While each vitamin has its own problems brought on by its lack, there are some general indications that you need to look into a multi-vitamin. When your body doesn’t receive the nutrition it needs, you’ll find that you are worn out, even after sleeping a full night. Fatigue is a very common symptom of a deficiency. Excessive hair loss, skin rashes and anemia are also signs that you are lacking something.
When the body is low on one or more vitamins, the immune system is often compromised, as well. This means that diseases like a simple cold or the flu will tend to last longer than normal and you may find that you are more prone to infections than usual. If you pay attention to your body, you will notice if something is wrong.
Vitamin A: When you are low in this vitamin, eye problems result. First, night blindness and dry eyes, then more severe issues indicate problems. In countries where Vitamin A is not available readily, people can even go blind from lack of it. In children, a deficiency could be apparent with a failure to grow properly.
Vitamin B: There are several vitamins included in this group. B1 causes beriberi in its absence, a disease that results in muscle weakness and brain damage. Lack of B2 can cause hair loss, ulcers in the mouth and on the skin, rashes and itchiness, among other symptoms.
If you don’t have enough B3, you could develop pellagra, which usually presents itself in the form of stomach problems and diarrhea, as well as rashes caused by the sun. Too little B5 and you’ll suffer from fatigue, nausea, headaches and tingling in the hands and feet. B6 deficiency usually results in anemia, feelings of dizziness and loss of hair.
Vitamin B9, also known as folic acid, is particularly important for women of child-bearing age. A lack of it during pregnancy could cause spina bifida in the unborn child or spontaneous abortion. B12 is another important vitamin, without which you suffer from the same symptoms as B5 deficiency.
Vitamin C: It’s fairly rare to find a deficiency in Vitamin C, since so many processed foods are already fortified, but taking extra means your immune system will be stronger. Signs that you are lacking in this important vitamin include fatigue, bleeding gums and slow healing of wounds.
Vitamin D: The lack of this vitamin has been named as a cause of certain kinds of cancer, such as breast and colon cancer. Less severe symptoms of deficiency include twitching muscles, sleep issues (particularly in small children), pain in the joints and osteoporosis.
Vitamin E: Not enough Vitamin E usually results in eye problems, especially a limit to how far you can move your eyes upwards. Severe deficiency could result in blindness. Lack of this vitamin can also cause fertility issues, miscarriages, as well as problems with the liver, brain and bone marrow.
Vitamin K: Anyone low on this vitamin will find that they bruise easily and tend to bleed more than normal with small cuts and scratches. Frequent nosebleeds could be a sign that you are low on Vitamin K.
Even if you feel that you get enough of each vitamin, that might not be true. Some foods, such as carbonated beverages, act as barriers, preventing the absorption of certain vitamins, so while you may be ingesting enough, your body might not be actually absorbing everything. This is one area that multi-vitamins treat well, since they have the optimum mix of vitamins to enhance the actual absorption.
To stay strong and healthy, it’s important to let your body have what it needs. Vitamin deficiencies are often mild in Western countries, but they do affect the quality of life and when it’s something so easy to treat, why not fix the problem?
Remember, this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. If you suspect there is something wrong, be sure to see your doctor.