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How to Know If Your Body Is Lacking Certain Vitamins

How to Know If Your Body Is Lacking Certain Vitamins

If you don't regularly eat balanced meals, you may not be getting the right amounts of nutrients. Vitamin deficiencies can manifest as fatigue, low energy, irritability, aches, dull-looking skin and other symptoms. You require adequate amounts of these nutrients from the food you eat for normal, healthy body function, growth, development and healing. Your body can also lose essential vitamins due to digestive problems, drinking too much alcohol and other reasons.
Pernicious Anemia
If you feel low on energy during the day, no matter how many hours of sleep you get, you may have a vitamin B-12 deficiency. This can lead to a condition called pernicious anemia, which includes symptoms such as fatigue, confusion, low appetite, pale skin, diarrhea or constipation, numbness in the fingers and toes and a red, swollen tongue. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends getting at least 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B-12 daily from foods such as meat, beef liver, fish, shellfish, eggs, yogurt, cheese and fortified cereals. If your body is not able to adequately absorb this essential nutrient due to a digestive disorder, your doctor can prescribe vitamin B-12 injections.
Bruising and Bleeding
Vitamins help your body repair and heal itself, and when you have a lack of certain nutrients, your body may not behave normally. Vitamin C is essential for wound healing and keeping all the body tissues, including your arteries, skin and gums healthy. The Merck Manual warns that a deficiency of vitamin C can cause swollen and bleeding gums, nose bleeds, red eyes, hair loss, skin rashes, easy bruising, irritability or low mood and other symptoms. To prevent low levels of this vitamin, the Institute of Medicine recommends getting 75 milligrams a day for women and 90 milligrams daily for men. Citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, strawberries, tomatoes, kiwis and potatoes are good food sources of vitamin C.
Aches and Pain
If you experience mysterious muscle aches and joint pain, particularly in the darker, winter months, you may have a deficiency of vitamin D. A study published in the "Medical Journal of Australia" notes that a lack of this essential vitamin can lead to muscle pain, neck and back pain and general body aches. Vitamin D is also known as the "sunshine vitamin" because your body produces it when your skin is exposed to sunlight. People who live in Northern regions that get little daylight for many months of the year are more likely to be deficient. You can also get your daily recommended amount of about 10 micrograms of vitamin D from foods such as egg yolks, fish and fortified cereals, milk and other dairy products.
Skin Disorders
Your skin reflects many of the changes inside your body, and skin rashes and other problems can occur for a number of reasons. A lack of vitamin B-3, which is also called niacin, can lead to dry, scaly, red and itching skin that can become quite painful and blister easily during sun exposure. Although a deficiency of this nutrient is rare in America and other developed nations, health conditions such alcoholism and malabsorption can cause a deficiency of vitamin B-3. The Linus Pauling Institute recommends that you get a daily amount of 14 to 16 milligrams of vitamin B-3. Good food sources include meat, fish, whole grains, lentils and peanuts.

 

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