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Surprising Signs You Have a Vitamin or Mineral Deficiency Gallery

Surprising Signs You Have a Vitamin or Mineral Deficiency Gallery

Not all the warning signs are obvious

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You don’t necessarily need a multivitamin or supplements to stay healthy — in an ideal world, you would be getting all the nutrients you need from your diet. But it’s hard to know exactly what your body needs and when without the input of a nutritionist or a doctor.

Nutrient deficiencies can happen when you don’t get enough of the vitamins and minerals you need over a long period of time. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Second Nutrition Report, less than 10 percent of the U.S. population has deficiencies of most major vitamins and minerals. However, specific populations, such as pregnant women, infants, or the elderly, are still at heightened risk for such deficiencies, and a nutrient imbalance may lead to serious medical conditions.

Just because you may be susceptible to a vitamin or mineral deficiency at some point doesn’t mean you need to run out to your local Vitamin World or GNC and pick up a tub of multivitamins or individual high-dose tablets or capsules. Dietary supplements come with their own set of risks; they may contain undisclosed additives or active ingredients that can have strong side effects, even sometimes interacting dangerously with prescription drugs.

The best way to approach a vitamin or mineral deficiency is to first identify whether you have one by consulting a doctor. The next steps should include either incorporating a supplement option or adding certain foods to your diet to address the specific deficiencies.

Watch for these 10 signs of a deficiency if you’re concerned you might be missing something from your diet.

Michael Serrur and Holly Van Hare contributed to this roundup.

Surprising Signs You Have a Vitamin or Mineral Deficiency

istockphoto.com

You don’t necessarily need a multivitamin or supplements to stay healthy — in an ideal world, you would be getting all the nutrients you need from your diet. The next steps should include either incorporating a supplement option or adding certain foods to your diet to address the specific deficiencies.

Watch for these 10 signs of a deficiency if you’re concerned you might be missing something from your diet.

Michael Serrur and Holly Van Hare contributed to this roundup.

Brittle Hair

Hair health is a good indicator a nutrient deficiency. A lack of protein or iron can lead to brittle and dry hair. To stimulate hair follicle growth while also improving your iron absorption, try eating kiwi. The fruit contains vitamins C and E— two nutrients that improve iron absorption when consumed together. For more foods to eat for healthier hair, click here.

Diarrhea

A rich or decadent meal can lead to a loose bowel movement, but persistent episodes of diarrhea may be evidence that the body is not retaining nutrients. Staying hydrated by sipping liquids like tea or water between meals can help alleviate the symptoms, but it’s also important to avoid alcohol, carbonated drinks, and greasy foods until the condition disappears. If you want to settle your stomach naturally, click here.

Frequent Colds or Infections

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Are you the one in the office who’s somehow always getting sick? It might not just be bad luck — your immune system could be faltering. Immunity relies on proper nutrition to work at its best. Load up on orange juice, leafy greens, and other immune-boosting foods to replenish the nutrients you’re missing.

High Blood Pressure

Mood Swings

It’s difficult to pinpoint the cause behind a mood swing: they can be triggered by a bad day at work, family issues, or even seasonal depression. But sometimes erratic waves of emotion are the result of a nutrient deficiency. Low energy, irritability, and feeling down are all indicators that you’re experiencing an internal imbalance. Increasing your intake of B vitamins through consumption of lean meats, legumes, and green leafy vegetables can help balance your mood.

Muscle Cramps and Twitches

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Magnesium is crucial co-factor for over 300 enzyme reactions in the body, but certain people, specifically pregnant women and the elderly, are often deficient in this crucial mineral. Not enough magnesium can lead to muscle cramps and twitches. Besides supplements (which should first be discussed with a doctor), magnesium can be incorporated into a diet through dark chocolate with high cacao content, citrus fruits, and whole grains.

Skin Issues

Your skin can tell you a lot about your diet. The elasticity and health of your skin is reliant on vitamins A, C, and E, as well as biotin and omega-3 fatty acids. If you don’t get enough of these nutrients, your skin might become dry, acne-prone, and wrinkled.

Unexplained Fatigue

Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in the world, but it can largely go unrecognized because it shares symptoms with other conditions. Iron helps your body to transport oxygen, which is essential for normal physical and cognitive functioning. Iron-rich foods include beef, chicken liver, clams, and oysters; though plant-based foods such as lentils, beans, and spinach do contain iron, it is of the nonheme variety, which isn’t as easily absorbed by the body. An iron deficiency isn’t the only cause of fatigue, however. Talk to your doctor to rule out some of these other common reasons you might be feeling tired.


13 Signs You are Deficient in Magnesium…and How To Fix It

Every organ in your body, and especially your muscles and heart, needs magnesium to function properly. In fact, magnesium is involved in more than 300 biochemical processes. That’s a pretty tall order, so you definitely want to be sure you are getting all you require. But there’s a good chance you are actually deficient in magnesium. Why do I say that? Because up to 75 percent of Americans don’t even meet the minimum daily requirement for this mineral, which is 310 to 320 milligrams for women and 400 to 420 milligrams for men. Since only 1 percent of the magnesium in your body is found in your bloodstream, getting a blood test is not a good way to determine if you have insufficient levels.

The reason why most people are deficient in magnesium has a great deal to do with diet. Even if you eat lots of foods rich in this mineral (e.g., dark leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, bananas, beans, dried fruit, avocados), you can be excreting much of the mineral if you also eat refined sugar, caffeinated beverages, soft drinks, and/or alcohol.

Other reasons you could be deficient in magnesium include older age (absorption declines with age), use of certain medications (e.g., diuretics, antacids, insulin, corticosteroids, certain antibiotics), and gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease or leaky gut.


13 Signs You are Deficient in Magnesium…and How To Fix It

Every organ in your body, and especially your muscles and heart, needs magnesium to function properly. In fact, magnesium is involved in more than 300 biochemical processes. That’s a pretty tall order, so you definitely want to be sure you are getting all you require. But there’s a good chance you are actually deficient in magnesium. Why do I say that? Because up to 75 percent of Americans don’t even meet the minimum daily requirement for this mineral, which is 310 to 320 milligrams for women and 400 to 420 milligrams for men. Since only 1 percent of the magnesium in your body is found in your bloodstream, getting a blood test is not a good way to determine if you have insufficient levels.

The reason why most people are deficient in magnesium has a great deal to do with diet. Even if you eat lots of foods rich in this mineral (e.g., dark leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, bananas, beans, dried fruit, avocados), you can be excreting much of the mineral if you also eat refined sugar, caffeinated beverages, soft drinks, and/or alcohol.

Other reasons you could be deficient in magnesium include older age (absorption declines with age), use of certain medications (e.g., diuretics, antacids, insulin, corticosteroids, certain antibiotics), and gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease or leaky gut.


13 Signs You are Deficient in Magnesium…and How To Fix It

Every organ in your body, and especially your muscles and heart, needs magnesium to function properly. In fact, magnesium is involved in more than 300 biochemical processes. That’s a pretty tall order, so you definitely want to be sure you are getting all you require. But there’s a good chance you are actually deficient in magnesium. Why do I say that? Because up to 75 percent of Americans don’t even meet the minimum daily requirement for this mineral, which is 310 to 320 milligrams for women and 400 to 420 milligrams for men. Since only 1 percent of the magnesium in your body is found in your bloodstream, getting a blood test is not a good way to determine if you have insufficient levels.

The reason why most people are deficient in magnesium has a great deal to do with diet. Even if you eat lots of foods rich in this mineral (e.g., dark leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, bananas, beans, dried fruit, avocados), you can be excreting much of the mineral if you also eat refined sugar, caffeinated beverages, soft drinks, and/or alcohol.

Other reasons you could be deficient in magnesium include older age (absorption declines with age), use of certain medications (e.g., diuretics, antacids, insulin, corticosteroids, certain antibiotics), and gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease or leaky gut.


13 Signs You are Deficient in Magnesium…and How To Fix It

Every organ in your body, and especially your muscles and heart, needs magnesium to function properly. In fact, magnesium is involved in more than 300 biochemical processes. That’s a pretty tall order, so you definitely want to be sure you are getting all you require. But there’s a good chance you are actually deficient in magnesium. Why do I say that? Because up to 75 percent of Americans don’t even meet the minimum daily requirement for this mineral, which is 310 to 320 milligrams for women and 400 to 420 milligrams for men. Since only 1 percent of the magnesium in your body is found in your bloodstream, getting a blood test is not a good way to determine if you have insufficient levels.

The reason why most people are deficient in magnesium has a great deal to do with diet. Even if you eat lots of foods rich in this mineral (e.g., dark leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, bananas, beans, dried fruit, avocados), you can be excreting much of the mineral if you also eat refined sugar, caffeinated beverages, soft drinks, and/or alcohol.

Other reasons you could be deficient in magnesium include older age (absorption declines with age), use of certain medications (e.g., diuretics, antacids, insulin, corticosteroids, certain antibiotics), and gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease or leaky gut.


13 Signs You are Deficient in Magnesium…and How To Fix It

Every organ in your body, and especially your muscles and heart, needs magnesium to function properly. In fact, magnesium is involved in more than 300 biochemical processes. That’s a pretty tall order, so you definitely want to be sure you are getting all you require. But there’s a good chance you are actually deficient in magnesium. Why do I say that? Because up to 75 percent of Americans don’t even meet the minimum daily requirement for this mineral, which is 310 to 320 milligrams for women and 400 to 420 milligrams for men. Since only 1 percent of the magnesium in your body is found in your bloodstream, getting a blood test is not a good way to determine if you have insufficient levels.

The reason why most people are deficient in magnesium has a great deal to do with diet. Even if you eat lots of foods rich in this mineral (e.g., dark leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, bananas, beans, dried fruit, avocados), you can be excreting much of the mineral if you also eat refined sugar, caffeinated beverages, soft drinks, and/or alcohol.

Other reasons you could be deficient in magnesium include older age (absorption declines with age), use of certain medications (e.g., diuretics, antacids, insulin, corticosteroids, certain antibiotics), and gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease or leaky gut.


13 Signs You are Deficient in Magnesium…and How To Fix It

Every organ in your body, and especially your muscles and heart, needs magnesium to function properly. In fact, magnesium is involved in more than 300 biochemical processes. That’s a pretty tall order, so you definitely want to be sure you are getting all you require. But there’s a good chance you are actually deficient in magnesium. Why do I say that? Because up to 75 percent of Americans don’t even meet the minimum daily requirement for this mineral, which is 310 to 320 milligrams for women and 400 to 420 milligrams for men. Since only 1 percent of the magnesium in your body is found in your bloodstream, getting a blood test is not a good way to determine if you have insufficient levels.

The reason why most people are deficient in magnesium has a great deal to do with diet. Even if you eat lots of foods rich in this mineral (e.g., dark leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, bananas, beans, dried fruit, avocados), you can be excreting much of the mineral if you also eat refined sugar, caffeinated beverages, soft drinks, and/or alcohol.

Other reasons you could be deficient in magnesium include older age (absorption declines with age), use of certain medications (e.g., diuretics, antacids, insulin, corticosteroids, certain antibiotics), and gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease or leaky gut.


13 Signs You are Deficient in Magnesium…and How To Fix It

Every organ in your body, and especially your muscles and heart, needs magnesium to function properly. In fact, magnesium is involved in more than 300 biochemical processes. That’s a pretty tall order, so you definitely want to be sure you are getting all you require. But there’s a good chance you are actually deficient in magnesium. Why do I say that? Because up to 75 percent of Americans don’t even meet the minimum daily requirement for this mineral, which is 310 to 320 milligrams for women and 400 to 420 milligrams for men. Since only 1 percent of the magnesium in your body is found in your bloodstream, getting a blood test is not a good way to determine if you have insufficient levels.

The reason why most people are deficient in magnesium has a great deal to do with diet. Even if you eat lots of foods rich in this mineral (e.g., dark leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, bananas, beans, dried fruit, avocados), you can be excreting much of the mineral if you also eat refined sugar, caffeinated beverages, soft drinks, and/or alcohol.

Other reasons you could be deficient in magnesium include older age (absorption declines with age), use of certain medications (e.g., diuretics, antacids, insulin, corticosteroids, certain antibiotics), and gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease or leaky gut.


13 Signs You are Deficient in Magnesium…and How To Fix It

Every organ in your body, and especially your muscles and heart, needs magnesium to function properly. In fact, magnesium is involved in more than 300 biochemical processes. That’s a pretty tall order, so you definitely want to be sure you are getting all you require. But there’s a good chance you are actually deficient in magnesium. Why do I say that? Because up to 75 percent of Americans don’t even meet the minimum daily requirement for this mineral, which is 310 to 320 milligrams for women and 400 to 420 milligrams for men. Since only 1 percent of the magnesium in your body is found in your bloodstream, getting a blood test is not a good way to determine if you have insufficient levels.

The reason why most people are deficient in magnesium has a great deal to do with diet. Even if you eat lots of foods rich in this mineral (e.g., dark leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, bananas, beans, dried fruit, avocados), you can be excreting much of the mineral if you also eat refined sugar, caffeinated beverages, soft drinks, and/or alcohol.

Other reasons you could be deficient in magnesium include older age (absorption declines with age), use of certain medications (e.g., diuretics, antacids, insulin, corticosteroids, certain antibiotics), and gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease or leaky gut.


13 Signs You are Deficient in Magnesium…and How To Fix It

Every organ in your body, and especially your muscles and heart, needs magnesium to function properly. In fact, magnesium is involved in more than 300 biochemical processes. That’s a pretty tall order, so you definitely want to be sure you are getting all you require. But there’s a good chance you are actually deficient in magnesium. Why do I say that? Because up to 75 percent of Americans don’t even meet the minimum daily requirement for this mineral, which is 310 to 320 milligrams for women and 400 to 420 milligrams for men. Since only 1 percent of the magnesium in your body is found in your bloodstream, getting a blood test is not a good way to determine if you have insufficient levels.

The reason why most people are deficient in magnesium has a great deal to do with diet. Even if you eat lots of foods rich in this mineral (e.g., dark leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, bananas, beans, dried fruit, avocados), you can be excreting much of the mineral if you also eat refined sugar, caffeinated beverages, soft drinks, and/or alcohol.

Other reasons you could be deficient in magnesium include older age (absorption declines with age), use of certain medications (e.g., diuretics, antacids, insulin, corticosteroids, certain antibiotics), and gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease or leaky gut.


13 Signs You are Deficient in Magnesium…and How To Fix It

Every organ in your body, and especially your muscles and heart, needs magnesium to function properly. In fact, magnesium is involved in more than 300 biochemical processes. That’s a pretty tall order, so you definitely want to be sure you are getting all you require. But there’s a good chance you are actually deficient in magnesium. Why do I say that? Because up to 75 percent of Americans don’t even meet the minimum daily requirement for this mineral, which is 310 to 320 milligrams for women and 400 to 420 milligrams for men. Since only 1 percent of the magnesium in your body is found in your bloodstream, getting a blood test is not a good way to determine if you have insufficient levels.

The reason why most people are deficient in magnesium has a great deal to do with diet. Even if you eat lots of foods rich in this mineral (e.g., dark leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, bananas, beans, dried fruit, avocados), you can be excreting much of the mineral if you also eat refined sugar, caffeinated beverages, soft drinks, and/or alcohol.

Other reasons you could be deficient in magnesium include older age (absorption declines with age), use of certain medications (e.g., diuretics, antacids, insulin, corticosteroids, certain antibiotics), and gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease or leaky gut.