How to Identify Vitamin Deficiencies

Written by denise stern
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Millions of people suffer from vitamin deficiencies and don't ever realise it until something goes wrong. Insufficient intake of vital nutrients like vitamins may affect well-being or the body's ability to fight off infection and disease. All ages may suffer from vitamin deficiencies caused by an inadequate diet or a medical condition that affects the ability of the intestines to absorb adequate amounts of certain nutrients. Some prescription medications will interfere with proper absorption, so it is important to always ask your doctor about potential drug effects. Learning to recognise the symptoms of a vitamin deficiency will help to prevent complications that range from fatigue to possible brain damage, heart disease, haemorrhage or anaemia.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Experiencing fatigue or weakness is a common symptom of vitamin B deficiencies. Deficiencies of vitamins B 1, B2. B3, B6 and B12 range from abdominal pain to bleeding gums. Lack of vitamin B6 may cause dermatitis, a sore mouth or tongue, and even vomiting and diarrhoea. Depression, lack of appetite and poor memory function are symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency.

  2. 2

    Bleeding gums are also common to a vitamin C deficiency. Other symptoms of vitamin C deficiency are anaemia, loss of teeth, weakness and fatigue.

  3. 3

    Bruising is common when an individual lacks vitamin K. Bruising easily or bleeding excessively are the most common signs of deficiency of this vital vitamin.

  4. 4

    Experiencing rough skin and dry eyes are typical symptoms of a vitamin A deficiency. In addition, difficulty seeing at night and loss of appetite are key indications that vitamins are sorely lacking from the diet.

  5. 5

    Difficulty sleeping, profuse sweating and restlessness are indicative of a vitamin D deficiency.

Tips and warnings

  • Eat a well balanced diet rich in vitamins. Take vitamin supplements, carefully following directions on bottle, to ensure adequate nutrients.
  • Multivitamin supplements are ideal for many individuals. However, keep in mind that too much of a good thing may be bad for you. Never take more vitamins than recommended on the label, and follow daily nutritional requirements.

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