- Fatigue can be a symptom of many vitamin deficiencies including iron, vitamin D and vitamin B.
- A vitamin A deficiency can result in poor or worsening night vision.
- Pale skin and hair loss can result from an iron deficiency.
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can be more common than you think and some of the most common deficiencies concern vitamin D, iron, and calcium.
In addition, experts suggest that some vitamin deficiencies can be more on the subtle side, meaning there may be little to no symptoms you’ll be able to detect without doing proper blood work. Although a doctor’s visit is the best way to determine if you have great levels of all of the vitamins you need, sometimes deficiencies can show themselves through symptoms.
Here are some subtle signs you could have a vitamin deficiency.
You may experience fatigue if you are deficient in iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin D.
“While this symptom is very broad and could be caused by a wide variety of factors, a nutrient deficiency could be playing into it as well,” said registered dietitian Autumn Ehsaei, MS, RDN. Common nutrient deficiencies associated with fatigue include iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids.
You may experience muscle cramping if you are deficient in magnesium.
According to WebMD, a long-term magnesium deficiency can cause nausea, muscle spasms, bone weakness, and muscle cramps.
Many people do not consume the recommended amount (4700 milligrams) of potassium in their diets daily, said Ehsaei. Fortunately, there are a variety of tests that can determine if your magnesium levels are too low or too high.
You may experience slow wound healing, bleeding, or swollen gums if you are deficient in vitamin C.
“Vitamin C plays a vital role in the ability of the body to heal from any kind of wound,” Ehsaei told INSIDER. A deficiency of vitamin C is fairly rare today, but it is higher in those who smoke, as smoking can greatly decrease your ability to absorb this vitamin.
Poor or worsening night vision may be credited to a vitamin A deficiency.
“Vitamin A is crucial to good eyesight, so if you notice your night vision worsening, talk to your doctor and consider eating foods high in beta-carotene – think orange-red fruits and vegetables,” Ehsaei told INSIDER.
Foods like carrots, cantaloupe, and tomatoes are decent sources of vitamin A.
Acne may be credited to a zinc deficiency.
“Acne is an inflammatory condition that can be related to hormonal imbalances,”board-certified nutritionist Sara Kahn, MS, CNS told INSIDER. It can also be a symptom of a need for zinc, which supports the immune system with its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Odd rashes and mouth ulcers may be the first sign of a vitamin deficiency.
“True deficiencies will often show through odd rashes and sometimes small ulcers in the mouth,” said Dr. Richard Honaker, MD, Chief Medical Officer of YourDoctors.Online.
The rashes can also present themselves on your body.
A white coating on the tongue may be credited to a vitamin B deficiency.
Vitamin B helps regulate your nervous system and a deficiency of it can result in anemia or even depression. There are also physical symptoms that can present themselves.
Vitamin D deficiencies can lead to bone pain.
“Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency can be difficult to spot since they usually develop gradually over time,” said registered dietitian Makayla Meixner, MS, RDN. She said some signs you may be vitamin D deficient include general weakness, muscle pain, and bone pain – particularly in the pelvis, lower back, and legs.
Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency worldwide.
“In the early stages of iron deficiency, you may experience fatigue, both physically and mentally,” said Meixner. She also added that hair loss, pale skin, and a pale tongue are also some subtle symptoms of iron deficiency.
Prolonged calcium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, a disease characterised by porous and fragile bones.
A long-term calcium deficiency can result in osteoporosis, Meixner told INSIDER. Many people, especially women, develop osteoporosis without showing any overt symptoms at all.
According to University Health News, seizures, tooth decay, and chronic itching can also be signs you’re calcium deficient.
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