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Possible Signs and Symptoms of Common Vitamin Deficiencies

Vitamins are essential nutrients that facilitate cell function, growth, and development. They promote the healthy functioning of our body. Therefore, vitamin deficiencies can lead to several physiological and even mental issues.

Aarushi Chadha

Our bodies require vitamins, which are essential nutrients, which we receive from either food, nature, or supplements. There are 13 major types of vitamins necessary for the proper functioning of our body. These are- Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12, C, D, E, and K. When we don’t eat healthy and nutritious food that is rich in vitamins, then we increase our risk of developing certain serious diseases caused by vitamin deficiencies.

Let’s take a look at the symptoms of common vitamin deficiencies.

Fatigue and Weakness- Feeling tired, fatigued, and weak when you have not exerted yourself physically or mentally is a sign that you are deficient in either vitamin D, B, and/or C. Vitamin D is necessary for making bones and muscles strong, therefore, not being in the sunlight or taking vitamin D supplements can lead to fatigue.

B vitamins and vitamin C perform a lot of functions in our body. For instance, they help metabolize food, produce energy, promote the proper production of hormones, promote proper brain function, and maintain a healthy immune system. They also promote the production of red blood cells which carry oxygen to our tissues.

Dry skin or eyes- If you notice that your skin and eyes are drier than usual and you are also unable to produce tears, then that indicates that you have a vitamin A deficiency. Our body absorbs vitamin A from foods such as milk products, broccoli, pumpkin, fish, kale, and collard greens. Vitamin A’s purpose in our body includes keeping the reproductive system healthy and keeping our eyes and skin healthy. Night blindness is also a symptom in case of severe vitamin A deficiency.

Wounds unable to heal and easy bruising- Deficiencies of vital nutrients such as vitamin C and K can lead to easy bruising and problems with blood clotting and wound healing. Other vitamins that contribute to poor wound healing are B vitamins and vitamins A and D.

Hair loss- Poor hair health and hair loss are common symptoms of vitamin deficiencies. B vitamins play a major role in promoting hair growth, hair health, and reducing hair loss. For instance, vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, improves metabolic activity and stabilises high sugar levels which studies show promotes hormonal balance that is crucial for hair growth.

Vitamin B2 or riboflavin boosts hair growth by stimulating the hair follicles and maintaining normal levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that creates a protein that supports healthy hair. Vitamin B7, which is found in egg yolk, liver, spinach, broccoli, and cheese, helps with the absorption of keratin, a structural protein that promotes healthy hair.

Discolouration of skin- Vitamin deficiencies can lead to loss of pigmentation in spots, darker pigmentation in spots, or generally pale skin. Vitamin D deficiency in light-skinned people is indicated by the development of light-coloured spots. In dark-skinned people, vitamin D and B12 are indicated by darker pigmentation.

Prickling sensation in fingers and toes- If you are experiencing a prickling sensation in your fingers and toes, along with depression and constant fatigue, then you are showcasing the symptoms of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that is found in animal products and in certain fortified grains. Vitamin B12 deficiency is common amongst vegetarian and vegan people.

Increased susceptibility to infections- Deficiencies of vitamins A, C, and D can affect our immune system and increase our susceptibility to catching infections and communicable diseases.

Depression- Depression is a common symptom of vitamins B1, B3, B6, B9, B12, C, and D deficiencies. You must check with a physician and not diagnose yourself with mental illnesses and deficiencies. This is because eating supplements or increasing your vitamin intake can react negatively with your anti-depression or other medications.

Vitamin deficiencies are not only caused by our diets. Sometimes medical illnesses such as liver failure, inflammatory bowel disease, kidney disease, and gastric bypass make it hard for our body to properly absorb and metabolize vitamins which can lead to vitamin deficiencies.

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