Nutrient deficiencies hinder our body from working at its optimum. The most common symptoms of nutrient deficiency in the body include muscle aches and fatigue.
They can alter the body function, some of the processes include enzyme function, water balance, digestion, nerve signaling and metabolism.
These are processes which are carried out at the cell level. In order for you to achieve optimal growth and functional development, it is very necessary to get rid of the deficiency problem.
Apart from affecting cell function, the deficiencies can also lead to development of disease in the body.
For example, lack of enough calcium in the body can lead to development of osteoporosis or osteopenia.
These are conditions associated with brittle bones. Inadequate iron in the body can lead to development of anaemia. The deficiency of different nutrients will be manufactured by different symptoms.
Common Nutrient Deficiencies
Calcium is necessary in controlling muscle and nerve function. It is also responsible in the formation of strong bones. Low calcium will be manifested by muscle cramps, fatigue, abnormal heart rhythms and lack of appetite.
You will easily increase your calcium level through eating foods such as milk and yogurt. You can also obtain calcium from cheese, dark leafy greens and calcium fortified juice.
You can also turn to calcium supplements sold over the counter to boost your calcium level.
Vitamin D is very helpful in the formation of strong bones. Fatigue, muscle weakness and aches are among the symptoms of deficiency of vitamin D.
If the deficiency is prolonged, individuals can experience weakening of bones. In order to increase the amount of vitamin D in the body, patients are advised to drink fortified yogurt or milk on a daily basis.
Eating fish such as tuna or salmon will also contribute towards increasing the amount of vitamin D in your body.
Spending time outside on the sun will also contribute towards raising your vitamin D levels in the body.
Potassium plays a great role in making several organs of the body work at optimum. For example, it will play a role in optimizing the working of heart, kidney and other organs in the body.
Severe muscle fatigue, muscle cramps and feeling weak are signs of a deficiency of Potassium. Natural sources of potassium include salmon, bananas, mangoes, dates and avocado, vegetables – carrots, sweet potatoes and red peppers.
Iron plays a great role in helping the body make red blood cells. When levels of iron in the body go low, the body will experience problems when carrying oxygen to different parts.
This results in anaemia and can cause fatigue. Individuals suffering from deficiency of iron can also end up developing pale skin. The hair can start developing into thin, dull and sparse.
In order to increase the levels of iron in the body hence get rid of the complications, you are advised to eat iron fortified cereal, oysters, beef and beans. The most suitable beans include white beans, kidney beans and chickpeas.
Lentils and spinach are also good sources of iron. You can also increase the level of iron in your body through use of iron supplements. There are many brands available.
You will increase the level of iron in your body within the shortest time possible after you decide to turn to supplements because they have iron in large proportions as opposed to a case where you will be relying on foods for your body to absorb the minerals.
Vitamin B12 will help the body in making DNA. They are also very helpful in making neurotransmitters in the brain. Some of the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency in the body include numbness in the legs, feet and hand.
This can lead to problems when walking. You will have to struggle before you can gain balance due to the numbness.
Anaemia, weakness, fatigue, inflamed tongue, memory loss, hallucination and paranoia can set in due to deficiency in vitamin B12. You will easily get vitamin B12 from eating foods such as chicken, fish, milk and yogurt.
Vegans can still maintain Vitamin B12 from eating foods such as meat substitutes, breakfast cereals and non-dairy milk.
Women of child bearing age need a lot of folic acid. You will find prenatal vitamins rich in folate. A deficiency of folate can cause a decrease in the total number of cells in the body.
It can also contribute towards development of large red blood cells. Neural defects in an unborn child can also result due to lack of enough folate in the body.
Common symptoms of a deficiency in folate include grey hair, fatigue, mouth ulcers, swollen tongue and poor growth. It is recommended for women who are pregnant to take a daily dose of folate supplements.
If you will like to obtain folic acid from foods, then you need to rely on foods such as beans, fortified cereals, lentils, oranges and leafy greens.
Magnesium is responsible in supporting bone health and energy production in the body. In healthy people the deficiency is rare, but it can affect people who are under medication.
Those who consume a lot of alcohol and people suffering from certain health complications. A deficiency of magnesium will lead to loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, fatigue and weakness.
Severe cases can make individuals feel numb, develop muscle cramps, abnormal heart rhythms, low potassium and calcium levels, personality changes among other complications.
In order to improve your levels of magnesium to normal, you can eat magnesium rich foods. Common foods rich in magnesium include cashews, almonds, peanuts, black beans and spinach.
To confirm whether your fear of nutrient deficiency is true, you need to visit your doctor who will take blood samples and carry out tests.
The best way for you to avoid the complications associated with nutrient deficiency is to always eat a balanced diet.
You can work closely with your nutritionist for you to know the readily available balanced diet in your area of residence.