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Tiredness could be red flag sign of common illness thousands of Brits have

Jess Hardiman

Published 
| Last updated 

Tiredness could be red flag sign of common illness thousands of Brits have

Tiredness could be a red flag of a common illness thousands of Brits have, one GP has warned saying it's worth getting checked out as it might not just be a case of too many late nights.

If you try and think back to a day when you woke up feeling refreshed and energised, you may struggle - such is the hardship of modern life, where we must juggle early commutes, parenting, cooking, cleaning, socialising AND catching up with the Aussie series of The Traitors.

I mean, I’m worn out after just talking about feeling shattered.

But while sometimes our tiredness can just be down to cramming too much into one day (and not getting an early enough bedtime to make up for it), one doctor has warned that it could also be a sign of a common illness.

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Do you feel constantly tired? It may not just be too many late nights. Credit: Sam Williams/Pixabay
Do you feel constantly tired? It may not just be too many late nights. Credit: Sam Williams/Pixabay

Their advice follows new guidance from National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, which has warned of symptoms like brain fog, exhaustion, mobility problems and anaemia all being potential signs of deficiency of a particular vitamin - B12.

Dr Rachel Ward, an NHS GP of Woodlands Medical Centre in Didcot, Oxfordshire, told The Sun: “Most people who have a balanced diet will have adequate B12 in their body.

“But if you have symptoms that could suggest a B12 deficiency, like tiredness, neurological symptoms, confusion, your GP will check your levels with a blood test.”

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Dr Ward went on to explain why the vitamin was so important, saying: “Vitamin B12 is required to make red blood cells but is also critical for nerve cells and our immune system.

“If we do not have enough, we become anaemic and that affects all of our organ systems.

“Deficiency also leads to neurological symptoms such as numbness, poor balance, confusion and abnormal tingling sensations.”

Doesn't look like she's getting enough B12. Credit: StockSnap/Pixabay
Doesn't look like she's getting enough B12. Credit: StockSnap/Pixabay
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Registered nutritionist Louise Pyne also agreed that there can be a link between a B12 deficiency and tiredness.

“Low levels of vitamin B12 can lead to tiredness, poor energy and getting out of breath easily,” she said.

“This is due to the fact that red blood cells aren’t able to transport oxygen around the body effectively.

“Other symptoms include vision changes, pins and needles, muscle weakness and poor memory.”

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According to the NHS, adults require around 1.5 micrograms of vitamin B12 daily - an amount most of us get purely through eating a balanced diet.

Dr Ward added: “Our bodies do not make vitamin B12 so we rely on absorbing it from food or taking supplements.

“The most B12-rich foods are meat, fish and dairy products, meaning those following a vegan diet need to eat adequate fortified foods or take supplements to keep healthy B12 levels.”

Featured Image Credit: DjelicS/Maria Korneeva/Getty Images

Topics: Health, UK News

Jess Hardiman
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