Deficient states: how to understand which vitamins the body lacks

Vitamin D: Dental problems and muscle weakness
Vitamin D deficiency is widespread in our country due to its geographical location – most of the regions are located in the northern latitudes, where there are not so many sunny days. All this prevents the production of «solar vitamin» in the body. Meanwhile, many important processes depend on it — it participates in cell division, maintaining the health of the neuromuscular system, immunity, performs an anti-inflammatory function. Deficiency provokes the development of rickets, osteomalacia and osteoporosis.

Symptoms: unpleasant sensations in the bones, muscle weakness, difficulty walking, a tendency to fall appears, caries appears more often, hair and nails grow poorly.

How to check: Check level 25(HE)D this is especially important for those who rarely go outdoors, as well as for elderly people with intestinal diseases, osteoporosis, pain in bones and muscles. According to the results of the analysis, the doctor will prescribe the necessary dose.

Where it is contained: most of the vitamins of this group — D2 and D3 — are found in salmon, also in herring, canned sardines, tuna. Sour cream, butter, eggs, cheese, beef liver can also enrich our body. To prevent deficiency, it is now often recommended to take vitamin D all year round, after consulting a doctor. It is impossible to prescribe vitamin D without consulting a doctor: this can cause kidney problems and many other troubles.

Vitamin B12 and B9 (folic acid): weakness and loss of appetite
Both vitamins are involved in cell division, their deficiency leads to the development of anemia. Deficiency develops due to malabsorption due to various diseases of the intestine, stomach, pancreas, as well as when taking medications or insufficient intake of vitamin with food. This is especially true for vegetarians.

Deficient states: how to understand which vitamins the body lacks

Symptoms: weakness develops, dizziness, loss of appetite, excitability, and slight jaundice of the sclera and skin also appears. With B12-deficient anemia, there is also «numbness» of the limbs, loss of sensitivity of the fingers.

How to check: If you suspect B12- and folic deficiency anemia, it is usually recommended to take an extensive list of tests:

Folic acid deficiency can be caused by mutation of folate cycle genes, this is a common phenomenon. To find out if such changes take place, you can take a special genetic analysis. Patients with mutations in these genes may need a special form of folic acid

Where it is contained: we get B vitamins from both animal and vegetable foods: meat, eggs, whole grains, legumes, green leafy vegetables and other products. Basically, they are resistant to heat treatment, so even when stewing, frying and baking, the body will receive a sufficient amount of nutrients. But in order to better absorb folic acid, it is recommended to eat raw vegetables.

The need for folic acid increases during pregnancy, it is necessary for the development of the fetus, especially in the early stages.

Deficient states: how to understand which vitamins the body lacks

Iodine: loss of strength and swelling under the eyes
Conditions and disorders caused by the lack of this element were combined by the WHO in 2007 with the term iodine deficiency diseases. The trace element is a structural component of thyroid hormones, which are involved in the work of all organs, regulate metabolism. Especially dangerous is the insufficient intake of iodine into the body at the stage of intrauterine development and at an early age. Due to its lack, thyroid hormone deficiency can lead to mental retardation, dwarfism, psychomotor and other disorders. In adults, iodine deficiency is associated with the development of goiter and its complications, hypothyroidism, thyrotoxicosis, etc. The thyroid gland also increases.

Symptoms: loss of strength, drowsiness, muscle weakness that do not go away after rest. Diseases often recur. Swelling may bother, especially under the eyes. It is characterized by weight gain, menstrual function disorder in women, and a decrease in blood pressure. Attention decreases, memory and the ability to intellectual activity deteriorates, depression may develop.

How to check: since the lack of iodine affects the thyroid gland, first of all, its function is evaluated by the level of hormones in the blood: thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3). If you suspect a deficiency, you need to contact an endocrinologist, additional studies may be required.

Where it is contained: as a prophylaxis of iodine, WHO recommends using iodized salt.

Iron: tinnitus and hair loss
The most important trace element, which in the composition of hemoglobin is involved in providing oxygen to cells. It is a part of enzymes, participates in redox processes, hematopoiesis, growth and aging of tissues.

Symptoms: Fe deficiency is characterized by anemic and sideropenic syndromes. The first is manifested by rapid fatigue, drowsiness, dizziness, tinnitus. There may be a flicker of «flies» in front of your eyes, shortness of breath. Sideropenic syndrome is characterized by dryness and peeling of the skin, cracks in the corners of the mouth, fragility and hair loss, nail changes: fragility, layering, transverse striation. Taste sensations and sense of smell also change.

How to check: Fe deficiency may be hidden for a long time. With iron deficiency anemia (IDA), the level of hemoglobin, iron itself, decreases in the blood. Detecting latent Fe deficiency is more difficult. Most often, an analysis is prescribed for the content of ferritin, the main «depot» of Fe in the body. Its concentration in the blood decreases even before the symptoms of anemia appear. The analysis for soluble transferrin receptors is the most informative. In the presence of symptoms and laboratory confirmation of IDA, doctors prescribe iron preparations.

Where it is found: in eggs, fish, liver, legumes, spinach, apricots, prunes in high concentrations.

Magnesium: migraine and insomnia
It is a macronutrient and ranks fourth in terms of its content in the body after sodium, potassium and calcium. Participates in enzymatic processes, synthesis of protein molecules and the construction of bone tissue. Adequate functioning of nervous and muscular tissues is impossible without it.

Symptoms: the deficiency affects all body systems. Muscle cramps and spasms are possible, often calf muscles, bone density decreases, which increases the risk of osteoporosis, fractures. «Cardiac» symptoms may appear — pain, arrhythmia, hypertension, as well as migraines, dizziness, fatigue, apathy, decreased concentration, memory disorders and sleep deterioration. Deficiency can manifest itself by disorders of the digestive system: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation. Magnesium is also necessary for the normal course of pregnancy and fetal development.

How to check: the deficit is difficult to detect. In the blood, its concentration may be within normal values, when in fact the body is already experiencing a shortage. Only a doctor can detect insufficiency after assessing the clinical symptoms and assessing the concentration of the element in several substrates. For example, in blood and daily urine, saliva or hair.

Where it is contained: to prevent its deficiency, it is recommended to include mineral waters and products with a high content of the element in the diet: pumpkin seeds, nuts, buckwheat, oat flakes, sea cabbage, etc. Magnesium preparations can only be prescribed by a doctor after examination and carrying out the necessary diagnostic tests.

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