Health Risk: Vitamin Deficiency

meeshme.comWith so many things to get done in a day, taking care of our skin and bodies takes a back seat to grocery shopping, picking up kids, making dinner, or juggling the many tasks of our demanding jobs.  Yet if you don’t take care of your physical health, you won’t be able to do many of the things you either need or love to do.

Eating healthy is important for many reasons, but it isn’t always as convenient or delicious as fast or processed foods.  If you’re not eating from essential food groups, you are probably lacking in vital vitamin categories.  If you can’t get in all the nutrients you need in a day, taking vitamins is important.  I have never taken vitamins, except for when I’m feeling a cold coming on, but recently I learned the danger of vitamin deficiency.

Over the past year I was much more tired, I had no energy.  It became harder to lose weight, which I associated with getting older.  I experienced numbness and vibration in my limbs.  I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know what.  Finally, I had blood work done when a doctor noticed a nodule on my thyroid.  Thankfully there was nothing wrong with my thyroid, but she did discover a vitamin B and vitamin D deficiency.  While a normal person should have around 1,100 pg/ml of vitamin B, I had 115.

meeshme.comVitamin B deficiency can cause a series of health problems.  Long periods of vitamin B deficiency can cause permanent neurological damage.  People with 200 to 400 pg/ml can experience neuropsychiatric and hematologic abnormalities.  Neuropsychiatric abnormalities include depression, bi-polar disorder, Schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, and eating disorders.  Hematologic abnormalities include anemia and vibration (numbness).  Want to incorporate more vitamin B12 in your diet? This webpage lists the top ten foods for vitamin B12.

Vitamin D deficiency can cause hair loss, weak/dry hair, brittle nails, asthma, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer.  There are a variety of reasons why you may be deficient of vitamin D.  People with dark skin are at increased risk, because the pigment melanin reduces the skin’s ability to absorb vitamin D from the sun.  To increase your intake of Vitamin D naturally you would need to spend more time under the sun or visit a tanning bed.  Odd since these actions can increase skin cancer and skin aging, but safe exposure is key.  Wear sunscreen!

A simple blood test can determine if your body is deficient of vitamins, but you can also diagnose yourself.  Listen to your body.  If you are feeling tired or experiencing some of the symptoms above increase vitamin B12.  Vitamin B12 isn’t always easily processed by our stomachs, so the best way to get Vitamin B12 is through drops or strips that dissolve under your tongue.  GNC offers these products at around $13.  Vitamin D can be taken in pill form or in yummy chews, which GNC and other health stores offer.

Start taking care of yourself, and live a longer, healthier, better life.

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