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So far in our articles, we were paying attention to the vitamins and minerals, especially the essential ones. Most of them we can get from healthy meals that include a lot of fruits and vegetables. However, in many cases, we cannot get everything that our bodies need, no matter how healthy a lifestyle we have. There are moments when our organism is trying to tell us that something is not right and we have to listen to it carefully. There are several reasons why people may become deficient in specific vitamins or minerals. For example medical conditions, medicine intake, or a too-busy lifestyle that does not include enough healthful food. In fact – people might even mistake a severe minerals and vitamins deficiency for mental illness.

Today we will take a look at some symptoms caused by vitamin and mineral deficiency. Knowing how to spot them can help us to take control of our health. Here they are:

1. Scurvy and bleeding gums – are two things that people usually treat in the dentist’s cabinet.

Scurvy is a very unpleasant disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin C. Typical symptoms are the opening of previously healed wounds and swollen bleeding gum.  Other signs of low vitamin C level include irritability; muscle and joint pain; weakness; low immunity. Luckily those go away very quickly once you start taking them. Also, our bodies tolerate it very well as it is water-soluble. Anything above the average dosage is secreted via urine on daily bases.

2. If you feel a loss of appetite; fatigue; weakness; tiredness; mood swings; low energy and joint and back pain

That might be symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. Those are also related and can be felt if a person has low levels of Magnesium (which is a mineral). In case you are taking enough vitamins and minerals and the symptoms continue – the best is to consult your doctor.

3. Low levels of vitamin B9 (known as folate or folic acid) and B12 can be developed slowly in time.

It takes from several months to years. People may not even suspect it until they start feeling the following: dizziness; pale or yellowish skin; irregular heartbeats; weight loss; fatigue; shortness of breath; muscle weakness; tingling or numbness in the feet and hands. Vitamin B12 is one of the essential vitamins that our organism needs. Its deficiency may lead to nervous system disorders, gastric problems, and pregnancy complications. Most people get enough from the food, but in case someone is on a strict diet – it is good to take both vitamins in the form of a food supplement.

4. Brittle nails and hair; cold feet and hands; shortness of breath, etc. 

Those are usually related to iron deficiency. This mineral is of major importance when it comes to producing red blood cells, which carry oxygen through the body. If iron levels are too low that may lead to deficiency in red blood cells. The result of that usually is anemia; therefore people must check their levels of iron and other minerals regularly.

The use of some nutrients, except in cases of deficiency may cause more harm than good. If you have doubts or suspect low levels of any mineral or vitamin – discuss it with your doctor or nutritionist. They may recommend a supplement after conducting the necessary tests.

Dr. Disha Trivedi

Author Dr. Disha Trivedi

Dr. Disha Trivedi is PhD in Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology. She is working as a medical writer and researcher at MVS Pharma GmbH.

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