Medical Questions > Nutrition > Nutrition Forum

Extreme fatigue a deficiency in a basic nutrient?

I'm a 28 year old woman and for the past few months I've been experiencing fatigue that goes beyond the general tiredness I'm used to being a long term shift worker. I find it very difficult to get up in the morning and snooze my alarm for an hour before being able to get myself out of bed. Getting ready for the day is a real struggle (I feel lightheaded, disoriented and sometimes a bit nauseous after getting up) and I need at least one 15 minute nap on my lunch break to get through the day. On some days, I end up going to work without having had a shower or brushed my hair because I slept in too late.

I initially thought it was just being "run down" but the problem has not improved despite me trying to eat healthier foods and continuing to get plenty of exercise. I am a vegetarian but take iron, vitamin B and vitamin D supplements daily. And no, I am not pregnant.

Two months after the problem started, my GP put me on Pristiq for anxiety and I hoped this might help with the fatigue. The Pristiq alleviated my anxiety attacks but has done nothing to lift the fatigue. I've always had sleep problems like insomnia and have never been a morning person but I feel this is different than just wanting to sleep in. For years I've been able to function easily on 5-6 hours sleep, but now even if I have 9 hours it's a real battle to make it through the day. I'm not on any other medication (except for the contraceptive pill) that may be causing this fatigue.

Is there a simple cause for this fatigue that I may have overlooked, such as a deficiency in another basic nutrient?
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replied January 22nd, 2013
Active User, very eHealthy
Good that you've been checked out by your GP. This suggests you have no other identifiable medical issues such as sleep apnea that could be contributing to the fatigue.

Pristiq is an anti-depressant. Your description does sound consistent with depression. I would suggest you consider treatment for both anxiety and depression. Those conditions may be at the root of your fatigue.

Identifying and improving the underlying thought patterns that may be contributing to anxiety and depression may help you feel less fatigued.

Good luck.
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