Our body requires vitamins, minerals and other nutrients for optimum functional efficiency, and any kind of deficiency is a serious problem. It should be recognized and treated without delay. The good news is that the human body is like a mirror, reflecting deficiencies within in external symptoms. If you are vigilant and make it a point never to ignore these symptoms, you can easily detect a deficiency at an early stage and correct it. A blood test can confirm certain vitamin deficiencies, but as mentioned, nutrient deficiency symptoms are reflected in five important parts of the body.
- Hair loss is a sign of vitamin deficiency. Common deficiencies include folic acid,vitamin B5, vitamin B6, and EFAs (essential fatty acids). Vitamin A toxicity or other environmental toxicities may also cause hair loss.
- Dandruff problems indicate EFA, antioxidant (especially selenium), or B-complex deficiencies
- Premature greying is a sign of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) deficiency.
- Dark circles under the eyes can indicate low intake of quercetin and vitamin C.
- Acne is mostly caused by zinc, EFA and vitamin A deficiency and may be triggered by the over-consumption of bad fatty acids like those present in fried, oily food.
- Tooth decay is a sign of deficiency of vitamin B6 and minerals like boron, calcium, and silica.
- Bleeding gums are a result of inadequate intake of vitamin C and bioflavonoids.
- Cracks at the corners of the mouth are a sign of deficiencies in B2 (riboflavin) and other B-complex vitamins.
- Sore tongue may be a sign of B12, folic acid, iron and/or zinc deficiency.
- Pale tongue may indicate low iron levels, so an iron test is recommended.
- Dry skin is often caused by deficiencies in EFAs, vitamin A and/or vitamin E.
- Skins tags around the neck, arms and back are a sign of glucose intolerance or reactive insulin levels.
- Small red bumps on back of arms may be indicative of deficiencies in vitamin A, vitamin E, zinc and EFAs.
- Easy bruising of the skin may mean indicate low levels of vitamins K, C, or E, and/or bioflavonoids.
- Slow wound healing is a sign of deficiencies in vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc and/or EFAs. It may also indicate the presence of diabetes.
4. Hands & Nails
- Hang nails and cuticle inflammation may be a sign of zinc deficiency.
- Skin cracking at the tips of fingers showcases deficiencies in zinc, vitamin E, or EFAs.
- Cold hands are a sign of deficiencies in EFAs, niacin (vitamin B3), vitamin E, vitamin B12 or iron.
- Flat angle/spooning of nails may be a result of iron deficiency.
- Ridged nails are caused by low levels of minerals.
- Nail abnormalities in the feet and toes similar to those found in hands (such as ridged nails), may indicate the same vitamin deficiencies.
- Tingly feet with poor circulation is a sign of vitamin D3 deficiency. You may need to get more sunlight!
Deficiencies of essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients is usually a result of poor dietary habits like low intake of fruits and vegetables. If you eat a balanced diet, you can easily prevent vitamin deficiencies. For example, eating more foods rich in vitamin E (like almonds), can help to overcome skin and hair hassles that are very common nowadays.
If you have one or more symptoms highlighted above, consider discussing with a healthcare provider. Some of these symptoms may also point to a deeper issue, such as venous blood clots, kidney disorders or thyroid disease. Take a stand and protect your body from vitamin deficiencies by eating healthy!
Image: Paul Watson
Author Bio: Surela Mukherjee is a passionate blogger, a foodie and a fitness freak. She is a content writer who loves writing about beauty, lifestyle, food, health and wellness. She believes in spreading a word of happiness through her writings.