Impact Of Inadequate Status Of Vitamins And Minerals On Physical Fatigue
Frank deficiencies in most vitamins and minerals have been associated with lethargy or physical fatigue, which can also be observed in marginal deficiencies, but these symptoms are often missed because they are nonspecific.
6.1.1. Inadequate Status of Individual B Vitamins and Physical Fatigue
Beriberi, the disease resulting from severe thiamine deficiency affects several organs, including the muscular and peripheral nervous systems . General symptoms include fatigue, ataxia due to muscle weakness in the legs and arms, muscle pain and tenderness, and dyspnoea on exertion.
Riboflavin deficiency is most often accompanied by other nutrient deficiencies and it is thus difficult to clearly identify specific symptoms. Anemia, a condition related to fatigue, is associated with low riboflavin status. For example, in 1253 adult Chinese individuals followed for 5 years, more than 97% had inadequate riboflavin intake at baseline and this was associated with an increased risk of anemia at follow-up . High rates of marginal and deficient riboflavin status have been found in healthy women from both Canada and Malaysia and were indicative of a higher risk of anemia , which enhances the risk of associated fatigue symptoms.
Inadequate niacin intakes or status lead to nonspecific clinical symptoms and include weakness, loss of appetite, fatigue and apathy .
6.1.2. Inadequate Status in Vitamin C and Physical Fatigue
The Doctor May Examine You
The doctor may check your weight and height, if it seems relevant. You may not be examined, as it may depend on your answers to some of the questions above however, the doctor may think it relevant to:
- Check your lymph glands to see if they are enlarged.
- Check your thyroid gland to see if it is enlarged.
- Look at your eyes to see if you might be anaemic.
- Listen to your chest and feel your tummy and the organs in your tummy.
- Check your joints for swelling or inflammation.
- Check the strength of your arms and/or legs.
- Ask you for a sample of your urine to check for sugar or infection.
Fatigue Cause No : Diabetes
In people with diabetes, abnormally high levels of sugar remain in the bloodstream instead of entering the body’s cells, where it would be converted into energy. The result is a body that runs out of steam despite having enough to eat. If you have persistent, unexplained fatigue, ask your doctor about being tested for diabetes.
Fix: Treatments for diabetes may include lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, insulin therapy, and medications to help the body process sugar.
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Can Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Headaches
Research is finding an association, if not yet a cause and effect, between low levels of vitamin D and an increased risk for headaches.
A piece in Health.com reported on a study out of Finland in middle-aged men that found those with low-serum vitamin D were at greater risk for frequent headaches in comparison to those with higher vitamin D levels.
In fact, the article reported that men with the lowest levels of vitamin D were more than twice as likely to have headaches at least once a week in comparison to those with the highest levels.
Only 9.6% of the study population reported chronic headaches however, on average, those had lower levels of vitamin D compared to those without headaches . D are reported in both nanomoles per liter and nanograms per milliliter . One nmol/L is equal to 0.4 ng/mL, and 1 ng/mL is equal to 2.5 nmol/L.)
The study itself references numerous other studies with beneficial associations between vitamin D and headaches, although the study authors point out further research is needed.
This article from verywellhealth.com details three studies on vitamin D deficiency and the relation to headaches. The first study says the prevalence of migraine and tension headaches increased the closer to the North and South Poles and farther away from the equatorwith the sun being the presumed differentiator.
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Fatigue Cause No 1: Shift Work Sleep Disorder
Working nights or rotating shifts can disrupt your internal clock. You may feel tired when you need to be awake. And you may have trouble sleeping during the day.
Fix: Limit your exposure to daylight when you need to rest. Make your room dark, quiet, and cool. Still having sleep issues? Talk with your doctor. Supplements and medications may help.
What Does Your Diet Have To Do With Getting Enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D doesnt occur naturally in many foods. Thats why certain foods have added vitamin D. In fact, newer food nutrition labels show the amount of vitamin D contained in a particular food item.
It may be difficult, especially for vegans or people who are lactose-intolerant, to get enough vitamin D from their diets, which is why some people may choose to take supplements. It is always important to eat a variety of healthy foods from all food groups. The vitamin content of various foods is shown in the following table.
Vitamin D content of various foods
|Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce||6|
It is important to check product labels, as the amount of added vitamin D varies when it is artificially added to products such as orange juice, yogurt and margarine.
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Magnesium: Loss Of Appetite Nausea Fatigue And More
Magnesium helps support bone health and assists in energy production, and adults need between 310 and 420 mg, depending on sex and age, according to the NIH. Although deficiency is fairly uncommon in otherwise healthy people, certain medications and health conditions can limit the absorption of magnesium or increase the loss of this nutrient from the body.
Magnesium deficiency can cause loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, and weakness, according to the Cleveland Clinic. In more severe cases, it may also lead to numbness and tingling, muscle cramps or contractions, seizures, irregular heart rhythms, personality changes, or coronary spasms.
Fatigue Cause No 1: Cfs And Fibromyalgia
If your fatigue lasts more than six months and is so severe that you can’t manage your daily activities, chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia are a possibility. Both can have various symptoms, but persistent, unexplained exhaustion is a main one.
Fix: While there’s no quick fix for CFS or fibromyalgia, patients often benefit from changing their daily schedule, learning better sleep habits, and starting a gentle exercise program.
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Can Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Dizziness
Its certainly possible.
Lack of sleep can make you feel lightheaded or dizzy. Further, dizziness and balance issues are often symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Because we know that vitamin D impacts so many of our bodies functionsincluding our circadian rhythms which in turn help regulate sleepit makes sense that low vitamin D levels can lead to dizziness and related issues.
In addition, a number of studies have looked at the association of vitamin D on BPPV, the most common form of peripheral vertigo.
For example, one study published in Neurology set out to assess the effect of vitamin D and calcium supplementation in preventing recurrences of peripheral vertigo.
The multi-center, parallel, randomized control trial assigned patients to either the intervention group or the observation group. Those 348 patients in the intervention group with vitamin D levels under 20 ng/mL at baseline were intended to treat with vitamin D 400 IU and 500 mg of calcium carbonate twice daily for one year, while the remaining 445 patients in the same group with serum vitamin D levels equal or greater to 20 ng/mL were not asked to take supplements.
The observation group did not get their vitamin D levels tested and did not receive supplements.
Sleeping At The Wrong Time
In addition to inadequate sleep, sleeping at the wrong time can reduce your energy.
Sleeping during the day instead of at night disrupts your bodys circadian rhythm, which are the biological changes that occur in response to light and darkness during a 24-hour cycle.
Research has found that when your sleep pattern is out of sync with your circadian rhythm, chronic fatigue may develop .
This is a common problem among people who perform shift or night work.
Sleep experts estimate that 25% of all shift workers suffer from a sleep disorder characterized by excessive sleepiness or disrupted sleep over a period of one month or more .
Whats more, even staying awake during the night for a day or two can cause fatigue.
In one study, healthy young men were allowed to sleep either seven hours or just under five hours before being kept awake for 2123 hours. Their fatigue ratings increased before and after sleep, regardless of the number of hours they slept .
Its best to sleep during the night whenever possible.
However, if your job involves shift work, there are strategies to retrain your body clock, which should improve your energy levels.
In one study, shift workers reported significantly less fatigue and better mood after being exposed to bright light pulses, wearing dark sunglasses outside and sleeping in total darkness (
Using glasses to block blue light may also help people who perform shift work.
Inadequate protein intake could be contributing to your fatigue.
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Excessive Consumption Of Alcohol
Alcohol is a depressant, so drinking too much of it can lead to low mood and possibly even clinical depression. This in itself can cause fatigue, as the stress resulting from a low mood can use up a lot of energy and affect sleep. Alcohol is also a sedative, so drinking regularly can induce a constant sleepy state, affecting everyday life.
Physical Causes Of Tiredness
Tiredness may be due to a wide range of physical illnesses. Examples include:
- A tendency to be lacking in iron .
- An underactive thyroid gland .
- Side-effects of some medicines .
Most physical causes of tiredness will cause other symptoms. Some causes of tiredness may not cause any other symptoms apart from tiredness.
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Fast Fix For Mild Fatigue
If you have mild fatigue that isn’t linked to any medical condition, the solution may be exercise. Research suggests healthy but tired adults can get a significant energy boost from a modest workout program. In one study, participants rode a stationary bike for 20 minutes at a mild pace. Doing this just three times a week was enough to fight fatigue.
Fatigue Cause No : Not Enough Fuel
Eating too little causes fatigue, but eating the wrong foods can also be a problem. Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.
Fix: Always eat breakfast and try to include protein and complex carbs in every meal. For example, eat eggs with whole-grain toast. Also eat small meals and snacks throughout the day for sustained energy.
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Vitamins B3 And B5 Iron Magnesium And Zinc Are Important For Neurotransmission
Through NAD, niacin is involved in the control of intracellular calcium release. Calcium signalling is strongly integrated with nucleotide metabolism and the energy status of the cell, which are both dependent on NAD. Knowing the role of calcium in generating action potential in neurons, this is of high relevance regarding the role of niacin in cerebral functions .
Pantothenic acid-dependent palmitoylation of certain neuronal proteins is needed for release of neurotransmitters in the synapse, and is thus mandatory for transduction of information in the brain .
Iron is thought to be important for synaptic function as iron deficiency has been shown in a large set of preclinical studies to induce alterations in the electrophysiological properties of neural circuitry and neurotransmitter systems . Furthermore, recent findings suggest that a limited and controlled amount of reactive oxygen species in hippocampal neurons, including those generated by iron through the Fenton reaction, may stimulate calcium release, and thus allow calcium signals to activate the signalling cascades that lead to the transcription of genes known to participate in synaptic plasticity .
Not Getting Enough High
Not getting enough sleep is one of the more obvious causes of fatigue.
Your body does many things while you sleep, including store memory and release hormones that regulate your metabolism and energy levels .
After a night of high-quality sleep, you typically wake up feeling refreshed, alert and energized.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society, adults need an average of seven hours of sleep per night for optimal health .
Importantly, sleep should be restful and uninterrupted in order to allow your brain to go through all five stages of each sleep cycle .
In addition to getting enough sleep, maintaining a regular sleep routine also seems to help prevent tiredness.
In one study, adolescents who went to bed at the same time on weekdays and weekends reported less fatigue and less difficulty falling asleep than those who stayed up later and slept fewer hours on the weekends .
Being physically active during the day may help you get more restorative sleep at night. One study in older people found that exercising helped improve their sleep quality and reduce levels of fatigue .
Furthermore, napping may help boost energy levels. Taking naps has been shown to decrease tiredness in pilots, who often experience fatigue due to long working hours and jet lag .
To improve the amount and quality of your sleep, go to bed at roughly the same time every night, relax before sleeping and get plenty of activity during the day.
Other Causes Your Gp Might Investigate
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the many medical causes of tiredness.
Your doctor will ask you questions about the symptoms accompanying your tiredness and may carry out tests.
These include inflammatory conditions such as coeliac disease, in which your immune system reacts to a protein in gluten.
Other considerations include sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea, in which you wake on numerous occasions during the night because your breathing stops and starts. This symptom is often related to obesity, so if you suffer from that and/or experience a lot of daytime sleepiness, ask your doctor about sleep apnoea.
Your tiredness could also be down to mental fatigue. its worth discussing this with your doctor, as a psychological option such as a course of talking therapy might help you to recover.
In some cases, unexplained tiredness might be a symptom of something more serious. Thats why its better to talk to your doctor about it, rather than ignore the issue. Its what were here for.
Reviewed by: Dr Harriet Bradley, Livi Medical Director
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Why Is Vitamin D So Important
Vitamin D is one of many vitamins our bodies need to stay healthy. This vitamin has many functions, including:
- Keeping bones strong: Having healthy bones protects you from various conditions, including rickets. Rickets is a disorder that causes children to have bones that are weak and soft. It is caused by a lack of vitamin D in the body. You need vitamin D so that calcium and phosphorus can be used to build bones. In adults, having soft bones is a condition called osteomalacia.
- Absorbing calcium: Vitamin D, along with calcium, helps build bones and keep bones strong and healthy. Weak bones can lead to osteoporosis, the loss of bone density, which can lead to fractures. Vitamin D, once either taken orally or from sunshine exposure is then converted to an active form of the vitamin. It is that active form that promotes optimal absorption of calcium from your diet.
- Working with parathyroid glands: The parathyroid glands work minute to minute to balance the calcium in the blood by communicating with the kidneys, gut and skeleton. When there is sufficient calcium in the diet and sufficient active Vitamin D, dietary calcium is absorbed and put to good use throughout the body. If calcium intake is insufficient, or vitamin D is low, the parathyroid glands will borrow calcium from the skeleton in order to keep the blood calcium in the normal range.