How To Combat Signs & Symptoms of Common Vitamin Deficiencies

Consuming a well balanced and nutritious diet has many benefits and can greatly improve your overall health and wellbeing. But, on the other hand, if your diet is low or lacking in certain nutrients, vitamins and minerals, this can cause a multitude of knock-on effects and unpleasant symptoms.

These signs and symptoms are your body’s way of telling you that something isn’t quite right and learning how to recognise them can help you adjust your diet accordingly. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to combat the common signs and symptoms of vitamin deficiency.

Brittle Hair & Nails

There are a number of reasons why you might have brittle hair and nails, but the most common reason is likely to be a lack of biotin in your diet. Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, helps your body to convert the foods you consume into energy. Whilst a vitamin B7 deficiency is rare, when it occurs brittle hair and nails could be the most noticeable symptom.

You might also notice other signs, such as fatigue, cramps and tingling hands and feet. Try to increase your consumption of foods that contain vitamin B7, such as egg yolks, fish, meat, dairy products, nuts and seeds, bananas and spinach and consider a supplement.

Dry Scalp and Dandruff

Dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis (SB) are forms of skin disorders and inflammation that affect the oil-producing areas around your body. Dandruff is mostly associated with the scalp, whilst SB can cause problems on the face, chest, groin and armpits. These problems are most likely to affect people in the first 3 months after being born, during puberty and in mid-adulthood, with around 42{42a0c50c94bbffc0cfe583c974636f0780625bbe18b84fe53906eb83b3295b83} of babies suffering from dandruff or SB at some point.

Low levels of vitamins such as zinc, niacin, vitamin B3 and B2 are likely to contribute to this skin disorder and whilst the link is not fully understood, a nutrient-poor diet can be the main factor behind such issues. Look to consume foods rich in these vitamins, such as seafood, dairy and nuts, or consider taking Zinc supplements or multivitamins.

Restless Legs

Restless leg syndrome is a nerve condition that can cause uncomfortable and unpleasant sensations in the legs, as well as a strong urge to keep moving them. Around 10{42a0c50c94bbffc0cfe583c974636f0780625bbe18b84fe53906eb83b3295b83} of people will suffer from restless leg syndrome, with the urge intensifying when they try to relax or sleep. Although restless legs syndrome isn’t completely understood, there appears to be a link between blood iron levels. Higher iron intake can help to reduce symptoms, with foods such as fish, meat, poultry, leafy greens, nuts, seeds and whole grains being beneficial, especially if consumed with foods rich in vitamin C and D. As well as increasing your natural intake of iron, some evidence suggests that magnesium supplements can also help improve symptoms.