The Root of Many Health Problems: Nutritional Deficiencies

Nutrition is the term that represents the nutrients required by a body. It consists of essential minerals and vitamins that protect the body from various diseases and regulate body development. These cannot be produced in a body naturally; rather the body absorbs them from the regular diet.

There are several reasons the body may not be getting enough nutrients. Health problems such as kidney or celiac disease can hinder the absorption of crucial vitamins and minerals. This can be a side effect of certain medications, too, or the result of a restrictive diet, such as veganism. And some common foods are just not as healthy as people think.

Nutritional deficiencies can emerge many disorders in a body which lead to serious health problems- dementia, defective or stunted bone growth, skin disorders and digestion problems and so on.

The causes of Nutritional Deficiency:

The most obvious cause of vitamin deficiency is related to your diet. Vitamins are complex molecules present in fruit, vegetables, grains, meat, poultry, and seafood. Each vitamin is found in more than one type of food, and some foods are fortified with vitamins. For example, milk naturally contains calcium (which is a mineral, not a vitamin), and it is fortified with vitamin D. Pasta, rice, and cereal are often fortified with a variety of vitamins.

In addition to dietary factors, medical conditions can affect your absorption of vitamins, even if your dietary vitamin intake is adequate.


Symptoms include:

  • A feeling of tingling, or pins and needles
  • A sore, red tongue
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue and a lack of energy
  • Visual disturbances
  • Depression
  • Confusion and other problems with concentration, thinking, and memory

Long-term complications include:

  • Infertility, which is usually reversible
  • Complications during pregnancy
  • Congenital disorders
  • Nervous system disorders, which may be permanent
  • Heart problems, including heart failure


Some vitamin deficiencies cause more than one symptom, and some symptoms (like sleepiness) can occur as a result of a few different vitamin deficiencies. Because symptoms do not always clearly correlate with the specific vitamin deficiency, diagnostic testing is the only way to confirm a vitamin deficiency.

The diagnosis of vitamin deficiencies can take some time. That is because it is not routine to test for vitamin levels. Your doctor is likely to do a thorough physical examination to check for bruises, wounds, skin discolouration, and neuropathy.

Blood Tests

Blood tests can show signs of vitamin deficiency and can be used to measure your vitamin levels.

A complete blood count is the most common screening test. A low red blood cell count or a pattern of enlarged red blood cells (megaloblastic anaemia) is a common sign of vitamin B12 deficiency. 

In some instances, your vitamin levels may be measured with a blood test. Vitamins that can be measured with a blood test include niacin, vitamin D, and vitamin B12.

Interventional Tests

If there is a concern that you could have a digestive problem causing vitamin malabsorption, your doctor may order a test to examine the internal appearance of your stomach or intestines.

These tests can be uncomfortable, so they are done with an anaesthetic medication. Your doctor can identify problems such as Crohn’s disease and some types of malabsorptive syndromes with these interventional examinations.


A diet that provides an insufficient intake of vitamins and minerals can cause several symptoms, some of which are more common than others.

Often, increasing your intake of foods rich in the appropriate vitamins and minerals can help resolve or greatly reduce your symptoms.

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