10 Common Nutritional Deficiencies You Will Encounter
Most of us are fully aware that the foods we eat and choose not to eat will ultimately decide our level of health, capacity to work, think and play, and just about every other aspect of what makes us who we are. Let’s delve a little deeper into the subject of the most common nutritional deficiencies and symptoms.
Just as good food and balanced nutrition will keep us healthy, poor-quality food and improper nutrition can lead to many conditions, including high blood pressure, acne, fatigue, night blindness, stress, anxiety, and osteoporosis.
If you see that your patient’s physical, mental, or emotional health exercises are not working, their diet is often one of the best places to look. Malnutrition is the plague of the common era. With the extensive choices of rich foods available, many people avoid health foods leaning to the convenience of processed and refined food.
What are Common Nutritional Deficiencies?
Common nutritional deficiencies are when the body is not getting the nutrients and vitamins it needs to function optimally in its most basic form. The nutrients required for building and maintaining these marvelous machines come from the food we eat. When the body gets too little of a specific nutrient, the symptoms will soon manifest themselves.
Calcium is an essential building block of good human health, most notably the construction and maintenance of strong, healthy bones and teeth. But calcium has far more to offer than just healthy strong bones and teeth. Calcium is also crucial for a healthy heart and optimal muscle action. Because calcium is stored in the bones and released when needed, low calcium intake can lead to fragile bones that break easily due to low bone mineral density.
A large percent Americans suffer from low calcium, and several factors cause this. Most importantly, calcium deficiency is caused by insufficient intake or poor absorption in the body. Several foods can prevent the absorption of calcium in the body.
Some of the most common symptoms of calcium deficiency include mottled teeth, numbness/tingling in the extremities, and weak fingernails. Example of rich foods to include in meal plans are milk, yogurt, calcium-fortified orange juice, and sardines.
2. Essential fatty acids
There are three important Omega-3 fatty acids —Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA can be converted into the other two, but only in small amounts. Therefore, it is vital to plan to source these either in foods or supplements.
Omega-3s are essential to constructing delicate membranes with essential functions around the body. For example, the brain, eye retina, and sperm require DHA as a critical component. These vital nutrients also allow the heart, lungs, blood vessels, and the endocrine and immune systems to function optimally.
A qualified nutritionist will know exactly what quantities and forms the individual will benefit from because the amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids are different depending on age and gender. Some sources of Omega-3 include seafood, nuts, seeds, plant oils, and fortified food.
3. Folic acid
Folic acid is a B vitamin and plays a vital role in maintaining blood cell health. It is an essential nutrient for pregnant mothers. Women suffering from low amounts of folic acid are more susceptible to birth defects, like spina bifida.
Folic acid deficiency is most comm0n for those who do not eat raw veggies or overcook their veggies. Regular alcohol consumption and some medications and drugs can also increase the risk of this deficiency. Some medicines that can prevent folic acid absorption include sulfasalazine, triamterene, phenytoin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and barbiturates.
Some of the sources of folic acid that you can recommend to your patients include dark green leafy vegetables, peanuts, whole grains, beans, seafood, fresh fruits, fruit juices, sunflower seeds, and liver.
Iron deficiencies can occur in several ways. Those without proper iron intake can suffer from inadequate iron and those with a low iron absorption rate. Those suffering from iron or blood loss, such as those in developmental stages of life such as early childhood, adolescence, and pregnant or breastfeeding women, also have an increased risk of iron deficiency.
Iron deficiency can lead to anemia and is evident in dizziness, headaches, shortness of breath, pale skin tone, fatigue, and chest pains. Pregnant women should be cautious about making sure they are getting plenty of iron in their diet.
Some of the most abundant sources of iron include nuts, dried fruit, whole grain pasta, whole grain bread, iron-fortified breakfast cereal, legumes, dark leafy green vegetables, oats, and tofu.
Magnesium is a nutrient that plays a vital role in a wide range of metabolic functions in the body. Not many people know what magnesium is, where it comes from, or why it is crucial.
Magnesium is essential to nerve and muscle functions. When the diet is low in magnesium, the results can include muscle cramping, numbness, high blood pressure, and abnormal heart rates. Sources for getting a complete daily supply of magnesium include cashews, pumpkin seeds, oatmeal, spinach, peanuts, chia seeds, almonds, and soymilk.
6. Vitamin A
Vitamin A keeps the skin, eyes, and immune system in proper order.
Because children are far more likely to suffer from infections due to an underdeveloped immune system, it is imperative to ensure that young children are getting their entire supply of Vitamin A levels, either through their diets or supplementation. In adults, one of the most significant symptoms of a lack of Vitamin A in the diet is the occurrence of night blindness.
Some of the best sources of Vitamin A are beef liver, cod liver oil, carrots, spinach, sweet red pepper, cantaloupe, pumpkin pie, and herring.
7. Vitamin B12
There are eight different B vitamins, and vitamin B-12 is one of the most important. Vitamin B-12 supports the construction of healthy red blood cells. It also assists in smooth cognitive function and the synthesis of DNA. Those at the highest risk of vitamin B12 deficiency include Vegans, those suffering from intestinal conditions, and seniors taking heartburn medication. Some of the most immediate symptoms include pale skin, mood changes, fatigue, and weakness. Common sources include fish, red meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products.
8. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is not only for building a robust immune system but one of the most important antioxidants. Vitamin C also plays a role in producing hormones and amino acids.
Symptoms of Vitamin C can be severe and life-threatening; scurvy is one of the most notable symptoms of a severe lack of Vitamin C. Other symptoms include fatigue, weakness, bleeding gums, rashes, and wounds that will not entirely heal.
The good news is there are so many Vitamin C sources available. Some of the most notable include oranges, lemon, grapefruit, bell peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, cruciferous vegetables, and white potatoes.
9. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is the last and sadly one of the most common. One of the most important functions of Vitamin D levels in the diet is aiding in calcium absorption. Vitamin D also functions as a potent antidepressant, boosts immune function, raises testosterone, and improves cardiovascular health.
One of vitamin D deficiency symptoms is a softening or weakening of the bones called rickets. This condition is most common in small children.
To get your total daily dose of vitamin D, go outside for 10 to 15 minutes when your shadow is shorter than your actual body height. Remember, overexposure to the sun can cause other conditions, so always wear solar protection if you go outside during the day.
Iodine levels are essential to the thyroid’s function in managing metabolism. One of the typical symptom of iodine deficiency is an enlarged thyroid gland. It can cause difficulty swallowing and even breathing. Other symptoms of iodine deficiency can include weight gain, pregnancy issues, and learning difficulties.
Because iodine is only needed in small amounts, try eating fish, seaweed, shrimp, dairy products, and iodized salt.
Preventing Common Nutritional Deficiencies
There is great wisdom in the adage “your best medicine is your diet” and it is a lot easier to stay healthy than to have to get healed when the health fails. The best way to ensure your patients are getting all the nutrients and vitamins required is with a carefully planned diet that includes fruits and vegetables.
You can simplify this by having your patients visit a qualified nutritionist. It is always better to get all the nutrients you can from your food. A lush kiwi brimming with vitamins and minerals while also carrying a wide range of other compounds and substances that improve the delivery and absorption. At the same time, some holes can be satisfied with supplements.
If you believe your patient has one of these common nutritional deficiencies, regular testing can clear up any questions or doubts you may have. Your patient will significantly benefit from a blood test that can reveal which nutrients and vitamins are lacking in accurate detail. It can allow precision action to restore a baseline to reverse malnutrition.
Benefits of BioScan Testing
BioScan Technology reveals many vital areas to improve health. The entire session can be completed in as little as 10 minutes, and you can use the insights to set your patients on the path of wellness.