In a modern world, people are busier than ever, which can have an effect on daily nutrition. An influx of fast or processed foods and high levels of stress make it easy to become deficient in certain key nutrients. When levels of vitamins and minerals are low, the body reacts. Common symptoms of deficiency include insomnia, fatigue, and irritability, but the body can also respond in more unusual ways. Here are three strange signs that may indicate vitamin deficiency.
1. Muscle Cramps
People who experience muscle cramps in the legs, calves, feet, or toes may be deficient in magnesium, calcium, and/or potassium. Adding some mineral rich foods to the shopping cart can help. Load up on nuts and seeds like almonds, hazel nuts, and pumpkin seeds. Try fruits like apples, bananas, cherries, and grapefruit and vegetables like bok choy, broccoli, kale, and spinach.
2. Tingly Hands and Feet
Certain vitamins help ensure good nerve health like B6, B9 (folate), and B12. When the hands and feet feel pins-and-needles tingly, a deficiency of these important B vitamins may be indicated. Additional symptoms may include anxiety, depression, or fatigue. For relief, stock up on asparagus, beets, clams, mussels, oysters, and poultry as well as pinto, black, kidney, or lima beans.
3. Hair loss
Vitamin deficiency is responsible for hair loss in some people. Those who are noticing more hair than usual in the shower drain may want to reevaluate their diet. Low levels of iron or vitamin D may be to blame. A study from Cairo University found that women suffering from telogen effluvium (TE) and female pattern hair loss (FPHL) showed low levels of these two nutrients, and the lower the levels, the more hair was lost.
While the best way to get vitamin D is through the sun's rays, good food sources include wild-caught salmon and fortified milk and orange juice. Foods high in iron include clams, eggs, liver, oysters, and spinach. People should always get their iron from foods first and consult with a medical professional before taking iron supplements.
The best way to avoid vitamin deficiency and resulting symptoms is to eat a well-balanced diet. Taking a daily multivitamin helps fill in any nutritional gaps. People concerned about deficiency of particular nutrients or absorption problems can speak to a medical professional for blood tests and proper treatment.