Vitamin deficiencies are linked to more health problems than you might suspect, which is why eating plenty of nutrient-dense foods is crucial to maintaining a healthy weight and good overall health.Degenerative diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer are commonly attributed to risk factors like genetics, overeating, and lack of exercise. While these factors can definitely lead to serious illness, sometimes the true underlying culprit is poor nutrition.
The following are some symptoms of common vitamin deficiencies, along with the vitamins you need to reverse or improve these conditions.
If you’re always feeling tired and fatigued regardless of how much sleep you get or how much caffeine you consume, you may be suffering from multiple vitamin deficiencies. Eat more foods high in protein, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, and multiple B vitamins, including B1, B2, and B12.
Osteoporosis / bone loss
If you suffer loss of height, excessive curvature of the spine, and/or have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, you may be deficient in calcium and vitamin D. Even if you’re consuming plenty of calcium, your body still needs adequate levels of vitamin D to properly absorb all that calcium. Vitamin D supplements and exposure to sunlight can help correct this deficiency — talk to your doctor about the amount of vitamin D you need to keep your bones healthy.
Dry skin is commonly blamed on the weather and harsh soap products, but many times dry skin is caused by dehydration and lack of essential fatty acids. Fatty acids like omega-3s and omega-6s lend to healthy cell membranes and spur your skin’s production of natural oils that keep your skin looking plump and youthful. If you’ve tried everything else to treat your dry skin, consume more fatty acids in the form of nuts, seeds, and dark leafy greens.
Problems with constipation and irritable bowel syndrome commonly occur due to dehydration and lack of fiber, potassium, magnesium, and folic acid. Drink more water to flush toxins and waste through your body, and consume more fiber, which allows stool to absorb more water so it flows more easily through your intestinal tract.
Irritability is linked to numerous psychological health conditions including depression and substance abuse, and can also be caused by lack of sleep, hormonal imbalance, and an empty stomach. If you frequently suffer from irritability, you may be lacking vitamin B1 and folic acid. Vitamin B1 boosts immune system health so you can cope more efficiently with stress, while folic acid is responsible for your brain’s production of serotonin and norepinephrine — chemicals responsible for balancing your mood.
This mental health condition is commonly linked to low levels of vitamin B1 and folic acid much like irritability. Depression is also linked to deficiencies in vitamin C, vitamin D, and many other B vitamins. If you suspect that chronic stress is the primary cause behind your depression, talk to your doctor about wellness supplements like Sereniti that naturally help reduce irritability, stress, and depression.
Heart disease is the number-one cause of death in the U.S. and is often linked to vitamin D deficiency. Chronic inflammation increases the risk for heart disease, which can also be reversed and managed with proper vitamin D intake. Spend more time in the sunshine, or start taking vitamin D supplements along with calcium.
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Medically reviewed by Jay J. Garcia, MD on August 23, 2017