Your body is constantly giving you signals when something is wrong, just like your car does when it’s damaged. You need to listen to those signals in order to get the necessary repairs done before it’s too late. In the following article we’ll tell you about some of the strange signs that indicate a vitamin deficiency, as well as a breakdown of the signals that are specific to each particular vitamin.
Nowadays, in your normal daily diet it might be hard to meet the daily requirements of every vitamin that your body needs. Not eating enough because you’re on a diet is one reason your vitamin levels might be far below normal.
What happens when you don’t get enough vitamins?
According to doctors, an insufficiency of certain daily vitamins doesn’t cause illnesses by itself, but it can “pave the way” for them to appear. By that we mean that your body will struggle to function normally. Vitamins act as catalysts for all the reactions that occur in the body. When their stores are depleted, your body will tell you in ways that are sometimes very strange, but it’s important to pay attention to them.
The five most unusual signs of a vitamin deficiency are:
Cracks in the corners of the mouth
If you’re seeing this in the mirror it’s probably not because you’re aging more quickly, but rather a deficiency of B vitamins – especially riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), and B12, in addition to a lack of iron and zinc. This is common in vegetarians who don’t follow a balanced diet. The solution for omnivores is to eat more salmon, eggs, tuna, clams, and oysters (or seafood in general). For strict vegetarians who don’t eat fish, try lentils, peanuts, dried tomatoes, sesame seeds, and spinach. It’s also a good idea to take vitamin C to promote the body’s absorption of iron. Combine the foods listed above with broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and red bell peppers.
Red splotches on the skin and excessive hair loss
This can be caused by a deficiency in zinc. Hair loss is a clear sign that this nutrient is lacking, but it can also cause delayed healing of wounds, constant dry skin, frequent rashes, red splotchy skin, and severe bruising. You might also see these symptoms if you’re lacking vitamin B7 (biotin) and the fat-soluble vitamins, namely A, D, E, and K.
If you eat raw eggs you’re probably going to have problems with your biotin levels because it inhibits a particular protein. The solution is to consume more brewer’s yeast, nuts, pumpkin seeds, whole grains, unpasteurized milk, salmon, avocado, cauliflower, mushrooms, raspberries, and bananas.
Red and white acne-like bumps on the cheeks, arms, and thighs
This occurs when you lack the essential fatty acids and vitamins A and D. Unlike acne, these blemishes are harder and lack consistency, and are quite painful if you try to remove them.
The solution to this is to stop eating saturated or trans fats and increase your intake of healthy fats. Add more salmon, flaxseeds, chia, and nuts like almonds and walnuts to your diet. If you’d like to get more vitamin A, try eating carrots, sweet potatoes, and red bell peppers. This gives you beta-carotene.
Tingling and numbness in the hands and feet
What you’re missing in this case is vitamin B, or more precisely B6, B9 (folic acid), and B12. These vitamins directly impact the peripheral nerves and those of the skin. Your symptoms might be accompanied by depression, anxiety, fatigue, anemia, and hormonal imbalances. A solution is to eat asparagus, spinach, beans, eggs, oysters, mussels, octopus, and clams.
Cramping, stabbing pain in the feet, calves, arches, and backs of the legs
This is due to a lack of potassium, calcium, and magnesium. It might only be one, two, or all three. If you’ve started a very intense training regimen it could be that you’re losing more minerals and water soluble vitamins (group B) through excessive sweating. Don’t stop what you’re doing though – instead, try adding these foods to your daily intake: bananas, hazelnuts, almonds, pumpkin, cherries, apples, broccoli, grapefruit, kale, dandelion, and spinach.
The consequences of each kind of vitamin deficiency
In addition to the five signs of vitamin deficiencies that we listed above, there are other problems that occur when one’s diet is unbalanced.
A lack of vitamin A causes fatigue, poor night vision, bad skin and tooth condition, bleeding gums, and vulnerability to disease.
- If you’re missing vitamin B1 the symptoms are insomnia, fatigue, weakness, poor muscular strength, depression, irritability, weight loss, gastrointestinal problems, and cardiovascular issues.
- If your levels of vitamin B2 are low, you’ll have red eyes and a sore mouth and tongue, along with oily hair, dermatitis, and fatigue.
- A vitamin B3 deficiency causes headaches, lack of energy, bad breath, nervousness, ulcers, poor appetite, and gastrointestinal problems
- When you’re lacking vitamin B5 you’ll experience cramping, fatigue, burning sensations in the feet, irregular heartbeat, trouble sleeping, and a feeling of sickness.
- A lack of vitamin B6 causes insomnia, anemia, skin disorders, hair loss, cramping, and fluid retention.
- A vitamin B12 deficiency causes tiredness, diarrhea, balance problems, depression, loss of appetite, inflammation of the nerves, and a sore tongue and mouth.
If you’re not getting enough vitamin C it can cause you to heal more slowly from wounds or fractures, trigger nosebleeds and bleeding gums, painful or swollen joints, problems with digestion, anemia, and severe bruising.
Missing vitamin D causes brittle bones and problems with healing from fractures, as well as rickets, tooth decay, kidney stones, muscle weakness, and poor absorption of calcium.
A lack of this vitamin can lead to anemia, heart degeneration, fertility problems, nervousness, reduced reflexes, and difficulty walking or maintaining your balance.