Your body will tell you when something is wrong, you just have to know how to listen to it. Keep reading to learn the 5 signs of a vitamin deficiency.
As human beings, we need a wide range of vitamins and minerals to help keep our bodies in good health and excellent shape.
If you're feeling sluggish or you feel like something's wrong, it could be a possible vitamin deficiency that's causing the problem.
This helpful guide discusses five important signs that you may have a vitamin deficiency, so read on to learn more and start improving your health.
1. Weight Gain or Shortness of Breath
If you've noticed sudden weight gain — even with a healthy diet and exercise — you may have an iodine deficiency. This essential mineral is required for normal thyroid function and for the production of healthy levels of thyroid hormones.
When you're deficient in iodine, you may notice shortness of breath and an increased heart rate. Your body needs thyroid hormones to help with normal growth, bone maintenance, and brain development. These hormones also play a key role in metabolic function.
A common symptom of iodine deficiency is an enlarged thyroid gland, also called a goiter. You can remedy this problem with a few natural sources, like seaweed, fish, dairy products, and eggs.
Children who are deficient in iodine are at much greater risk of developing health problems. Make sure you and your children are getting enough iodine in their daily diet for a healthy weight and a well-functioning thyroid.
2. Anemia or Weakness
To ensure a healthy red blood cell count, your body needs a sufficient amount of iron. Many people, particularly women, are deficient in this extremely important nutrient.
You can find iron in animal and plant food sources, although vegetarians are much more prone to an iron deficiency. Make sure you eat enough iron-rich foods, like red meat, beans, and dark, leafy greens.
Without enough iron in your bloodstream, you could end up dealing with anemia. This condition causes your red blood cell count to drop, making it more difficult for oxygen to be carried throughout the body.
Taking iron supplements is not recommended unless otherwise suggested by your doctor. Too much iron can be dangerous, so always try to supplement it through a healthy diet containing iron-rich foods instead.
If you're diagnosed with anemia, your doctor may prescribe an iron supplement or a vitamin containing higher amounts of iron to improve your symptoms.
3. Bone Loss or Brittle Bones
If you're suddenly prone to bone fractures or have "brittle bones," this could be a result of a calcium deficiency, a vitamin D deficiency, or both. These essential vitamins travel through your bloodstream and into cells that strengthen the bones.
You can get vitamin D from sunlight, and you can easily obtain calcium by consuming dairy products, like cheese or milk. For people who are lactose intolerant, a calcium supplement that contains vitamin D is recommended.
As you age, you increase your chances of being calcium and vitamin D deficient. It's also more prevalent in people with darker skin since they don't produce as much vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.
The signs of these vitamin deficiencies are quite subtle and may only present themselves as time goes on or if you end up with an unexpected broken bone. If you're over the age of 60, have your doctor run a blood test to check your calcium and vitamin D levels.
Take a daily calcium and vitamin D supplement for strong bones. Enjoy natural sunlight to increase your absorption of vitamin D in a natural way.
4. Bleeding Gums or Bruising
If you're suddenly dealing with bleeding gums every time you brush, you may be deficient in vitamin C. Another common symptom is that you bruise very easily.
For those who don't eat enough fruits and vegetables, it's quite easy to become deficient in vitamin C. Make sure you eat plenty of citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, and pineapples to supplement your vitamin C intake.
You can find vitamin C supplements online or at any drug store. This vitamin is safe to take and is water-soluble, so be sure to take it daily or as recommended.
When you increase your intake of vitamin C, the bruising and bleeding gums should subside. If bleeding gums persist, consider a visit to your dentist for further evaluation.
5. Fatigue or Low Energy Levels
Maybe you're noticing that you feel fatigued throughout the day or that your energy levels are waning much faster than normal. Extreme fatigue could potentially be a result of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Your body does not create this vitamin naturally, so you need to get it from dietary sources. You need vitamin B12 to make red blood cells and to support your nervous system.
Eat a diet full of fish, poultry, and red meat to get higher levels. A supplement can also help restore this crucial vitamin to give you more energy throughout the day.
Without healthy blood cells, your body cannot produce the level of energy it needs to function well. That's why supplementing vitamin B12 is so important for good health and to fight off that awful sluggish feeling.
Fight Off Vitamin Deficiency
If you've noticed any of the symptoms listed above, you may be dealing with a vitamin deficiency. Once you pinpoint what your body is lacking, you can improve your health with supplements and a diet rich in the vitamins your body needs.