Signs of vitamin deficiency
One of the most difficult parts of keeping your body healthy is a lack of common knowledge on how to tell if you have a vitamin deficiency. This blog will walk you through a few symptoms of some common deficiencies, so you can keep on top of your health.
Everyone knows the pain of a mouth ulcer at one point or another. You can minimise the pain and speed up the healing process by avoiding irritating or coarse foods (such as spicy, salty, acidic, or crunchy foods according to the NHS), but it is easier to avoid getting one in the first place.
Common causes can include stress, food allergies, or accidentally biting the inside of your cheek. Less known causes, however, could be an iron or vitamin deficiency. Fargon describes how anaemia (caused by an iron deficiency) can cause mouth sores, as a low red blood cell count means that oxygen is not transported to cells as quickly. Vitamin C can be used to aid the absorption of iron back into the body in order to help remedy this. Fargon also advises on vitamin B12; being deficient of this can also cause anaemia, with the body producing abnormally large red blood cells that cannot function as they should.
Another symptom usually associated with stress, hair loss can also be tied to a wide variety of deficiencies. Medical News Today pays particular attention to vitamin D, which helps create new hair follicles. These follicles can help hair growth and thickness.
Iron and vitamin E can help boost circulation and transport oxygen and nutrients to hair follicles. Meanwhile, B vitamins can support hair growth by avoiding anaemia, as well as strengthening the structure of the hair shaft.
Zinc is also a key component due to its role in the reproduction of cells and tissues. As a result, zinc can support hair growth by keeping the follicles healthy.
One of the more unsettling signs of a vitamin deficiency is bleeding gums. As with the other symptoms on this list, the condition itself could be due to a wide variety of factors, and so it is best to seek medical advice first. However, bleeding gums could indicate a deficiency in vitamin C and K. Vitamin C is key to protecting cells, maintaining healthy skin, bones, and cartilage, and also vital for avoiding scurvy. Healthline points out that these deficiencies are not often seen in developed countries, but it is entirely possible.
We suggest that you ask your doctor about your vitamin levels, and ensure that you are getting these vitamins through such foods as broccoli and strawberries or through supplements designed to increase your intake.
Keratosis pilaris may sound exotic, but there is no need to fear. The small, harmless bumps that appear on your skin can be an indicator of a vitamin A or vitamin C deficiency. The Healthy Home Economist describes how vitamin A deficiencies can exacerbate skin conditions. Vitamin A helps keep skin healthy, and can be found in cheese, eggs and oily fish, for example.
Vitamin C can also be used to repair damage to your skin such as keratosis pilaris, and it is vital in maintaining healthy skin. We examined the way it protects skin from sunburn in a previous blog. Vitamin C can be found in things such as oranges, peppers, potatoes and blackcurrants.
Dandruff can be embarrassing for the best of us. As Livestrong tells us, zinc plays an important part in keeping immune systems strong and encouraging healthy cell growth, as well as the structure of cells’ membranes. A deficiency can, therefore, cause physical effects such as dandruff.
An improper diet can contribute to dandruff, pointing to a vitamin deficiency of zinc and B vitamins. The latter, due to their role in the creation and growth of new cells, can help avoid dandruff and keep scalps healthy.
By keeping an eye out for these symptoms, you can make sure to stay on top of your requirements and don’t develop a vitamin deficiency. While many of these can be avoided through a balanced diet, it is important to understand when you may need more vitamins or supplements in order to stay as healthy as possible.