Hey it's  your girl JA Nursing here, Hope all is well?   Most recently I was asked  the question  about the causes  of increased tiredness?  Fatigue is also known as tiredness, reduced energy, physical or mental exhaustion, or lack of motivation. As your advocate, it is very important that you understand  that  medical investigation is largely based on symptoms.   A symptom is subjective and it really describes how you feel.  However, non-specific symptoms are self-reported symptoms that do not indicate a specific disease process or involve an isolated body system. For example, fatigue is a feature of many acute and chronic medical conditions, which may or may not be mental, and may be either a primary or secondary symptom. Fatigue is also  normal,   when experienced after a day of going hard whether it be physically or  related to one of those mentally draining days.

There are numerous medical and non-medical causes of fatigue, you shouldn't play Ray Charles to some of the obvious lifestyle habits that you have that may be contributing to that exhausting feeling.

  • Staying up too late 
  • Having too much caffeine 
  • Drinking too much alcohol high alcohol intake over a period of just two weeks can cause a noticeable decrease in the amount of B12 absorbed from the stomach 
  • Eating junk food. 

Health care is completely a science that no wellness or fitness professional should feel comfortable to discuss with their clients. Remember lack of knowledge is the biggest disease. 
Can vitamin B12 help to get rid of your constant tiredness ? The answer is yes! But only if your fatigue is actually caused by vitamin B12 deficiency. Allow me to explain…There are many people who are more prone to B12 deficiency The older you get the more likely you are to have a vitamin B12 deficiency. The two ways you become deficient are through a lack of vitamin B12 in your diet, or through your inability to absorb it from the food you eat. Vitamin B12 deficiency is extremely common in strict vegetarians and vegans. B12 is not readily available in plants, so if you do not eat meat or animal products you are at risk.
Vitamin B12 is found almost exclusively in animal tissues, including foods like beef and beef liver, lamb, snapper, venison, salmon, shrimp, scallops, poultry and eggs. Vitamin B12 is vital for healthy functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for the formation of blood. Your body uses B12 for metabolism, fatty acid synthesis and energy production.

There are of course many factors that contribute to your tiredness but if  your B12 deficiency is associated with certain conditions then the very popular B12 injection craze may not work for you.  Many  celebrities like Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Lindsay Lohan,  Katy Perry, Victoria Beckham,  and Rita Ora swear  by the effectiveness of B12 in increasing their energy levels, reducing stress, and aiding in weight loss and  keeping their hair and skin healthy as cited by Glamour Mgazine.  As a community nurse some of my elderly patients would have a monthly regime of B12 injections which my patients would say that it really aiding in boosting their energy levels, but bare in mind that as you age, the stomach produces less acid, and stomach acid is key for B12 absorption cited by various cites.  About one in 31 adults over 50 are deficient, estimates the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Older individuals also often have poorer appetites and food intakes, and they may be on medications (such as heartburn meds) that can further reduce stomach acid levels,"  In fact, some seniors actually lose the ability to absorb vitamin B12 from food at all, and must get it via supplements or, if the deficiency is severe, injections.  Health care requires more than a quick read to understand your risks.

If you fall into any of theses categories then B12 May be for you:
  • Diabetics taking the common medication metformin may find that they can no longer absorb sufficient amounts of vitamin B12. 
  • Weight Loss Surgery
  • Several immune disorders are recognized risk factors for vitamin B12 deficiency, including Lupus and Graves’ disease.
  • People with pernicious anemia whose bodies do not make the intrinsic factor needed to absorb vitamin B12. Doctors usually treat pernicious anemia with vitamin B12 shots, although very high oral doses of vitamin B12 might also be effective.
  • People who have had gastrointestinal surgery, such as weight loss surgery, or who have digestive disorders, such as celiac disease or Crohn's disease. These conditions can decrease the amount of vitamin B12 that the body can absorb.
  • Some people who eat little or no animal foods such as vegetarians and vegans.

Just to be absolutely clear: if your fatigue is caused by a lack of vitamin B12, then B12 supplements should definitely help! If blood tests do not indicate a deficiency, then it is helpful to address the other factors which could be contributing to your low energy levels, for example insufficient sleep or depression.

This is watching out for health with your health care advocate Michelle Smith. Always member that you are the most important part of your healthcare team. The next time you visit your doctor simply ask him or her to check your blood for vitamin B12 Deficency. 

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