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Luci asked...

I feel weak with no energy.

I feel weak with no energy. Very nervous all the time. I eat well, sleep well so I don't understand why I feel this way. I try going to nutritionist she recommended a herbal medicine. I don't want to take medicine unless I know exactly what is wrong with me. Any ideas? Last blood test, about 9 months ago, I was with low vitamin D and calcium, and my white blood cells too large. nothing to worry acording to the doctor.

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The answer

I’m pleased that you’ve had blood tests which were fairly close to normal. Slightly low levels of vitamin D are extremely common, and rarely cause symptoms. Severely low levels of vitamin D on the other hand can cause many symptoms including tiredness, muscle aches and possibly depression. Confusingly, there are two different measures used in different hospitals to look at vitamin D levels – one counts a level below 50 as ‘suboptimal’ and a level below 25 as ‘deficient’; the other counts below 70 as ‘suboptimal’ and below 40 as ‘deficient’.

It may be worth checking with your doctor which category you fit into. Low vitamin D levels can have a knock-on effect on your calcium levels. A mildly raised increase in blood cell size can be due to alcohol or low levels of vitamin B12 or folic acid, but if you’re not anaemic and other results are normal it’s unlikely, as your doctor said, to be anything to worry about. I’m assuming you’ve also had your thyroid and glucose levels, as well as your kidney and liver function, checked. The fact that you feel nervous all the time makes it more likely that stress, rather than a physical cause, is at the root of your symptoms.

If you do see a nutritionist, I would strongly advise seeing a registered nutritionist. The title of nutritionist is not ‘protected’ in the way that other professions such as osteopath or doctor are. That means anyone can call themselves a nutritionist with no training.


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