Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients the body needs in order to function properly and stay healthy. Most people are able to get all the vi
Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients the body needs in order to function properly and stay healthy. Most people are able to get all the vitamins and minerals they need by eating a balanced diet, but if you don’t get enough of a particular vitamin or mineral, you could become deficient. According to MedExpress doctor Clare Morrison, vitamin deficiencies tend to occur gradually, so signs can be quite subtle at first. Dr Morrison reveals seven of the most common signs of vitamin and mineral deficiencies to look out for.
Almost any deficiency can cause fatigue, as it is a very non-specific symptom, explains Dr Morrison, but the most notable deficiencies are those in iron, folic acid and vitamin B12.
“All these vitamins are needed to make blood cells, so a lack of any of them causes anaemia. If affected, you might also notice shortness of breath, palpitations, and pale skin.”
Hair loss is often ignored, or blamed on stress, ageing or menopause, but it can also
be a feature of insufficient iron, zinc, or the B vitamins, particularly niacin and biotin.
Brittle hair and nails can be caused by a lack of biotin, and dandruff can be triggered by a lack of zinc and the B vitamins, particularly niacin, riboflavin and pyridoxine.
Mouth ulcers are a common problem, but if you keep getting them, you may be lacking iron, B vitamins, or folic acid.
Vitamin C is essential for healthy gums, teeth, and wound healing, and a deficiency can lead to bleeding gums when brushing your teeth.
Restless legs is a condition that causes an uncontrollable urge to move and wriggle the legs. It can occasionally be caused by iron deficiency, or sometimes magnesium deficiency.
Pins and needles
Pins and needles in the lower legs, feet and hands, perhaps accompanied by an unpleasant
burning sensation, can be caused by a lack of vitamin B12.
Vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium are all essential for healthy, functioning bones and
muscles. A lack of any of these can lead to widespread aches and pains in these areas.