Noticed a little inconsistency in my blogging lately? Two blogs here and then nothing for a few weeks?
Truth be told, I’ve been exhausted. Unbelievably, can-barely-drag-myself-out-of-bed-some-mornings, feel-hungover-but-I-haven’t-been-drinking tired. And as such, my my A-game hasn’t been anywhere for a long time!! I haven’t brought it with me to the blog, or to the community organisations I work with, or to my half of the house work (my poor hubby).
Given a long family history of depression I figured it was most likely a little ticking genetic time-bomb going off, but on the off chance it was something else I asked the doctor to do the standard gammit of blood tests. They say you should get them done every two years anyway, and it’s been a lot longer than that for me. And to my suprise it came back with something.
I expected it to be a thyroid thing at the very least (medical history prejudice again), but in fact I had a vitamin B12 deficiency – a vitamin important for brain function and energy production. Excited at stumbling across a solution so quickly, I eagerly asked the doctor what veggies I could eat to fix it – none. I was confused. All vitamins come from fruit and veggies don’t they?
After a short Google (not a verb, I know), I have come to understand – and kids, I wouldn’t recommend quoting this in a science project – that vitamin B12 is, well, kind of, sort of, but not exactly, the poop of a special kind of bacteria that grows in dirty water. We use clean water to grow our veggies, but animals still drink the dirty stuff. So the main source of natural B12 is animal products. Or something like that. I encourage you to do your own research if you are looking for the actual answer. I am a raconteur, not a medical scientist.
Anyway. Not being a big meat eater the Doctor suggested that I take a fairly sizeable dose of the Vitamin. I shan’t tell you what it was, because I don’t want this article to inspire people to take supplements at higher dosages than the label recommends without individual medical advice. But I shall tell you that I grabbed the first Australian made 1000mcg bottle of B12 I could find, although you can get lower doses as part of multi-vitamins and ‘stress formulas’.
When I first started to feel better I put it down to a coincidentally timed holiday, told myself the supplements were hippie voodoo, and stopped taking them. This led to a slow slide back to where we started. Within 4 days of getting back on the little pink pills I was feeling good. I’d forgotten I could feel that good. The extra energy, and the absence of brain fog was a very welcome relief.
Now of course, this is my experience based on individually tailored advice provided to me by a licensed medical practitioner. If anything my relapse and original reluctance are warnings against self-diagnosis. So don’t use this post as an excuse to delay a visit to the doctor if you need one. But if you are feeling a little run down, particularly if you are a veggo, give some thought to your own vitamin B12 levels.