Skip to content

Nutrient Deficiencies And Their Symptoms

    For the healthy working of the human body, intake of all nutrients in a balanced ratio is very important. Vitamins and minerals keep the human body healthy and fit. But sometimes, your body must be giving out signs of nutrient deficiency. Deficiency of nutrients can alter body processes and functions and lead to severe diseases like osteopenia, anemia, etc. It can affect water balance, nerve signaling, enzyme function, metabolism, and body digestion. Common symptoms of deficiency of nutrients are weakness, fatigue, energy loss, mood swings, headache, muscle cramps, twitches, etc. If not taken care of, these can affect the daily life work of any person. You must resolve these deficiencies in time for optimal development and growth of the body. Then, with a few steps, these symptoms can go away. The first step is to know about the signs of symptoms correctly. It is essential to know which nutrient deficiency causes what symptoms. 

    Vitamin D

    It is vital for bone health and can also prevent some types of cancer. The adult human body requires 15 mcg of Vitamin D daily for healthy functioning. People with vitamin D deficiency suffer from vague symptoms like bone pain, fatigue, mood swings, weakness, and muscle pain. In addition, it can soften the bones in the long term, and a prolonged deficiency can lead to higher risks of cancer and autoimmune diseases. Yogurt, oatmeal, orange juice, shrimp, mushrooms, sardines, and fatty fish like tuna or salmon are excellent sources of Vitamin D. The easiest way to get vitamin D is by spending some time in the sun every day. 


    It maintains strong bones and controls nerve and muscle functions. Adults require 1000 mg calcium daily, but with age, this requirement increases. Signs of deficiency are usually visible after some time. Symptoms include numbness, tingling in the fingers, chest pain, an irregular heartbeat, twitches, contractions, and muscle cramps. Lack of calcium makes bones weak and more vulnerable to fractures.  Milk, salmon, sardines, yogurt, cheese, breakfast cereal, bok choy, kale, and broccoli are rich sources of calcium. 


    We all are aware of the importance of iron in the human body. It builds red blood cells, which carry oxygen to all body parts. Unfortunately, pregnant or menstruating women and growing children usually face iron deficiency. Its deficiency causes anemia which is a low level of red blood cells. Its main symptoms are severe hair loss, weakness, shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, brittle nails, sore or swollen tongue, headache, fast heartbeat, pale skin, cold feet and hands, craving dirt, and other strange things. In addition, any unexplained and sudden weight loss or weight gain can be a symptom of the thyroid due to a deficiency of iron in the body. Symptoms can go unnoticeable at first, but they turn more intense, causing major health issues. Food like beef, beans, oysters, lentils, cereals, and spinach can boost iron levels in the body.  


    Magnesium is another vital nutrient needed by the human body. It helps in bone health and energy production. Depending on age and sex, adults require 310 to 420 mg. People on certain medications like diuretics and antibiotics and with health conditions like Crohn’s disease and type 2 diabetes limit magnesium intake and increase its loss. Its deficiency leads to symptoms like loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, weakness, and fatigue. In addition, due to severe loss of magnesium from the human body, you can suffer from numbness, muscle cramps, contractions, tingling, seizures, personality changes, irregular heart rhythms, or even coronary spasms. Foods like cashews, almonds, spinach, peanuts, edamame, and black beans are rich in magnesium and can help revive your magnesium level back to normal. 


    The list of benefits of potassium is very long. However, some can be listed as it helps muscles, heart, and nerves to work properly, helps in balancing sodium’s negative effect on blood pressure, aids in delivering nutrients to body organs, and removes waste from the body. People who suffer from chronic kidney disease, diarrhea, excessive sweating, constant vomiting, or consume diuretics, antibiotics, and excessive alcohol have a low potassium level in their bodies. Deficiency of potassium causes weakness in muscles, cramps, twitches, tingling and numbness, constipation, palpitations, and abnormal heart rhythm. Include bananas, acorn squash, milk, kidney beans, lentils, and other legumes in your diet to make it rich in potassium. 

    Vitamin B12

    Including Vitamin B12 is necessary for your diet, especially for vegans. It helps in red blood cells production, increases hemoglobin level, and improves neuro transmitting functions of the body. Unfortunately, people who had surgery for weight loss and vegetarians are at high risk of having a deficiency of this nutrient. Suppose you suffer from numbness in your legs, feet, or hands, a problem with balance and walking, fatigue, weakness, anemia, inflamed and swollen tongue, difficulty thinking, or memory loss. In that case, you might have a deficiency of B12 nutrients. Its lack can cause mild cognitive impairment. Animal products like fish and chicken, dairy products like milk, yeast, and yogurt are rich sources of this vitamin. If you are a vegan, breakfast cereal, milk, and supplements can boost your B12 levels. 


    Folic acid helps in the healthy function and growth of the body and minimizes the risk of defects during birth. That is why it is essential for childbearing women. Its deficiency decreases red blood cells and is often a cause of neural tube defects at the time of birth. Prenatal vitamins have a high content of folate and Vitamin B. It is a type of vitamin B, and its symptoms usually include irritability, fatigue, poor growth, and even diarrhea. Women who wish to become pregnant should consume at least 400 mcg of folate daily along with other nutrients. To make your daily diet rich in folate, you can include cereals, peanuts, beans, whole grains, dark leafy greens, sunflower seeds, and whole grains. 

    Vitamin C

    Vitamin C helps in pulling cells together and helps in the faster healing of wounds. It is anti-inflammatory and has antioxidants that limit cell damage. Its deficiency leads to swollen and red gums even after daily brushing and flossing. Bleeding in teeth and gums and bruising easily also indicates a lack of vitamin C. Smoking and excessive alcohol decrease the absorption of Vitamin C by the body. So stop smoking if you notice any such symptoms. Instead, include fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C, like red bell peppers, kiwi, and oranges. 


    Nutrient deficiencies can be detrimental to your health. It is important to notice the symptoms early on and start taking supplements or adding certain foods to your diet to combat them. If you notice any of the symptoms above, call your doctor immediately.