“The general view of “supplements” seems to have shifted; there seems to be more awareness that we each can do things to support our biology. People vary, but the levers for health are: 1) Behaviours (do X & don’t do Y) 2) Nutrition 3) Supplementation 4) Rx drugs 5) Devices.” ~ Andrew D. Huberman, Ph.D.
When a Good Night’s Rest Isn’t Enough
Fatigue has often been reported as the most common complaint brought to family care doctors, with many physician’s not having the tools to address it efficiently.
Various factors, including stress, lack of sleep, and poor nutrition can cause fatigue. It can also be due to underlying physical and mental health conditions, sleep disorders, and chronic illness.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is notably different from everyday fatigue due to lifestyle factors and needs careful assessment by a healthcare provider.
If you’ve got the basics of sleep, movement, and diet dialed in, and you’ve ruled out conditions that might contribute to your fatigue with your healthcare provider, you might want to consider adding some quality supplements.
Specific vitamins can help combat fatigue by giving the body the necessary nutrients to function correctly.
Vitamins That May Help With Fatigue
This vitamin is essential for energy production and can help combat fatigue caused by a deficiency.
Vitamin B12 is found in animal products such as meat, fish, dairy, fortified cereals, and nutritional yeast.
When supplementing with Vitamin B12, pay careful attention to the quality and form of the supplement. Ideally, consulting with a functional MD or ND can help you assess the form and dosing best for your needs.
Low vitamin D levels have been linked to fatigue and low energy levels.
Vitamin D can be obtained from exposure to sunlight, as well as from fatty fish and fortified foods.
When it comes to dosing, there’s a sizeable therapeutic range, and consulting with a healthcare provider is ideal.
In addition, you want to be getting your vitamin D levels checked regularly, particularly with higher doses.
Iron is necessary for producing hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to the body’s tissues. An iron deficiency can lead to anemia and fatigue.
Iron-rich foods include red meat, poultry fish, beans, and dark leafy greens.
The form of iron is important, as heme iron and some other forms tend to be more bioavailable.
Certain forms of iron are also less likely to cause uncomfortable symptoms like constipation, so speak with your doctor or healthcare practitioner about the ideal form for you.
Also, testing your iron levels is likely a good first step, as some individuals may not need to supplement here, and it may even be detrimental to others.
However, supplementing with the right form of iron can help with fatigue, particularly for menstruating females and those with low levels.
Magnesium plays a role in energy production and muscle function.
A magnesium deficiency can lead to fatigue and weakness. Magnesium-rich foods include spinach, almonds, avocados, and dark chocolate.
A magnesium supplement can help with muscle relaxation and help with deep sleep. Typically it’s a supplement you would take later in the day, but it all depends on the form and dosing.
A Functional ND or MD can recommend which form to take, at what dosing, and what time of day to take it.
This vitamin is essential for immune function and may also help combat fatigue caused by stress.
Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits, kiwi, strawberries, and bell peppers.
Vitamin C comes in various forms, and the dosing can range from 250mg to a couple of grams. In cases of chronic fatigue, higher dosing may be indicated.
Speak to your healthcare provider about the best form of vitamin C and which dosing is ideal for you.
A Word of Caution When it Comes to Nutritional Supplements
With supplements, it’s always important to remember that the industry isn’t standardised in the way that pharmaceuticals are, and the ‘devil is in the details’ in terms of the quality, dosing, and timing of supplementation that will work best for your unique biology.
Due to a lack of education about nutrition and supplements, and a lack of industry standards, it typically requires the help of a highly skilled professional to figure out the ideal nutritional supplements for your body.
People can get into a few issues with supplements if they choose to take them without consulting a health provider, take them with other supplements or medications, take the wrong dosing or supplement for their concern, take a supplement from low-quality sourcing, and take their supplements at the incorrect time.
Next Steps to Addressing Your Fatigue
It’s important to note that while these vitamins may help with fatigue, nutritional supplements are called ‘supplements’ for a reason – they’re there to help supplement a healthy diet and lifestyle (and will rarely substitute for that).
Suppose you are experiencing fatigue or other symptoms. In that case, it’s always a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider to rule out any underlying medical conditions, as well as find the optimal supplements and dosing for your individual needs.
While fatigue is a prevalent symptom reported in Primary Care Doctor’s offices, it is also highly modifiable with the right care.
Working with a Functional MD or ND who understands the factors at play in fatigue can be an essential step to getting to the root cause.
You have what it takes inside you to make a definite choice that will change the future trajectory of your health.
Our team at Tiger Medical has the experience, clinical skills, and coaching acumen to help you get your health and energy back.
To talk to one of our professionals, click here to schedule your call!
For further reading, view the following articles on our learning center: