Vitamin Deficiency & Your Body: A Brief Guide

Vitamin Deficiency & Your Body: A Brief Guide

So much has changed in the past hundred years regarding nutrients, vitamins, and the way that people all over the world can get them.  As much as 90% of people within the United States have some form of vitamin deficiency that severely impacts their body's ability to rebuild or remain healthy.

It begs the question, why is vitamin deficiency such as a substantial problem? Is it affecting you personally? How do you recognize the signs and types of vitamin deficiencies before its too late?

Woman Looking At Mirror

In this guide, we will be going over the main details of what vitamin deficiency is, what vitamins do, and why you need to get the right amount of vitamins to avoid the former situation.

Vitamins, Our Food, & Us

There has been a substantial change in the types of foods that we eat as well as how our food is produced that caused substantial differences. 

The soil itself and food manufacturers take less care to ensure that everything produced from farm to market is at its best.  

We’ve seen as food production needs skyrocket, some corporations take short cuts, and as a result, the average consumer suffers.

Consequently, the vitamins and nutrients in foods tend to be less than what they were.  Coupled with the food choices that are more easy to ingest/enjoy leads to people missing out on getting everything their body needs.

When a bag of salty but nutrient-free chips exists for 35 cents versus a less delectable but more healthy choice is three times the price, it indirectly leads to careless dietary choices. 

Even then, ingesting enough of what is needed to thrive nutritionally is difficult for anyone with limited time due to their schedule/living situation.

For this reason, it's important to look at the best/most efficient ways to get what is needed, but that can't happen without knowing more about vitamins themselves.

What Exactly Are Vitamins?

Vitamins are crucial nutrients that act as the fuel/building blocks that allow your body to function. Each plays a critical part in the overall process of how you can breathe, eat, work, and more. 

They also act as a way for your body to break down other nutrients that are critical for various organ functions and turn them into usable fuel as well.

Vitamins can do all of the following and more:

  • Help metabolize fats, proteins, and carbohydrates
  • Ensure that your eyes work well, letting you see in a variety of different conditions including low light
  • Keep your blood capable of clotting when you sustain an injury or being as clean as possible of any contaminants that can cause illness

Many vitamins come from food, whereas some such as Vitamin D can be produced in the body under the right conditions. There are a variety of illnesses that happen as a result of a deficiency in particular vitamins in the body. 

Vitamin D Foods

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Vitamin E, which can prevent cancer, heart problems, and more acts as an anti-oxidant but when a deficiency is present, it's hard to tell because the symptoms may not be as obvious in comparison.

More importantly, general health and functionality is the result of having a balanced diet and supplementary plan that ensures you are getting all of the vitamins you need to be as strong and healthy as possible.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D Deficiency is more apparent than others.  It comes in the form of weakened bones that happen because Vitamin D is critical in the developed strength of bones.  Bones that lack vitamin D can become weakened, and lead to conditions such as rickets or worse. 

Vitamin D can be produced via going outside and getting access to enough sunlight, but for optimum amounts to prevent any negative side effects, using a supplement is advised. 

Vitamin D is especially important when calcium deficiencies are present.   Because both acts as a catalyst for strengthening bones, one without the other isn't as potent.

Someone that lacks either ends up being similar to Mr. Glass from the movie Unbreakable, extremely brittle and likely to suffer from breaks/fractures in bones or loss of teeth.

Vitamin B Complex Deficiency

Vitamin B complex deficiency is a dangerous thing. Vitamin B in its variant forms does everything from aid blood cell production to reduce fatigue.  Without Vitamin B, more serious psychological and physical conditions can erupt or become exacerbated.

As far as supplemental options go, your doctor may say to you “You need a shot of B12”, and you may know you do. But, there are a variety of oral supplemental options for B12/complex to be ingested that can avoid the more difficult options for the needle squeamish.

What Are The Side Effects Of Vitamin Deficiency?

Many people ask "what is a vitamin deficiency"? Put simply, its the result of not having a balanced diet. Your body isn't getting the nutrients it is to the point that it is adversely affecting your health.

For comparison's sake, it's at its most basic the equivalent of a car breaking down without any of the fluids that allow it to run. Imagine a car trying to run without oil, gas, or wiper fluid. While it can run for a bit, often problems will start to pop up.

Vitamin deficiencies are more subtle than many expect. The harsher side effects don’t rear their head until things are at their worst.  While some deficiencies may not show for long periods of time, there are a few signs of vitamin deficiency to look out for.

  • Gums That Are Easily Irritated or Bleed
  • Brittle Hair
  • Skin Discolouration
  • Exhaustion

Bleeding can occur randomly in your gums after a meal with hard foods or from a task as simple as brushing your teeth too vigorously. Knowing the difference is important because some instances are reflective or general health and others are reflective of your overall dental health.

Gums Bleeding

If your hair breaks easily or is thin despite having a rigorous washing and moisturizing treatment/process, it is possible the cause is a vitamin deficiency.

Your hair, nails, teeth, eyebrows and more can give early indications based on weakness or any discoloration. Discoloration from vitamin deficiency can also happen in your skin and eyes.  

Exhaustion

The most obvious sign of a nutrient/vitamin deficiency is exhaustion. Telling the difference between regular exhaustion and the type that is a part of vitamin deficiency symptoms is a bit difficult to tell.

If you are sleeping 6-9 hours a night, exercising regularly, don't smoke or use alcohol/tobacco, and are still experiencing heavy exhaustion, the chances are that your exhaustion is based in not eating well enough/getting the nutrients you need.

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