Do you rely on Starbucks and energy drinks
to get you through the day?
Do you oftentimes feel that you haven’t had enough sleep?
There are many causes of fatigue, some more serious and complicated than others. If you’ve had fatigue for more than 2–3 weeks, and 8 hours of sleep at night doesn’t seem to help, it may be related to your dietary intake. Although many dietary factors can effect your energy level, two fairly common vitamin deficiencies that may be contributing to your fatigue are vitamin D and vitamin B12.
Vitamin D deficiency is unfortunately quite common in US adults, and it’s estimated that up to 70% of us living in the upper midwest are deficient during the winter months. Recent studies have shown that vitamin D plays an important role in warding off depression and fatigue. Unlike other vitamins, vitamin D functions more like a hormone and every cell in the body has a receptor for it. It helps regulate insulin secretion and metabolism, which has a pronounced effect on our energy level.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is another often overlooked cause of fatigue, and the symptoms usually are subtle and start gradually. Low B12 levels, which may manifest as a type of anemia, may be caused from inadequate intake, and sometimes occur in people who eat no animal products. However, it can also be caused by inflammation in the stomach or intestinal wall lining, which then prevents absorption of the vitamin.
If you have persistent fatigue that has interfered with
your daily activities for over 4 weeks,
it would be wise to seek advice from your health care provider.
To help you determine if your fatigue might be diet related, enlist the help of Karen Radtke, Holistic Nurse Practitioner. She will evaluate your dietary intake and other lifestyle factors to help determine your risk.
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