Your body is blessed with its own fighting mechanism, but it requires additional nutrients for growth and to improve physiological function. The vitamins and minerals that our body craves are known as micronutrients and since these are not naturally produced in the body, you have to take them through your diet.
You may face a nutritional deficiency if you’re not eating the right foods or your body fails to absorb the nutrients it requires. Nutritional deficiency can lead to a variety of diseases and health problems, such as; dry skin, anemia, digestion problems, weak bones, stunted growth, etc.
The recommended daily amount (of nutrients) you require depends on your age. There are apps that help keep track of the calories and nutrients you consume in a day. However, sometimes no matter how certain you are about your food, it is possible to have a deficiency.
Here are some signs that your body is deficient in some basic nutrients.
1. Fatigue Fatigue and exhaustion are classic signs of iron deficiency, which can further lead to anemia, categorized by low levels of red blood cells. One major symptom of anemia is pale skin and excessive tiredness. Other symptoms may include depression, increased heart rate, and thyroid problems.
Feeling tired all the time and not being able to perform daily routine tasks is a sign you should consult your doctor and get your nutrients check. Your physician may prescribe pills to cure anemia. According to World Health Organization (W.H.O), 30 percent of the world population is anemic and is not aware of it either.
2. Split Ends and Dry Hair One easy way to detect nutrient deficiency is to have a close look at your hair. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every day was a good hair day?
Vitamin C and B vitamins get your hair looking shiny and healthy and damage and coarse hair serve as an identification for nutritional deficiency. When a teen or middle-aged person’s hair becomes brittle and dry, it’s usually a sign that their diet is lacking the basic nutrients suggests Kathleen Niedert, a clinical nutritionist from Iowa.
Hair loss is common as you age but losing hair at an early age signals deficiency of proteins, fatty acids, and some important nutrients. If your doctor diagnoses the problem, ask him to prescribe nutrients-rich supplements for hair growth and repair.
3. Brittle NailsJust like hair, brittle or weak nails are also a prominent sign of a nutrient deficiency. Koilonychia, a condition in which nails turn from the edges of the root causing pain and discomfort, is an indicator of iron deficiency, specifically, anemia.
To overcome the iron deficiency, consume foods like liver, clams, prawns, oysters, seafood and other iron-rich foods.
4. Oral Health Issues Spots inside the mouth, cracking of the sides and inflammation indicate a deficiency of riboflavin (B2) or iron in the body. This condition is known as angular cheilitis and is characterized by a pale and bitter tasting swollen tongue. Oral health issues can be linked to low levels of zinc, iron and vitamin B. Consult your physician as zinc deficiency can cause cystic acne and other skin related problems.
5. Diarrhea: Diarrhea could have many reasons. Malabsorption, a condition in which your body cannot absorb the useful nutrients is one major reason. Malabsorption occurs due to infection, surgery, extreme use of alcohol, drugs and digestive disorders. That’s right. Long-term use of prescription drugs can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb common nutrients.
Chronic diarrhea if not treated can lead to death, since, your body is being deprived of the nutrients and water it needs.
6. Mood Swings: Sudden mood swings and feeling irritated can be the signs of some serious illness like depression, anxiety and low self-esteem caused by some hormonal Imbalance or nutrients deficiency. Frequent forgetfulness is also a sign your body is not getting the strength it requires.
It’s important to consult a psychologist if you’re suffering from depression or anxiety. But if you feel the issue is more than that then talk to your doctor and get an appointment to get your nutrients level checked. What may look like a symptom of stress could actually be a sign of a nutritional deficiency.
7. Lack of Appetite: As we get older, we lose our appetite, our tongue loses the sense of taste and we no longer crave rich and delicious food. Well, adults require fewer calories, and constant medication can make a person cranky and uninterested in all the good things life has to offer.
Nancy Wellman, a well-known nutritionist, suggests, chronic lack of appetite can be a serious nutritional deficiency. If you skip meals for no reason and not feeling hungry at all, you need to meet a doctor who can help you eat the right food and get the right nutrients according to your age.
Normally physicians ask to run a blood test, which can show what nutrients your body is lacking. A nutritionist can also create a diet plan for you, based on the food you take and what you should consume more. But you need to consult a doctor as soon as possible before a simple deficiency turns into something serious.
If not treated at an early age, nutritional deficiency can further lead to serious problems like;
frequent backaches, dizziness, blurred vision, fainting, muscle pain, and high fever. Some nutrient deficiencies that are pretty common include; vitamin D deficiency, iron deficiency, calcium deficiency, cobalamin (vitamin B12) deficiency, folate deficiency, niacin (vitamin B3) deficiency, thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency, vitamin A deficiency and zinc deficiency.
Nutrients can make a big impact on our health. Apart from getting enough nutrients through food, it is also important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and ensure you’re exercising daily and eating clean. If you have food allergies, consult a nutritionist and follow a strict diet plan. Diet plans are not just created to reduce weight but to keep you healthy. Most nutritionists now have incorporated telemedicine into their practice and you can contact them using your laptop or smartphone.
Author Bio: James Crook is a passionate blogger who loves to write on health and fitness related topics. Currently, he is a working as a blogger for a telemedicine app ‘Mend Family’. Follow @jamescrook911 for more updates.