Vitamins and nutrients are essential for your body to work correctly and to keep your health in good shape. However, many factors work against you, depleting these vitamins from your body. Vitamin deficiencies are pretty common, but can lead to issues with your health.
Dr. Kimberly Shine at Shine Health and Wellness is a functional health specialist. She helps you stay healthy through a number of different treatments, including IV vitamin infusions. (lyrica)
Common vitamin deficiencies
Do you remember the saying, “You are what you eat”? If you think about it in terms of your overall health, if you eat healthy food, then you’ll be healthy, right? In a lot of cases, this is true; but with processed foods, your diet may not be giving you all of the vital nutrients that your body needs.
Vitamin deficiencies are actually pretty common, because of the way we eat today. Though some vitamins create less of a problem than others, you don’t want to go without any vitamin for too long.
Vitamins are vital to keeping your body healthy and working correctly. Although many vitamins are in your body, the following are some of the most common in which you may become deficient:
This nutrient is essential for getting your body oxygenated blood. Iron binds to your red blood cells and carries hemoglobin to the rest of your body. It’s one of the most common vitamin deficiencies.
Iron is found in a lot of different foods, including red meat, shellfish, beans, and leafy greens.
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient, because it keeps your bones strong and healthy. It’s produced by cholesterol that lies under your skin and is activated through sunlight. If you live in an area that doesn’t receive a lot of sunny days, you’re at risk for a vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D is often difficult to get solely through your diet; to get sufficient amounts, you may need to take a supplement or increase your sun exposure.
Every single cell in your body needs vitamin B12 to function; this is especially true for your nerves and brain cells. However, your body doesn’t have the ability to produce this vitamin on its own — meaning you have to get it from your diet or supplements.
Eating foods that are rich in vitamin B12 helps you to avoid a deficiency. Foods that contain this vitamin include dairy products, eggs, and meat.
Calcium is an extremely vital nutrient that every cell in your body needs to operate properly. It’s important for your bone health, as well as for the functioning of your heart and other muscles in your body.
Excess calcium is stored within the bones in your body and released when you don’t have enough in your blood. This is why osteoporosis is common when you’re routinely deficient in calcium. Dairy products are a great way to increase your calcium intake.
Magnesium, iodine, and potassium are a few of the other vitamins that are sometimes lacking in your diet. Though blood work is the only sure way to know about a deficiency, symptoms could signal that there’s a problem.
Symptoms of a vitamin problem
Sometimes it’s difficult to determine if you’re suffering from a vitamin deficiency, because a lot of the symptoms mimic other problems. The symptoms you experience are also sometimes vague, and you might write them off as almost normal.
For example, if you’re deficient in vitamin D, you may experience several symptoms that aren’t specific to this problem, including:
- Muscle weakness
- Mood changes
- Muscle cramps
All these symptoms could be signs of other health problems as well, which is why vitamin deficiencies often go unrecognized for a long period of time. But there are other signs that you can look out for as well. The symptoms you experience are linked to the vitamin or nutrient that you’re lacking. Other symptoms of common vitamin deficiencies include:
- Restless legs
- Brittle nails
- Decreased appetite
Even though many of these symptoms are a pain, but relatively harmless, there are other more severe symptoms that affect your heart. A lack of potassium can lead to heart arrhythmias, which are potentially dangerous.
The best way for you to ensure that you’re getting the proper nutrients is to talk to Dr. Shine and get bloodwork. This gives Dr. Shine a baseline of your health, so she can make a plan to manage your vitamin intake.
If you’re in need of a vitamin boost to keep your body healthy, book an appointment online or over the phone with Shine Health and Wellness today.