Vitamin Deficiencies that Cause Fatigue

October 16, 2018
A healthy, balanced diet is essential so that your body gets all the nutrients it needs to perform its many functions properly.

If you find it hard to get out of bed every morning, or need a long time to get up after a quiet weekend at home, it might not be a major issue. But there are also vitamin deficiencies that cause fatigue that could be the root of the problem.

Lifestyle habits are important, but also take a closer look at what you’re eating. If you’re missing certain nutrients, your body will have a hard time giving you the energy you need to face the day.

What is fatigue and what causes it?

We all have times when we feel tired and completely run down. These times make you just want to stay in bed all day long and not do a thing. But once you get a good night’s sleep, you’re usually back to normal and can easily go about your regular activities.

The problems come when that weakness or lack of energy lasts for weeks or gets worse. Fatigue isn’t something that you should ignore.

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In addition to the normal stress and activity of our modern lifestyle there are other causes of fatigue:

  • Taking medications like antidepressants or antihistamines
  • Undergoing certain medical treatments like radiation, chemotherapy, etc.
  • The recovery period after an operation
  • Feeling anxious, depressed, or nervous
  • Losing a loved one
  • Having financial or personal problems
woman dealing with vitamin deficiencies that cause fatigue

Your daily habits are very important and could be the cause of your fatigue. Here are some possibilities:

  • Not getting enough exercise
  • Always staying up late and getting up early
  • Drinking too much coffee or alcohol
  • Eating too much junk food or sugar
  • Having a full calendar of things to do
  • Not going on vacation or taking a break in too long

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a common condition nowadays, but it often goes undiagnosed until it gets worse, or lasts for more than six months.

It’s usually not related to other conditions or diseases, is more common in women than men, and usually happens past age 40. Some of the most common symptoms of chronic fatigue are:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain
  • Tender lymph nodes
  • Memory problems
  • Irritability
  • Lifelessness

man dealing with eye strainVitamin deficiencies that cause fatigue

We mentioned some daily habits that could be causing physical and mental exhaustion, but what you eat can also play a significant role in how you feel. Or to put it another way, what you don’t eat, because it’s vitamin deficiencies that cause fatigue–you might not be eating a balanced diet.

The point is, it’s not just about how much food you eat in a day, but also the quality of the food. Nutritional deficiencies and “empty” calories can cause a lot of health problems – including tiredness, depression, and low energy stores.

Let’s take a deeper look at what happens when you’re missing certain vitamins.

Vitamin C

This nutrient is especially beneficial for the immune system and you have to get it from food because your body can’t make it on its own.

Eating citrus fruits, tomatoes, or peppers can help your body metabolize proteins and get your neurotransmitters to work properly.

Besides fatigue, not having enough of this important vitamin can also lead to joint pain, swollen gums, and frequent colds.

Vitamin D

This vitamin regulates the absorption of calcium in your body, helping you maintain strong bones and flexible muscle movement. It also boosts your immune system, reduces inflammation, and fights fatigue.

To get this nutrient you should eat tuna, salmon, and other oily fish. It’s also good to get at least 15 minutes of sun exposure a day to avoid a deficiency in this vitamin.

A vitamin D deficiency can lead to weak muscles and bones, along with poor sleep and daytime fatigue.


You don’t need to be anemic to have an iron deficiency. According to the World Health Organization, a deficiency in this mineral is one of the biggest worldwide nutritional problems.

The most common symptoms of iron deficiency include weakness, fatigue, and poor cognitive development.

Those cause poor performance at work (or school), immune system imbalances, and difficulty maintaining a normal body temperature.


This nutrient is found in legumes, nuts, and whole grains.

When you don’t get enough magnesium you can experience nausea, weakness, numbness in your extremities, and a loss of appetite. It also can cause abnormal heart rhythms and muscle contractions.

Read more:

The Amazing Benefits of Magnesium

Vitamin B

The B complex vitamins (B1, B6, and B12) are the most important when it comes to vitamin deficiencies that cause fatigue. Along with fatigue, not having enough of these three can cause depression, a loss of muscle mass, and reduced appetite. Sarcopenia is a disorder that’s characterized by weakness and degenerating muscles.

  • Vitamin B1, or thiamine, is responsible for regulating the function of your nervous system and metabolizing blood sugar.
  • Vitamin B6 controls your appetite and metabolizes fat.
  • Lastly, vitamin B12 prevents depression and chronic fatigue.
Scientists estimate that around 15% of the population is deficient in vitamin B (any of them). You can find this nutrient in dairy, eggs, and fish. For vegetarians, fortified cereals and yeast are also good options.

Have you been feeling tired a lot lately? Well, it might be a vitamin deficiency that’s causing your fatigue, so try adding these foods to your diet. It could make a huge difference!

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