“A survey by the National Safety Council reveals 97% of respondents reported at least one risk factor of fatigue.” Some of the risk factors include lack of sleep and working long shifts without breaks. Other risks are working more than 50 hours each week and long commutes to and from work. Besides the daily grind, fatigue can also be a result of other factors.
Can Vitamin Supplements Help Fight Fatigue?
One of the physical causes of fatigue is Vitamin Deficiency. This deficiency is the lack of Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, and iron.
- Iron: Iron deficiency results in anemia. You don’t have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen or protein in your body. Anemia is usually the first sign of fatigue. Eating iron-rich foods and taking over-the-counter supplements can correct your deficiency.
- Vitamin D: Lack of Vitamin D decreases your muscle and bone strength. You can get Vitamin D by sunbathing early in the morning. Foods such as salmon, milk, and cereals are likely sources, too.
- Vitamin B12: Your body needs Vitamin B12 for the production of healthy red blood cells. A deficiency in B12 can also cause anemia. Increasing your B12 intake from meat and dairy and taking supplements reverses the deficit. For other causes of B12 deficiency, a healthcare provider may prescribe injectables for you.
The Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ offers vitamin infusion therapy to beat your fatigue and boost your energy.
What is Fatigue?
Energy and fatigue are interrelated. Energy refers to strength and liveliness, while fatigue is the opposite, with a distinct psychological response. It refers to a lack of energy or extreme tiredness. It’s being exhausted mentally, where you lack motivation to do anything. Fatigue affects your activities of daily living and general well-being.
You may experience fatigue at least once in your lifetime. It’s a common condition or non-pathological, which is not generally due to an illness.
According to a study, fatigue can be pathological. This type of fatigue isn’t typical, and it may be caused by an underlying illness. Pathological fatigue has seven primary characteristics:
- Physical sensation: It’s the severity of your feeling tired, weak, and lack of energy.
- Impact on functioning: It refers to your diminished function, quality of life, and capacity to work. Difficulty completing a task, poor sleep quality, or skipping activities are ways pathological fatigue manifests.
- Subjective: It’s how you feel or self-perception. It’s your personal experience and narration.
- Temporal variability: It refers to persistence. It can be temporary or long-term and episodic or continuous.
- Unpleasant emotions: You may feel a mixed range of emotions. You may be anxious, numb, moody, distressed, or reactive.
- Decreased cognitive ability: You may have decreased attention, concentration, and motivation. You may also have memory deficits and decreased mental capacity.
- Unusual: It’s abnormal and unpredictable. It’s something you can’t sleep off or relieve by rest.
What Are the Causes of Fatigue? Activation of microglia or increased cytokines in the brain brings about fatigue, according to a study. This neural region in the brain is associated with arousal, reward, sleep, and circadian rhythm.
There are many causes of fatigue, and these causes may be physical, pathological (linked to a disease), and psychological.
- Physical: “Normal” fatigue relates to physical exertion, which responds to rest. This type of fatigue relates to your lifestyle activities. The activity includes excessive exercise, physical work, and, ironically, lack of physical activity. Alcohol or drug use and medications all lead to fatigue. A lack of sleep and an unhealthy diet result in fatigue.
- Pathological or sign of a medical condition: “Abnormal” fatigue may occur over time and doesn’t respond to rest. It may exist on its own. Or it may be brought about by underlying physical or psychological conditions. It may also be an effect of the medications used to treat various medical conditions. Some of these are the following:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Heart disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Sleep apnea
- Psychological or mental: Anxiety, depression, and stress can affect your fatigue level. More than 90% of people who suffer from major depressive disorder experience fatigue. In a study, people may perceive fatigue as physical. A medical professional, though, may view it as psychological distress. Thus, the study highlights the need to develop a good working relationship to determine the root cause of fatigue.
What are Some of the Symptoms of Fatigue?
A study reveals mental and physical fatigue came with a reduced level of activity. There may also be changes in mood, motivation, concentration, and memory. Here are ten of the most common symptoms of fatigue:
- Feeling down
- Lack of motivation
- Loss of appetite
- Poor concentration
- Poor memory
- Sleepy most of the time
How Do You Assess Fatigue?
Researchers developed and initially validated a Fatigue Sensitivity Questionnaire. It aims to measure a person’s perception of negative consequences linked to fatigue symptoms. You answer each question with four choices – Very Little, A Little, Some, and Much. Your answer corresponds to either a physical, cognitive, or social concern.
10 questions to ask yourself, according to Kauffman and associates:
Reference: Kauffman et al. (2018). The development and initial validation of the Fatigue Sensitivity Questionnaire.
How Do You Combat Fatigue?
A medical professional prescribes the proper therapy depending on the cause of your fatigue. Questions asked are about your activities, symptoms, medical conditions, and the medications you’re taking. A healthcare provider may ask you to take lab tests if you have an underlying illness.
Tests may include any of the following, which depends on your initial assessment:
- Complete blood count
- Glucose for blood sugar
- BUN/creatinine for kidney function
- Thyroid-stimulating hormone
- Test for deficiencies: Vitamins B12, D, iron, and folic acid
- CPK (muscle inflammation) or ESR (inflammation in the body)
A study proposed therapy for all types of fatigue. A structured plan may include physical activities such as aerobics, stretching, and walking. The researchers also suggested caffeine, naps, and medications to boost energy and mood. These are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as fluoxetine or sertraline. For chronic fatigue syndrome, cognitive behavior therapy can be used.
How Do You Boost Your Energy?
- Do: Try to lessen your workload and manage your stress. Overworking causes fatigue, so try to set priorities. Don’t take on all tasks at the same time, as this also leads to stress. You can control stress by talking to friends or taking regular breaks from work.
Exercise helps elevate your mood and makes you sleep soundly at night. It also leads to better sleep which your body needs to recharge itself. Avoid daytime napping as this interferes with your night sleep. To prevent insomnia, avoid smoking as the nicotine stimulates you into wakefulness.
- Drink: Hydrate yourself. Drink water, especially if you’re exercising. Water replenishes your body of the lost fluids when sweating. Try coffee. It keeps you alert and sharpens your mind. Although, refrain from drinking coffee after 2 PM. Drinking coffee late in the evening could keep you awake later in the night. Limit alcohol intake, too. Avoid drinking alcohol during lunch and at 5 PM, as this makes you sleepy afterward.
- Eat: Eat foods with a low glycemic index. Foods with a low glycemic index are sugars absorbed slowly by the body. It helps in sustaining your energy. Examples are high-fiber vegetables, whole grains, and nuts. Vitamin supplements may also help build and maintain energy.
What Other Vitamins can Beat Fatigue?
Maintain your energy levels by eating a balanced diet, exercising, and getting enough rest. But in your busy schedule, this may not always be possible. Your physical fatigue and lethargy relate to a deficiency in vitamins and minerals. Thus, it’s important to have adequate vitamins and minerals.
There are many vitamins and supplements to combat fatigue. Some of these are CoQ10, iron, Vitamin C, and magnesium. B vitamins have been well-researched as it plays an essential role, in the production of energy.
Lack of B vitamins is associated with fatigue. Beriberi, a severe deficiency in Vitamin B1, has symptoms of fatigue and muscle weakness. Inadequate Vitamin B2 results in a risk of anemia, a condition connected with fatigue. Lack of B3 includes weakness, fatigue, and appetite loss. Vitamins B9 (folic acid) and B12 deficiencies result in anemia and reduced endurance.
Vitamin B12, in particular, is effective in reducing fatigue among hemodialysis patients. But it doesn’t boost sports endurance or performance among healthy people who have no deficiency. You may take it, though, as a supplement to avoid deficiencies if you’re into sports.
Should You Take B Vitamins?
- Vegans or vegetarians are commonly Vitamin B deficient. Studies have pointed out almost 90% of vegetarians have Vitamin B12 deficiency.
- Older adults are at higher risk of deficiency since the absorption of Vitamin B12 may decrease with age.
- People at a high risk of Vitamin B12 deficiency are those with digestive system conditions. These are celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and inflammatory bowel disease. Moreover, Vitamin B12 deficiency s also appears among people who are undergoing bariatric surgery. It helps with weight loss as the stomach is resized to make you eat and drink less.
- Supplements may help in physical and cognitive fatigue and benefit mental and psychological function.
Fatigue is a common symptom associated with many conditions. Yet, it has a few efficient therapies. Proper diet and exercise are natural ways to fight fatigue and boost energy. Vitamin and mineral supplements can also help, particularly B vitamins.
You can take B vitamins by mouth as an oral supplement. Injections and IV infusions are most effective since it goes directly into your bloodstream. Oral supplements go to the digestive system, so it usually has a lower absorption rate. The potency of the supplement is reduced, unlike in injection or IV infusion.
If you have questions about Vitamin B for energy and fatigue, call us at the Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ – – 505 445 4300.