After a trip to the doctor’s last week to check on my lab results, I found out I was deficient in basically everything! Surprise, surprise.
My low energy is 100% because of my very low iron and B12. I have a hunch that my extreme fatigue was less of an iron issue than I originally thought, and more-so because of my B12. When I went vegetarian for a year or so, last year, I didn’t supplement with B12 because I didn’t know that B12 is only readily available in meats! Currently, I’m still paying the consequences for my lack of knowledge last year. My iron is higher than it was last year – last year I was “deathly low” (quoting the hospital doctor), which is an improvement!
Currently, I’m supplementing with probiotics, omega 3s, b12, iron, and vitamin D3.
Probiotics: I’m in the process of healing my gut with probiotics and different foods after doing extensive research on the damages my body endured when I took psychiatric medications daily for 4 years. Funny enough, gut health is actually directly linked to mood and overall wellbeing as well. Seems counterintuitive that my medications were damaging my gut, making my symptoms worse. But at the time, the pros of medication (staying alive) far outweighed the cons. The cons are time, energy, and money to heal my gut.
Omega 3s: Omega 3s are just for my overall body and brain functioning. I could go into all the benefits but I’m sure everyone knows of them.
B12: B12 is for my energy/red blood cell formation. There are more complicated benefits of B12 that I won’t go into, but the main symptom of B12 deficiency is fatigue. Fun fact: almost all energy drinks contain megadoses of B12.
Iron: Iron is for my energy as well. Iron is an important mineral crucial to proper red blood cell function – it helps RBC carry oxygen in the body. Common symptom of iron deficiency is fatigue as well. It’s difficult for women with menstrual cycles to have enough iron, and doctors recommend that most women supplement with iron!
Vitamin D3: There are many research studies that show a correlation between vitamin D3 deficiency and depression, but the direct link is not known yet. During the Vancouver fall/winters, it’s easy to be affected by the gloomy weather and lack of sunshine. (Turns out my super happy roommate who’s happy all year round supplements with vitamin D!) I’ll be getting a blood test sometime in October to adjust the amount that I’m taking, but because I’ve been deficient for a very long time, my doctor says I don’t need to worry too much about the amount I’m taking now.
It sounds likes I’m taking a lot, but it really isn’t too bad when I take some in the morning, and others at night! Overall, I have felt a definite shift in my physical health, which has helped my mental health greatly. I have more energy to do the things I love, and spend time with the people I love. I wish my psychiatrist had me do a blood test for deficiencies before we started on medications. Oh well, at least I’ve learned now!
I encourage you all to be advocates of your own health and get a blood test! It’s easy for symptoms to be bushed off and/or diagnosed as a common issue. Best of luck.