Signs of vitamin deficiencies are often ignored because of the subtle and often strange symptoms that occur as a result. Eating contaminated, processed foods plays a huge role in causing vitamin deficiencies in the body. Plus, most people are not able to actually consume enough nutritional foods to stay healthy.
You may not necessarily develop a disease, but you can definitely endure impaired functioning as a result of vitamin deficiencies. Prolonged lack of certain nutrients can, of course, cause the onset of certain diseases. That’s why it’s important to know the signs of vitamin deficiencies in order to correct your nutritional levels before significant health impairment or damage occur.
6 Signs of Vitamin Deficiencies and What to Do
Here are 6 strange signs of vitamin deficiencies that are easy to miss and how to remedy them.
1. Numbness and tingling in feet, hands or other areas of the body.
Vitamin Deficiency: You’re most likely low in B vitamins like B12, B6 and B9 (folate). Lack of vitamin B can cause these sensations that come from the peripheral nerves located next to the skin. Lack of B vitamins can also cause depression, fatigue, anemia and imbalances in hormones. Lack of vitamin B has also been attributed to developing an episode of Bell’s Palsy, which is neurological.
What to Do: Eat lots of organic dried beans (pinto, black, etc.), asparagus, beets, clams, eggs and other foods high in vitamin B. You should also add a good multivitamin to your diet for additional protection.
2. Cracks and redness at the corners of your mouth.
Vitamin Deficiency: A lack of a combination of nutrients like zinc, the B vitamins like niacin (B3), riboflavin (B2), and B12 as well as iron are typically responsible for these weird symptoms. Vegetarians and those who are dieting for weight loss can easily develop this issue. Cutting back on protein can cause the reduction in necessary iron, B12 and zinc which causes the problem.
What to Do: Eat protein-rich foods like peanuts, lentils, eggs, tuna salmon, tahini, and poultry. If you’re vegetarian, you will need to up your intake of plant-based protein. Also, iron absorption is facilitated by vitamin C, so be sure to eat plenty of foods that contain this nutrient along with your protein foods. Vegetables like kale, broccoli, and cauliflower are high in vitamin C.
3. White or red bumps similar to acne that occur on the cheeks or other parts of the body.
Vitamin Deficiency: This indicates a lack of vitamins D and A as well as important fatty acids.
What to do: Increase your intake of healthy fats by eating nuts, seeds and fish. Also, eat a lot of leafy green vegetables as well as bright colored vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots. Dr. Susan Blum, the founder of the Blum Center for Health, says, “For vitamin D, though, I recommend a supplement—2,000 IU a day in one that also contains vitamins A and K, which help with D absorption.”
4. Muscle cramps and sharp pain in feet, legs, toes or calves.
Vitamin Deficiency: The culprit is usually a lack of potassium, calcium and magnesium. These minerals work in tandem and are water soluble, so are not stored in the body. The nutrients are often lost through heavy perspiration when working out or doing physical labor.
What to do: You can easily add the nutrients you need by eating foods such as bananas, cherries, apples, grapefruit, almonds, hazelnuts, squash, broccoli, spinach, and kale.
NOTE: A good quick fix to end painful muscle cramps is to drink about 2 ounces of pickle juice at the first sign of cramps. Molly Kimball of the The Times-Picayune reports that, “Turns out that drinking an ounce or two of pickle juice can stop cramping within about 85 seconds — faster than water alone. And many athletes drink pickle juice before exercise, to help prevent muscle cramps in the first place.”
5. Beau’s lines on your fingernails
Vitamin Deficiency: Beau’s lines are depression lines on the fingernails that run horizontal which can indicate malnutrition, circulatory or diabetes issues. (Vertical lines are generally harmless and a result of aging.) Beau’s lines run across the nail from one side to the other and can result in prolonged lack of vitamin B deficiencies, particularly vitamin B12. Also, lack of vitamin C, zinc and calcium can contribute to lines on the nails.
What to do: A healthy diet rich in protein, vitamins and minerals can help erase or prevent fingernail ridges. Foods such as organic whole grains, fruits and green vegetables can provide important nutrients. Also, adding a good quality multivitamin is useful to your diet. If Beau’s lines persist after a few months, it’s best to ask your physician to take a look just in case you have a more serious health problem.
6. Hair loss and red, rough, rash on your cheeks.
Vitamin deficiency: Again, the lack of B vitamin, specifically B7 (biotin) may be the culprit. Biotin is known as the “hair vitamin.” It’s not fat soluble so the body does not store it like other vitamins. You must replenish your body’s source of biotin in order to have healthy hair and skin.
What to do: Consistently eat foods like cauliflower, avocados, bananas, salmon, cooked eggs (cooking deactivates avidin in raw eggs that inhibits absorption of biotin), nuts, and soybeans. This will give your body a good supply of biotin.
Also, Dr. Richard Scher, a dermatologist who is widely known for his expertise on nail care and disorders, suggests that the “general daily recommended dosage of biotin is 2.5 mg.” He also cautions you to avoid overdosing beyond this recommended amount. As is usually the case, if you can get enough proper nutrition through foods, it’s better for your body!
If you’re experiencing any of these strange signs of vitamin deficiencies, be sure to consult with your healthcare professional. Also, it’s always wise to make the effort to eat nutritional foods as well as add a good multivitamin to your daily diet for best overall health and preventive care.