Vitamin deficiencies are incredibly common and lead to symptoms that negatively affect your overall health. Vitamin deficiency can be a result of a poor diet that lacks in essential vitamins and minerals. Long-term effects of vitamin deficiency can cause permanent damage of various bodily functions.
Eating wholesome nutrient dense foods can help combat any symptoms of vitamin deficiency. If you find yourself experiencing any of these unpleasant symptoms, adjust your diet to help alleviate any signs of illness. Make sure to check with your doctor to find out if you may need supplements for your diet.
Brittle Hair and Nails
While there are many causes of brittle hair and nails, one of the most common reasons is the lack of biotin. Also known as vitamin B7, biotin, assists the body in converting food into energy. Splitting and thinning hair is also another noticeable symptom of biotin deficiency. Biotin deficiency can also lead to chronic fatigue, muscle pain, and cramping of the hands and feet.
Biotin can be found in egg yolks, fish, meat, dairy, nuts, seeds, whole grains, bananas, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, and sweet potato. Nutritional deficiencies can occur for a variety of reasons including poor diet, chronic stress, and poor digestion. Making better dietary choices is the first step in helping your body meet it’s daily nutritional needs.
Mouth Ulcers, Bleeding Gums, or Corner Cracks
No one likes a painful canker-sore that lasts for weeks at a time. Oral health is a strong indication of health conditions and insufficient intake of certain essential nutrients. Canker sores often indicate a lack of iron or B vitamins. Splitting and cracking in the corners of the mouth may be due to dehydration or excessive salvation. However, cracks can also be caused by insufficient iron and B vitamins as well. A deficiency in riboflavin in particular is often the culprit.
Iron can be found in poultry, fish, legumes, dark leafy greens, whole grains, seeds, and nuts. Foods rich in B vitamins include eggs, dairy, green vegetables, seeds, nuts, and meats. Bleeding gums can also indicate a lack of vitamin C which helps wounds heal and prevent cell damage. Vitamin C can be found in fresh fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C deficiencies are common in people who don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables daily.
Muscle or Joint Pain
Consistent cramping in the calves, feet, and toes indicate that your body may have electrolyte imbalance. Long periods of cramping can indicate a deficiency in magnesium, a critical mineral that aids in nerve function. Magnesium helps the muscles in the body relax and contract as well as acts as an electrolyte. Low magnesium levels can lead to cramping in the leg muscles. Calcium, potassium, and vitamin D are also possible deficiencies that play a role in muscle cramping.
Foods high in magnesium include avocados, pumpkin seeds, nuts, seeds, legumes, tofu, dark chocolate, and whole grains. Epsom salt baths also help the body relieve muscle cramps and receive magnesium. Slow healing wounds or easy bruising could also indicate a vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C helps reduce inflammation helping wounds heal. Muscle aches and tiredness can lead to more severe cases if left unchecked. Make sure to see a doctor to prevent any serious symptoms from occurring.
Hair Loss, Itchy Scalp, and Dandruff
Everyone loses about 100 strands of hair a day. However, finding clumps of hair loss could indicate low iron levels which can cause hair to fall out. Iron helps in the creation of DNA which is found in hair follicles. Other possible causes of hair loss include aging, lack of protein, stress, autoimmune disorders or deficiencies in zinc, essential fatty acids, and B vitamins.
Flaking itchy skin on the scalp as well as dandruff reveal a skin disorder in the oil production areas of the body. Conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis are common and can be caused by low levels of zinc and B vitamins. Zinc can be found in seafood, meats, dairy, nuts, whole grains, and legumes. B vitamins can be found in whole grains, meats, eggs, dairy, legumes, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
If you experience frequent or long periods of any symptoms, talk to your doctor about taking a blood test to pinpoint the nutritional deficiencies in your body. Your results can help your primary care doctor suggest dietary changes or supplements to keep your body running in top shape.