Learn How to Identify Nutrient Deficiencies

Learn How to Identify Nutrient Deficiencies

Our body requires vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients for optimum functional efficiency. Any kind of deficiency is a serious problem and should be recognized and treated without delay. The good news is that the human body is like a mirror, reflecting deficiencies within 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.

1. Head

  • 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.

2. Face

  • Dark circles under the eyes can indicate low levels 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.

3. Skin

  • 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 the back of arms may be indicative of deficiencies in vitamin A, vitamin E, zinc, and EFAs.
  • Easy bruising of the skin may 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 and Nails

  • Hangnails 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.

5. Feet

  • 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 are a sign of vitamin D3 deficiency. You may need to get more sunlight!
Deficiencies of essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are 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 them 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!

Republished from NaturallySavvy.com
Lisa Roth Collins is a registered holistic nutritionist and also the marketing manager at NaturallySavvy.com, which first published this article.
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