Symptoms of nutrient deficiencies can range from mild to severe. Many people have no idea that their current diet is lacking in the proper nourishment on the cellular level. When tell-tale signs of deficiency do surface, they may be attributed to another physical cause. Recognizing the signs of nutrient deficiencies can help you to avoid problems with water balancing, enzyme function, nerve signals, digestion, and metabolic control now and in the future.
Vitamin A Deficiency
Vitamin A is necessary for a healthy immune system. It is common in developing countries where diets lack the essential foods that carry vitamin A. Foods rich in this vitamin include liver, fortified milk, sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, cantaloupe and apricots. Symptoms of low Vitamin A deficiency include:
- Night blindness
- Dry skin and dry eyes
- Stunted growth
- Wounds that are Slow Healing
Night blindness and dry eye are the most prevalent signs of Vitamin A deficiency. If left untreated, a scarring of the cornea could occur or even blindness.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B12 builds red blood cells. In turn, oxygen is carried throughout the body. When too little vitamin B12 is present to do the job, anemia can occur. Animal products carry the most vitamin B12 in addition to fish, eggs, dairy products and fortified grains. Symptoms of low Vitamin B12 deficiency include:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Shortness of breath
- Mouth ulcers
Some people with chronic vitamin B12 deficiency may need to receive shots once a month in order to boost the amount lacking in the body. Supplements may also be suggested by a physician.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Lack of vitamin D can result in weak muscles and weak bones. Bones can also thin causing osteoporosis. Increased blood pressure and depression have also been noted in recent tests. Lack of adequate natural sun is the major cause of this deficiency. Fortified milk and fish oils are the best essential foods for supplementing sunshine. Symptoms of low vitamin D include:
- Sore muscles
- Weak bones
- Bowed legs
People that rarely go outside should also take vitamin D supplements in order to prevent the lack of this hormone. Just a few minutes in the sun per day is an excellent way to help prevent vitamin D deficiency without running the risk of sun burn.
Iodine is a mineral that is produced in the thyroid gland to make thyroid hormones. These hormones help to repair damaged cells and keep your metabolism healthy. Those that shy away from iodized salt, are pregnant or are vegetarians are most prone to have iodine deficiency. Symptoms of iodine deficiency include:
- Goiter in the front of the neck
- Hair loss
- weakness and fatigue
- Feeling cold
- Heavy or irregular periods
Adding iodized salt to your regular diet is the best way to help combat low iodine levels. Seaweed is also a good source of iodine with 1,989% of the RDI per 11 sheets.
Magnesium deficiency has been blamed for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis. This deficiency runs high in Western worlds due to ingesting foods that are processed and low in natural magnesium content. Eating fresh green vegetables, fruit, seafood and nuts is the best way to keep your magnesium level up. With refined sugar and refined oil removing almost all of the magnesium through processing, it is more difficult today to keep magnesium operating correctly in the body. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include:
- Muscle spasms or cramps
- Irritability and anxiety
Without recognizing and treating magnesium deficiency, several physical conditions can occur. In addition to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis, the following problems can develop:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Parkinson’s disease
Your doctor should be able to run a series of tests on mineral deficiencies so that you will be able to know if your symptoms are due to low magnesium or other minerals. Catching the diagnosis early will give you a good chance of managing through diet and supplements.