Sure, you take your vitamins, and you try to eat right. But do you know what a vitamin deficiency looks like?
Sometimes despite our best efforts, our bodies don’t receive the nutrients they need, whether because of our own health issues or because of external factors. Learn the signs of the different kinds of vitamin deficiencies by reading ahead!
When it comes to your eyesight, vitamin A is king. It produces the pigments that allow your eyes to see a full spectrum of light and helps lubricate your corneas. You find this tasty and visually helpful vitamin in leafy greens, orange vegetables, eggs, and cantaloupes.
Scary fact: more children go blind from this vitamin deficiency than from any other preventable cause. Worldwide. Night blindness is the most common symptom of a vitamin A deficiency. It primarily affects pregnant women and children, with those in developing countries at higher risk.
A vitamin A deficiency also compromises the immune system, leaving you more susceptible to illness.
The amazingly crucial vitamin B12 assists in making DNA and red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen through your body, so they’re pretty important.
You get B12 from animal products such as cheese, meat, eggs, and milk; or, if you’re vegetarian or vegan, from a supplement. Your stomach and intestines absorb the vitamin during the digestive process.
Most people get enough vitamin B12. However, some bodies can’t process it, whether due to pernicious anemia, the removal of part of the stomach called the ileum, a parasite, celiac’s, or Crohn’s disease. Pregnant women also need more of it than other people.
When your body doesn’t get its B12, it develops vitamin B12 deficiency anemia.
Because your red blood cells aren’t carrying enough oxygen throughout your body, you start to feel weak and tired. Down the line, a vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to nerve damage and leave you feeling foggy and confused.
You may remember your mom telling you growing up that you get your vitamin D from sunshine. She didn’t lie; your body produces vitamin D in response to sun, fish liver oils, egg yolks, and fortified dairy and grains.
D promotes bone health by assisting your body in processing calcium. Historically, doctors associated rickets, a bone tissue disease that can cause skeletal deformities, with a vitamin D deficiency. But more recently, research has connected a multitude of symptoms to a lack of the vitamin.
Signs of a vitamin D deficiency include bone and muscle pain. Long term symptoms can consist of higher mortality rate for those with cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, and severe asthma. New studies show that vitamin can help to prevent diabetes, hypertension, and even MS!
Bottom line, folks, is eat your veggies! While you might not enjoy every green mouthful, it could save you a lot of discomfort down the line.
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