A vitamin deficiency can have disastrous consequences for your health. After all, your body needs a large number of vitamins to function optimally. A balanced diet should ensure that you get these vitamins daily.
However, for many people, this turns out to be easier said than done. If you get a vitamin deficiency, it can have adverse effects on your overall health. It is important to act quickly if you suspect that you have a deficiency.
Recognizing a possible vitamin deficiency
But how can you recognize that you may be deficient in vitamins? Well, several health issues regularly crop up when this is the case. This allows you to do something about it so that you can regain your health.
If you are aware of the symptoms that may indicate a vitamin deficiency, you will also know exactly which adjustments you need to make to get them in. In this article, we will therefore describe which 8 complaints can indicate a vitamin deficiency
1. Split Hair and Brittle Nails
Even though a deficiency is not common in the Netherlands, these symptoms can certainly indicate a deficiency of vitamin B8. Since biotin ensures that food is converted to energy, you may also feel tired, experience pain in your muscles, or notice tingling in your hands and feet.
Some risk factors can lead to a biotin deficiency, including pregnancy, excessive smoking or drinking, or underlying intestinal tract disease.
To get enough of this vitamin, add the following foods to your diet (provided you are not allergic to them): Dairy products, seeds, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, bananas, meat, and fish.
2. Canker sores or split corners of the mouth
A deficiency of the mineral iron or B vitamins can manifest itself in the development of canker sores, or sores, in the mouth.
Even if the corners of the mouth split, there may be a vitamin deficiency. In particular, a deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), and pyridoxine (vitamin B6) can cause such complaints.
It is logically annoying and painful when the corners of your mouth split, so it is certainly wise to investigate a possible vitamin deficiency when you experience these health problems.
This way you can quickly make up for a possible deficiency and the complaints will disappear again.
3. A Vitamin Deficiency Can Cause Bleeding Gums
When you experience bleeding gums, it can be due to brushing too thoroughly and hard. However, if it lasts too long, without you being able to come up with a logical explanation for this, a vitamin deficiency can also be due to this.
In particular, a deficiency of vitamin C can cause problems for the gums. This vitamin plays an important role in wound healing and strengthening the immune system.
It is important to get enough vitamin C through your diet; especially fruits and vegetables are suitable. After noticing these complaints, many people appear to have a clear deficiency, which causes problems with the gums and teeth.
In extreme cases, vitamin C deficiency can lead to scurvy, bone and muscle prolapse, and nosebleeds. Enough reasons to take such symptoms seriously and to find out whether a vitamin deficiency is at the root of the complaints.
4. Loss of Face and the “Bitot's Spots”
A deficiency of vitamin A, for example, can ensure that you can hardly or not see at night. If you deal with this too innocently, it can go from bad to worse, where you can even go completely blind.
Another clear symptom of a vitamin A deficiency is the so-called “bigot spots”. These are whitish spots in the eye and can only be removed when a vitamin A deficiency is remedied. Other symptoms may include nausea, headache, skin irritation, or joint pain.
It is advisable not to just supplement a possible deficiency of vitamin A on your own, as an excess can lead to health problems. Always consult a medical specialist before increasing your vitamin A intake. They can provide you with the correct vitamin information.
If you eat enough food that is rich in vitamin A, you will not quickly develop a vitamin deficiency. Therefore, consume sufficient green vegetables, meat, dairy products, eggs, or yellow/orange colored vegetables.
5. Dandruff or dander
Although such complaints mainly occur in certain age groups, you can certainly get dandruff or skin flakes due to a vitamin deficiency. Babies, teenagers, and middle-aged people in particular regularly suffer from this.
This may indicate a deficiency of zinc, vitamin B3, vitamin B2, or vitamin B6. It can certainly help if you get extra of these vitamins and minerals through a well-balanced diet.
You can do this by eating whole grains or adding meat, seafood, dairy products, or nuts to your diet. Thanks to a healthy and varied diet, including these foods, you may notice over time that your skin becomes less dry and therefore does not result in dandruff or dander.
6. Hair Loss Due to Vitamin Deficiency
Therefore, be sure to add vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, vitamin B3 or B7, biotin (vitamin B8), and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3 fatty acid) to your diet.
Too little iron or zinc causes hair loss or slowed hair growth and by consuming a healthy amount of vitamin B3, hair remains in excellent condition. In addition, a vitamin D deficiency can lead to a lot of hair loss. After all, hair loss can be classified as one of the most common vitamin D deficiency symptoms.
If you want to get or maintain beautiful, strong, and shiny hair, it is advisable to take in particular the vitamins and minerals described above. After all, a vitamin deficiency becomes visible if your hair falls out frequently.
Healthy foods that often contain these vitamins and minerals include green vegetables, nuts, olive oil, and whole grains.
7. Restless Leg Syndrome
This symptom may sound a bit strange, but it is a real problem that can arise from a deficiency of one or more vitamins. Many people experience restless legs as a result of a nerve disorder that causes unpleasant twitching in the legs.
This can mainly occur at night in bed – especially when you are trying to relax. You may then tend to move your legs a lot, making it difficult to keep them still and relax.
A B12 vitamin deficiency (known as the most common vitamin deficiency) and a deficiency of the mineral ice are both considered possible causes of this phenomenon. By getting enough iron through your diet or supplementation, you can reduce or remedy restless legs syndrome.
When you choose to get extra vitamins and minerals through your diet, eat foods such as meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and whole-grain products to supplement or prevent any deficiencies.
8. Keratosis pilaris or acne vulgaris
These can occur on the upper arms, thighs, buttocks, or face. Often such a condition arises in childhood, after which it slowly disappears.
It can certainly help if you consume more food that contains sufficient amounts of vitamin C or A. For example, choose meat, dairy products, eggs, fish, and dark green vegetables.
This way you get enough vitamins A and C to tackle skin problems such as keratosis pilaris and acne vulgaris.
Frequently asked questions about a vitamin deficiency answered
Vitamin deficiencies are common. So it's not surprising that there are several frequently asked questions about a vitamin deficiency. In the last part of this article, we will answer three frequently asked questions about a deficiency of one or more vitamins.
How do you know if you have a vitamin deficiency?
You can usually notice a vitamin deficiency when physical or mental complaints manifest themselves for no apparent reason. As described above, many vitamin deficiency symptoms can indicate a lack of one or more vitamins. Physical complaints can be characterized, for example, by skin rash, red eyes, canker sores and split corners of the mouth, hair loss, and skin flakes. Mental complaints can include fatigue, decreased focus, loss of vision, and feelings of depression.
What are the consequences of a vitamin deficiency?
The consequences of a vitamin deficiency vary from person to person. For example, if someone has other underlying health problems, a vitamin deficiency can have a greater impact on that person's health. The short-term consequences of a vitamin deficiency are almost always mild. However, when a vitamin deficiency persists for a long time, it can be very harmful to your health. It is therefore important to combat a vitamin deficiency as soon as possible.
How do I know if a vitamin deficiency is affecting my hair?
A vitamin deficiency can negatively affect your hair condition. But how do you know if a possible deficiency is affecting your hair? Well, your hair can look dull and lifeless. A vitamin deficiency can also lead to an increased rate of hair loss. Special hair products can provide temporary improvement, but do not remove the cause. The cause, or a vitamin deficiency, should be reduced through a healthy lifestyle – consisting of the right diet and possibly supplementation of vitamins.
Recognizing a vitamin deficiency summarized
To achieve and maintain good health, it is wise to choose the right foods. Take food that contains enough vitamins, so that you can rule out a vitamin deficiency.
You will then experience fewer adverse complaints or symptoms, which can go from bad to worse. If you cannot get enough vitamins and minerals from your diet, you can choose to replenish the stores in your body through supplements. You can also consult additional information about vitamins from the Nutrition Center.
A doctor's advice is of course advisable to avoid any unnecessary supplementation. After all, this can lead to other health problems. In other words, preventing or supplementing vitamin deficiencies should be done in a responsible manner and close consultation with a medical specialist.