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Vitamin Deficiencies and how they affect you

Updated: May 15, 2019



Web MD is Not Your Friend

I have gone down a google rabbit-hole a time or two when it comes to symptoms I need an explanation for. I've convinced myself I have cancer more times than I'd like to admit. But since I've been trying to tame my crazy and actually research and learn more about my body and what it needs - I've found that vitamin deficiencies, more often than not, are the root cause of most of these symptoms.


The most prominent issue I've faced is exhaustion and pain in the nerves in my legs. The pain got so bad at one point that it hurt for me to pull my pants up because it felt like I had huge bruises on my thighs even though there were none there. My doctor ordered a full vitamin blood work panel and found out I was severely deficient in Vitamin B and Vitamin D, even though I was living in Florida at the time and was constantly in the sun and eating a healthy diet. Which just goes to show you really need to pay attention to your body and be sure to get regular testing - along with your diet and what you may need to supplement.




Vitamin A


Vitamin A is involved in functions directly related to your immune function, vision, cellular communication and reproduction. Vitamin A deficiencies form when not enough animal-based or beta-carotene foods are consumed.


Symptoms of Deficiency


Dry Skin - Vitamin A is needed for the repair and creation of skin cells

Dry Eyes, Inability to produce tears and night blindness

Infertility and trouble conceiving

Throat and Chest infections

Delayed growth and delayed wound healing



Vitamin D


Vitamin D is needed for bone growth and absorption of calcium. Vitamin D also blocks the release of parathyroid hormone which makes bones brittle.


Symptoms of Deficiency


Changes in mood - Deficiency in Vitamin D can cause anxiety and depression

Chronic pain

High Blood pressure

Exhaustion

Decreased Endurance


Vitamin C


Vitamin C is essential for growth and repair of all tissue in your body. Vitamin C is also needed for production of collagen, metabolizing proteins and is also an antioxidant.


Symptoms of Deficiency


Bleeding/Swollen Gums

Frequent Nosebleeds

Dry, breaking hair

Slow wound healing


Vitamin K


K Vitamins are a group of fat-soluble vitamins essential for blood clotting and regulating blood calcium levels. Vitamin K deficiencies are not common but can result in hemorrhaging.


Symptoms of deficiency


Bruising easily

Excessive bleeding of gums, nose or wounds

Heavy periods

Blood in urine or stool


B Vitamins


There are 8 - yes 8 - B vitamins, known as the Vitamin B Complex ( B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12 ) that together convert our food into the energy we use throughout our bodies.


Symptoms of Deficiency


Extreme Fatigue

Tingling in hands, legs and feet

Moodiness and Depression

Weakness

Confusion

Anemia


Potassium


Potassium in a mineral micro-nutrient and the main intracellular ion for all cells and is essential for electrolyte balance. Low potassium leads to fluid imbalance, causing dehydration that can potentially cause kidney damage.


Signs of Deficiency


Tingling or Numbness

Nausea and/or Vomiting

Exhaustion

Abdominal bloating and/or cramping

Constipation


Sodium


Sodium is needed to help maintain normal blood pressure levels and function of muscles and nerves.


Signs of Deficiency


Weakness and low energy

Nausea and Vomiting

Headaches and confusion


Calcium


Calcium is essential for skeletal structure and function with the majority of your body's calcium being used for bone and teeth strength. The remaining small portion of calcium your body uses blood clotting and nerve function.


Signs of Deficiency


Muscle cramps

Poor appetite

Depression

Hallucination

Weak and brittle nails


Magnesium


There are more than 300 body functions in which magnesium plays a role in your body. Normal magnesium levels are needed to maintain muscle and nerve function, steady heartbeat, immune system health, energy, normal glucose levels and protein function.


Signs of deficiency


Muscle cramps and/or spasms

Getting easily excited

Loss of appetite

Fatigue

Poor memory

Anxiety

Poor comprehension


Iron


The main function of iron is blood production - with 70% of your iron going to red blood cells.


Signs of Deficiency


Dizziness

Paleness

Headaches

Shortness of Breath


Zinc


Zinc is needed for your immune system to properly function. Zinc is needed to heal wounds and break down carbs, as well as play a role in cell division and growth.


Symptoms of deficiency


Change in hair, skin and/or nails - brittle, breaking

Change in appetite

Diarrhea

Cognitive Function


Iodine


Iodine is needed for your body to make thyroid hormones directly related to your metabolism. There has been a recent increase in iodine deficiency as sea salt and pink Himalayan salt have become more popular and iodized table salt less common.


Signs of deficiency


Weight gain

Weakness

Hair loss

Feeling cold

Slow heart rate

Irregular periods


*I AM NOT A DOCTOR - have your vitamin levels tested and talk to your doctor before making any changes to your diet or taking supplements.


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