, for example more exercise, more time in nature, and starting yoga.

Interestingly, relaxing by playing video games doesn’t seem to work very well for me. A few days ago I nearly got a panic attack from doing that. sigh

Being rational and effective about dealing with one’s health is really surprisingly hard. But hey, dealing with hard challenges is called “life”. :slight_smile: