The Warning Signs of Vitamin Deficiencies

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When the siren goes off, you better answer that call.

Boy, if the human body could talk, it’d probably have all manner of unpleasant things it’d want to tell us. I know mine would want to have a prolonged discussion with accompanying PowerPoint slides. Thankfully, we don’t have to put up with our bodies screaming at us, but that doesn’t mean our bodies can’t communicate at all. When there’s something wrong with our bodies, strange, unpleasant conditions often manifest. On their own, they may seem like temporary ailments that just sort of come and go on their own. But if you’re experiencing these problems frequently, you may have a deficiency of a particular vital vitamin.

Here’s an easy one: what shape are your fingernails? They should be round, smooth, and solid. But do you have a divot in your nails? Are they curving upwards? This is known as “spooned nails,” and it’s a classic symptom of iron deficiency.

Your mouth can produce a variety of signals for several important vitamins. Are your gums tender and bleeding? You could be running low on vitamins C and K. Are you prone to painful canker sores? You need more B vitamins in your diet. Is your sense of taste somewhat muted? You need vitamin B12, zinc, and folic acid to restart tasting procedures.

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Finally, your bones and muscles can tell quite the story. Do you find that the bones in your limbs feel tender and sensitive, even when you’re not working out? That, my friend, is a vitamin D deficiency. Are the muscles in your legs and calves prone to cramping up? You need the four -ums: calcium, sodium, magnesium, and potassium.

Your body may not have a mouth (or, well, it does, but not a separate one), but that doesn’t excuse you from being deaf to its calls. When your body starts talking, you listen.