Tired All The Time? We've Got News For You

The symptom could be linked to a common condition.
Guillermo Spelucin via Getty Images

Feeling exhausted all the time sometimes feels like the norm. After all, three-quarters of Brits don’t get enough sleep – and one in eight of us are somehow skating by on five hours a night.

But it turns out that roughly 46,000 Brits suffer from a condition which could impair sleep – and it’s often underdiagnosed.

Recently, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) shared guidelines about B12 deficiency, which can cause everything from fatigue to brain fog and even poor vision.

So, we thought we’d share the signs you’re one of the many Brits suffering from the condition – and advise you on how to recover from it.

How can I spot the condition?

Like we said before, there are multiple reasons why a person might feel tired all the time. Other causes include sleep apnoea, stress, a lack of exercise, and much, much more. So how can you tell if your exhaustion is stemming from a B12 deficiency?

Thankfully, there are other warning signs that you have the condition. NICE shared the following signs that you could be suffering from the deficiency:

  • abnormal findings on a blood count such as anaemia or macrocytosis,
  • cognitive difficulties, including symptoms related to delirium or dementia,
  • eyesight problems related to optic nerve dysfunction,
  • glossitis, or a swollen and/or red tongue,
  • mental health problems including, anxiety, depression, and psychosis,
  • neurological or mobility problems related to peripheral neuropathy, or to central nervous system disease including myelopathy (spinal cord disease): this can show up as impaired balance and falls linked to sensory ataxia, an impaired gait, pins and needles, numbness,
  • symptoms or signs of anaemia that suggest iron treatment is not working properly during pregnancy or breastfeeding, and
  • unexplained fatigue.

It’s especially common in those who consume little to no animal-based products, people who have a family history of B12 deficiency, those with coeliac disease, those on certain medications like metformin and anti-seizure medications, people who’ve had gastrointestinal surgery, and those over 65.

You can get a blood test if you want to be sure about your B12 count.

So, what can I do about it?

Thankfully, managing the condition can be as easy as taking an oral dose of the vitamin daily.

In some cases, intramuscular injections might need to be performed.

“See a GP if you’re experiencing symptoms of vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anaemia,” the NHS advises. After all, “the longer the condition goes untreated, the higher the chance of permanent damage.

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