Could low B-12 be behind the burnout?

Burnout has become a big buzzword in recent years, and for good reason. With our ever-demanding workloads and busy lifestyles, the pressures on our time are increasing. Add to this the stress of the pandemic and it’s not surprising that we often feel tired. But could there be more to it than lifestyle?

It’s believed that around 6% of the UK population is deficient in Vitamin B12. And, with more people turning to a plant-based diet, that number could well be on the rise. Why does this matter and how could it be linked to burnout?

Vitamin B-12 is essential for your health. Playing a critical role in the production of red blood cells and in helping your nervous system to function properly, this water-soluble vitamin is extremely important for regulating much of how your body functions day-to-day. If you’re deficient in B-12, you can experience a whole host of symptoms, from tiredness to memory problems.

If you’ve been taking steps to banish your burnout, but find that you’re not bouncing back after resting, or you’ve made changes towards a plant based diet and have been noticing a negative change to your energy levels, it could be worth investigating whether low B-12 is playing a part.

What can happen if you’re deficient in B-12

What is vitamin B-12 and why do we need it?

Vitamin B-12 is needed to maintain normal brain function. It’s also involved in the production of red blood cells and helps to create and regulate our DNA. Every single cell in your body relies on vitamin B-12 and its key role releasing energy by helping your body absorb folic acid.

Your body produces millions of red blood cells every minute, but they can’t multiply properly without vitamin B-12. If your levels are too low, the production of red blood cells reduces which, in turn, can result in anaemia.

What can happen if you’re deficient in B-12?

A deficiency in B-12, or folate, can cause a wide range of problems. One of the most prevalent symptoms is low energy and fatigue.

You can also experience:

  • Mouth ulcers

  • Muscle weakness

  • Pins and needles

  • Problems with memory

  • Psychological problems, which may include depression

  • Sore, red tongue

What causes low levels of B-12?

It’s possible to develop B-12 deficiency if your diet is lacking in foods which are rich in the vitamin, such as milk, eggs, and meat. This can be a concern for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.

However, you can also be at risk of B-12 deficiency simply if you are older, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if your body can’t properly absorb the vitamin from your diet.

Some medications, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) can also interfere with your body’s ability to absorb B-12.

Could you be B-12 deficient?

If you recognise some of the common signs of B-12 deficiency, and want to understand how your body is functioning, if could be worth taking a closer look at your health and wellbeing through private blood testing.

Our advanced B-12 profile provides a snapshot of various key indicators of B-12 function, including:

  • Haemoglobin

  • Mean Cell Volume

  • Active B-12

  • Vitamin B-12

  • Serum Folate

Understanding the performance of each of these important indicators can give you a helpful window into your wellbeing, and what changes you might need to make in order to optimise your health.

Getting your B-12 levels tested in London

With GP waiting times increasing in many practices, private blood testing is becoming a common alternative for many people looking to take control of their health.

Our central London walk in clinic makes getting a private blood test for B-12 levels quick and convenient. Simply purchase your test online and attend the clinic on the same day.

At your appointment, the friendly team will talk to you about your test, collect your blood sample and send it off for testing at an accredited partner laboratory. All you need to do is arrive for your appointment. We’ll take care of the test, and the rest.


Clear, accurate results

The time it takes to receive your results will depend on the type of test you have chosen. When they are ready, your results will be sent directly to you, via email, within the time specified. If you would prefer to receive a paper copy of your results through the post, that can be arranged for you.

You can also choose the option of reported or unreported results. Reported results include information and comment from our GP which you may find helpful to discuss with your own consultant, or for your records.

Find out more about B-12 testing