From boosting our immune system to strengthening our bones, vitamins play an essential role in our health. However, despite its importance, many people suffer from deficiencies without realizing it, often without being aware of the subtle signals their bodies send. Recently, nutritionist Apurwa Agarwal took to Instagram to share the silent but telling signs that her body may be dealing with a shortage of vital vitamins.
“Recognizing these symptoms may be the first step in addressing nutritional imbalances,” she captioned the post.
We reached out to experts on how to address these vitamin deficiencies and resolve the health issues that accompany them.
Agarwal noted that being constantly sick, feeling sad, losing hair, decreased bone density and having muscle pain are signs of vitamin D deficiency.
To prevent this deficiency, Dr Rajmadhangi D, MBBS, MD (General Medicine), Apollo Spectra Hospital, Chennai, recommends spending time outdoors to allow the skin to produce vitamin D in response to sunlight. Additionally, it is important to include foods rich in vitamin D in your diet, such as fatty fish, fortified dairy products, and eggs. “Consult a health care professional for vitamin D supplements, if necessary,” he added.
Headache or dizziness, pale skin, chest pain, swollen or sore tongue, and brittle nails are signs that your body is dealing with an iron deficiency, Agarwal said.
The best way to combat this deficiency, according to Kalpana Gupta, clinical nutritionist at Max Smart Super Specialty Hospital, Saket, is to consume iron-rich foods. “Non-vegetarian foods, such as beef, liver, fish and shellfish, are the most bioavailable form of iron and easily absorbed by the body. Vegetarian sources like peas, legumes, dark green leafy vegetables and whole grains like bajra and ragi are also full of iron,” she recommended.
Another way is to increase iron absorption in the body. “Add citrus foods like lemons to meals to improve iron absorption. Using iron utensils for cooking helps increase the iron content of foods. Sprouted and fermented foods like sprouts and idli can also be consumed,” said Gupta.
Signs such as loss of appetite, nausea, disorientation, vision problems and a stinging sensation may indicate a vitamin B-12 deficiency, Agarwal said.
Chandni Haldurai, head of nutrition at Cult.Fit, recommended dietary changes to prevent this deficiency. “Eat foods rich in b12 vitamin such as dairy, meat, fish and eggs. Limiting alcohol consumption is also important, as it can alter the absorption of this vitamin,” he stated.
Additionally, Haldurai advises taking supplements if the deficiency continues. “In extreme circumstances, medical professionals may use intramuscular injection.”
Agarwal urged that nighttime leg cramps, anxiety, neck and shoulder pain, constipation and menstrual disorders They could be symptoms of magnesium deficiency.
Dr. Rajmadhagi said foods rich in magnesium, such as leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains, can address this deficiency. Even reducing your caffeine and alcohol intake can help, as they contribute to magnesium loss. Using topical magnesium oils or creams for better absorption through the skin can also combat magnesium deficiency.
While dietary modifications can often address these deficiencies, Dr. Rajmadhangi said it is essential to consult a nutritionist or medical expert for personalized advice. “A well-balanced, nutrient-dense diet, along with supplements when necessary, can play an important role in preventing and treating vitamin deficiencies, ensuring a healthier, more vibrant life.”