Fatigue is a permanent sense of feeling worn out mentally or physically. It’s a term used to describe an overall feeling of tiredness or lack of energy. Fatigue is a common symptom of iron deficiency with or without anaemia, however it can be caused by many other nutritional deficiencies or medical conditions that range in severity from mild to serious.
Causes of fatigue
Fatigue can be caused by nutritional deficiencies such as lack of iron, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D or Folate. Impaired thyroid functioning may also lead to fatigue.
Vitamin B12, is involved in the metabolism of every cell of the human body. It is important for DNA synthesis, the normal functioning of the nervous system as well as the development of red blood cells. Our bodies can’t make Vitamin B12, hence we have to obtain it from animal-based foods or from supplements. Vitamin B12 deficiency is not uncommon and can be caused by issues such as the malabsorption from the gut or simply a vegan diet. Speak to our doctor to find out more.
The human body produces vitamin D as a response to sun exposure. Vitamin D can also be increased through consumption of certain foods or supplements. Vitamin D is essential for several reasons, including maintaining healthy bones and teeth and supporting the immune, brain and nervous system health. It may also protect against a range of diseases and conditions, such as type 1 diabetes. Vitamin D deficiency is common and can be influenced by ones skin type, not enough exposure to the sun or possibly the use of sunscreen.
Folate is essential for the body to make DNA and metabolise amino acids, which are required for cell division. Humans cannot make folate and rely on their diet. Folate in the form of folic acid is used to treat anaemia caused by folate deficiency as well as to supplement women during pregnancy to reduce the risk of neural tube defects in the baby. Folic acid is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system.
The thyroid gland, in the front of the neck, produces hormones that control the speed of metabolism. An unexplained change in weight is one of the most common signs of a thyroid disorder. Thyroid disorders can impact energy level and mood. Hypothyroidism (low levels of thyroid levels) tends to make people feel tired, sluggish, and depressed. High levels, or hyperthyroidism, can lead to anxiety, problems sleeping, restlessness, and irritability. Studies have revealed that iron deficiency anemia (IDA) impairs thyroid metabolism.