Fatigue in Seniors Does Not Have To Happen

Fatigue in seniors is one of the signs of aging; or is it?

The answer to this question is a resounding no---IT IS NOT a sign of aging.

There are millions of people over 55 years old that work, exercise, run companies, and do other tasks that people half of our age have are hard time keeping up with.

In fact, people our age have a work ethic that is very hard to find in a lot of younger people.

Fatigue in Seniors

If you are 55 years or older, and you are sluggish most of the time and just feel tired, you probably do have fatigue in seniors, but it has absolutely nothing to do with aging.

It can be the first warning signs of an underlying condition, or it could something as simple as a vitamin deficiency, especially the “power vitamin”, B 12.

Fatigue in seniors is considered to be a symptom, not a condition. All of us at times in our lives have become fatigued.

After being in retail management at district and regional levels and working 6 and sometimes 7 days a week, I have become very tired and lethargic several times.  

All of us have at some point.

Here are some other factors that should be considered.

  • Are you still very tired when you wake up even after a sound sleep
  • Is it starting to affect your performance or lifestyle
  • Are you catching yourself “dozing off” while setting, or worse yet, driving
  • Has it hit you suddenly or has it been coming on for several months
  • Are you taking any kind of new medications

Fatigue and aging can be the result of several different factors, and these low energy levels you may be experiencing, can also make you feel very weak.

Our body basically has a meter in it that sets levels for endurance and stamina. Although these levels will and do diminish over time, our bodies adjust to the changes.

Our Energy Meters are Different

This meter is completely different in each of us, as some people have always had a lot more energy than others.

Every one of us have worked throughout our lives with people that we wondered what keeps them going, to others that we have all classified as just plain lazy.

When we do start to push these meter levels in or body too far, its natural reaction is becoming tired and that is very, very normal.

However, fatigue in seniors in the vast majority of cases, is triggered by something and here are some potential causes.

  • Our metabolic rate has suddenly slowed down
  • The supply of oxygen and nutrients to our cells have slowed down
  • Our brain is not sending signals to our body as fast as is used to
  • We are not handling stress like we used to, and this is draining our energy.

Any of these issues could be the real underlying factors that are making you tired, and individually they are all part of the aging process in their own ways.

However, that still does not mean that fatigue in seniors is part of the aging process for one simple reason. All four of these potential cases can be corrected.

Older Couple TogetherOlder Couple Together

If you are suddenly experiencing this “symptom”, as it is a symptom, you need to find the cause and have your doctor run some tests.

I have found it very interesting in the years that we were caregivers, how many times my mother in law was misdiagnosed, until we took her to some top tier medical professionals.

One of the things that is very simple to test for, one the easiest thigs to treat, and perhaps the most misdiagnosed condition in seniors, is a vitamin B 12 deficiency.

Here are the classic signs of a Vitamin B 12 deficiency.

  • Anemia—low red blood cell counts
  • Neuropathy—your nerves start to malfunction
  • Brain functions—memory issues, irritability, drowsiness

Interesting! 

Look at the common symptoms of fatigue in seniors and compare them to a Vitamin B 12 deficiency.

As we all get older, our ability to absorb B12 begins to decrease. The major reason for this is our stomach acids and enzymes have become compromised with age.

We do not have the same levels of stomach acids that we used to have, and most of us are taking more medications than we ever have.  

This combination makes it more difficult to absorb this key nutrient.

Surgeries also have an effect on our stomach acids, as well as certain underlying conditions such as Crohn’s disease.

Why B 12 is Helpful

This nutrient can be very helpful for fatigue in seniors for several key reasons.

First it is vital for our metabolism as it is literally involved in every cell we have throughout our body.

It is also combines with folate and helps build our DNA, which is the genetic material within our cells.

It also assists with our nerve cells and our nervous system, but perhaps its biggest role is protecting “our myelin sheath”.

Our myelin sheath is a protective covering or shield that covers our spinal, cranial, and peripheral nerves, and allows for nerve and impulse transmission.

If these transmissions become compromised, the signals from our brain to other parts of our body slow down.

The Four Possible Causes Again

If you back and look at the four major possible causes at the top of the article again they again include the following.

  • Metabolic rate—energy
  • Oxygen and Nutrients-B12
  • Brain signals
  • Stress and irritability

Again, in fatigue in seniors, it all points to how we are fueling or feeding our body.

It is also interesting that a B12 vitamin shot is giver to literally millions of people daily throughout the world because of a deficiency, especially as we age.

There is one word of caution, however.

Even though this is a water soluble vitamin, unlike all of water soluble nutrient, this one is stored, not flushed.

If you over react and take to many supplements, the excess is stored in your liver, so only take the recommend dosages.

The recommended daily allowance for adults is by most experts, is considered to be 2.4 micrograms and it is estimated that we only get about 5-7 micrograms in our daily diet.

However, according to the Mayo clinic, seniors should supplement somewhere between 25-100 micrograms once we pass the 60 year old mark.

References

http://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/4-16-15-vitamin-b-12-deficiency/

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