11 August 2019
Lethargic? More tired than usual?
You know when you are tired after a few late nights or very busy days or just not having good sleep. However, then there is another tiredness which you know is just not the same.
Do you sometimes go through weeks of just not feeling like you have caught up on sleep or even if you have you still have very little energy and everything is a bit of an effort?
If that is something you have gone through or are going through then think about what foods you are or aren’t eating. For vegetarians & vegans, women and women who have had a baby, sometimes this tiredness could be associated with lack of iron, anaemia or Vitamin B12.
In the last few months I have felt exactly as I have described above. I know I get tired, I have long days which are full on but after a more chilled weekend I am usually ok and ready again for my next week of long days.
However, I was beginning to get very lethargic, short of breath so I found my running was more of an effort and actually felt at times that the oxygen was just not getting to my legs! Sounds odd but I just felt lethargic and tired.
So, I asked my GP for a blood test as I am a fish eating vegetarian and I am prone to being low in my iron. It came back that yes my haemoglobin was low and though slightly anaemic it is more about lacking in Vitamin B12 than iron for me.
Hurrah at least I now know what I need to do – eat more Marmite for one!! I have actually already got myself on a good quality Vitamin B supplement which has all the essential B vitamins, including B12. Now I have to be patient and wait for it all to kick in!
The B Vitamins are very important in that they help keep the nervous system healthy as well as B12 being especially important as helping distribute the red blood cells around the body. So if you have any of the following think about having your blood levels checked:
- extreme tiredness
- a lack of energy
- pins and needles
- a sore and red tongue
- mouth ulcers
- muscle weakness
- disturbed vision
- psychological problems, which may include depression and confusion
- problems with memory, understanding and judgement
What can you do or what foods could you start trying to eat more of? …..
- dairy products
- yeast extract – ie Marmite (Yum, nice excuse to eat toast!!)
- a good quality Vitamin B complex supplement (not your Boots or Holland & Barrett own brand)
Don’t worry about it but I would get it checked out and then just get some good supplements – if you want guidance on some good quality brands then just ask.
So, just be aware of how you feel and if you have been feeling unusually tired or lethargic for you and maybe get your iron and Vitamin B12 checked out.