Certain signs can indicate a vitamin deficiency such as sluggishness, but knowing all of the signs that lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies can help tell you which specific vitamins you may be lacking.

At least one-third of the U.S. population is at risk of being deficient in at least one vitamin. Women between the ages of 19-50 years old (41%) tend to be most at risk of having a vitamin deficiency, and the risk is higher (47%) if they are pregnant or breastfeeding. Researchers also found that people are most commonly deficient in vitamins A, B6, B12, E, and C. 

Because such a large portion of the United States population is at risk for vitamin deficiency, which can negatively impact overall health, it’s important to make a conscious effort to ensure you and your loved ones get the nutrition you need.

When it comes to health, it may be hard to tell if you are deficient in specific vitamins and know what warning signs to look out for.

In this article, we’ll discuss the most common signs associated with a deficiency in essential nutrients, what to do when you have a vitamin deficiency, and how to treat it.

Common Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies – Symptoms & Treatments

The symptoms and long-term effects of being deficient in vital vitamins may surprise you. Keep reading to discover the warning signs of nutrient deficiency and how to fix them.

1. Eye Problems

Although having eye problems is most often associated with thyroid disorders, aging, or Sjogren’s syndrome, it may be a warning sign that you have a vitamin A deficiency. Some common eye problems that can occur with such a deficiency include dry eyes, poor night vision, and low light blindness.

Eye problems are prevalent when someone is deficient in vitamin A because that vitamin is responsible for producing rhodopsin, a pigment in your retinas that aids in night vision.

Some other symptoms associated with vitamin A deficiencies are anemia, nausea, headaches, and joint pain. The headaches and nausea are likely secondary symptoms as they’d occur due to straining the eyes to see at night or in low light.

If you’ve noticed any of the above-mentioned eye problems, you must consult your primary care physician and request a blood test before treating your symptoms with the assumption that you have a vitamin A deficiency. If you do need more vitamin A, take supplements with the guidance of your doctor. 

Another way to incorporate vitamin A is by adjusting your diet. Eat foods that are naturally high in vitamin A, such as dairy products, eggs, fish, and dark leafy greens. You can also eat yellow-orange colored vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, sweet peppers, and sweet potatoes.

2. Muscle Cramps

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with a severe muscle cramp? Was it generally in your leg, such as your calf? These sudden muscle cramps and spasms, also known as Charley horses, occur because of a calcium or magnesium deficiency. According to baseball lore, the phrase Charley horse was coined after a baseball player’s family horse, who appeared to suffer from stiff legs.

As with any medical issue, it’s wise to seek the advice of your medical professional. With the guidance of your doctor, you can prevent having such excruciating muscle cramps by taking calcium supplements.

You can also incorporate foods like dairy products fatty fish, sardines, dark leafy greens, and black beans into your diet, as they are all high in calcium.

Dandruff or Dry Scalp

3. Dandruff or Dry Scalp

Having issues with your scalp, whether it is dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, dry scalp, or scalp psoriasis, is painful. It can also be embarrassing. Although these skin conditions are usually on the scalp, seborrheic dermatitis can also occur on the face, chest, armpits, and groin.

The cause for such issues links back to vitamin deficiencies in vitamins B3 (niacin), B2 (riboflavin), and B6 (pyridoxine). To mitigate dandruff and other scalp problems, your doctor might recommend that you take vitamin supplements. You can also eat more whole grains, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy products, and green vegetables. Even if these recommendations don’t eliminate the symptoms, they can often help to lessen the severity.

4. Mood Changes

Abnormal changes in your mood could very likely be a warning sign that you suffer from a deficiency in vitamin D. It is true that mood changes can occur from life events, pre-menstrual hormones in women and mental illnesses, but you may want to consider the possibility that an inadequate amount of vitamin D may also be contributing.

Vitamin D is important to your mental health and your physical well-being as it’s responsible for maintaining the serotonin levels in your body. This is why vitamin D supplements are vital to your mental health because serotonin is the body’s “happiness hormone.”

To treat a deficiency in vitamin D, incorporate more starchy foods, salmon, mushrooms, and egg yolks into your diet. Your body also produces vitamin D when it receives exposure to the sun’s UVB rays, so getting 10-30 minutes of sun each day can help boost your body’s vitamin D totals. However, too much time in the sun can still lead to adverse effects on your skin and other potentially serious health conditions and issues. It’s crucial to take the proper precautions if you plan to be out in the sun for longer durations.

5. Brittle Hair or Hair Loss

Hair loss can happen to anyone who suffers from a vitamin deficiency, specifically in vitamins B3 or B7 (biotin). If you’re experiencing thinning hair, splitting hair and weak nails, then chances are you have a vitamin deficiency. Other common symptoms associated with vitamin B3 and B7 deficiencies include chronic fatigue, muscle pain and a tingling sensation in your feet and hands.

To treat such issues, you can consider adjusting your diet to include organ meats, fish, nuts, seeds, cauliflower, yeast, whole grains and bananas to name a few. As always, we recommend that you see your medical professional for advice and so they can take a blood test to determine the vitamin deficiencies you suffer from.

6. Gum Issues

While gingivitis, infections, hormonal changes and other conditions can cause bleeding of the gums, a condition called scurvy can also contribute. Scurvy occurs as the result of a vitamin C deficiency. It’s been around for thousands of years, having even been documented in ancient times.

Cases of scurvy are rare today, but they can still happen. For example, the National Center for Biotechnology Information performed a study in 2018 where two older gentlemen were diagnosed and treated for scurvy.

In addition to having swollen or bleeding gums, people can also experience loss of teeth and the opening of wounds that had previously healed. To help remedy such issues, you can eat more fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C. Some examples include oranges, peppers, strawberries, broccoli, potatoes, and kiwi. 

7. Mouth Ulcers

When you have an ulcer in your mouth, it is very painful. It can make also be difficult to talk and eat, depending on the ulcer’s location. Mouth ulcers are defined as lesions in the mouth that occur randomly or from accidentally biting the mouth’s soft tissue.

These ulcers can occur more often from a deficiency in vitamin B12. Eat clams, beef, fortified cereal, fish, dairy products, and eggs to naturally increase the amount of B12 in your body. 


Use IV Therapy From Mobile IV Medics for Vitamin Deficiency

Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency can be subtle and insidious, often presenting symptoms that are easily overlooked yet can significantly impact your overall well-being. One of the most telling signs is a pervasive sense of fatigue and tiredness, which might not be immediately linked to a lack of this essential vitamin. Additionally, bone pain and muscle weakness are hallmark symptoms, often attributed to aging or stress but could very well be signals from your body about insufficient vitamin D levels.

It’s not uncommon for individuals to experience mood changes, such as feelings of depression, particularly in regions with limited sunlight exposure, as sunlight is a primary source of natural vitamin D synthesis in our bodies.

Furthermore, frequent infections or illnesses can also indicate a deficiency in vitamin D, a critical component for maintaining a robust immune system. People might notice they catch colds or infections more easily than others, suggesting their immune defenses are compromised.

In children, severe deficiency can lead to rickets, a condition marked by bone deformities due to inadequate mineralization. In adults, the deficiency can lead to osteomalacia, resulting in softer and weaker bones, making them more prone to fractures.

Given these varied symptoms, it’s clear that maintaining adequate vitamin D levels is crucial for bone health, muscular strength, immune function, and overall mood and energy levels. If you’re experiencing a combination of these symptoms, it might be wise to consult a healthcare professional and consider getting your vitamin D levels checked.

Vitamin C Deficiency

Vitamin C deficiency, although less common in modern diets, can lead to several noticeable and concerning symptoms, reflecting its vital role in numerous bodily functions. Initially, deficiency may manifest as general fatigue and malaise, paired with muscle weakness, making everyday activities feel unusually strenuous.

A person might also experience joint and muscle aches, a sign of the body’s struggle to maintain the collagen needed for healthy joints, muscles, and skin. Vitamin C is crucial for collagen synthesis, and without adequate levels, the body cannot repair tissues effectively, leading to these discomforts.

As the deficiency progresses, more pronounced symptoms emerge. Gums may become swollen, tender, and prone to bleeding, a condition known as gingivitis, reflecting the role of Vitamin C in maintaining healthy gum tissue.

The skin, too, suffers without sufficient vitamin C; it becomes rough, bumpy, and prone to bruising due to weakened blood vessels. In severe cases, old scars or healed wounds might even reopen, indicating the body’s diminished ability to repair and maintain tissues. Another notable symptom is a reduced ability to fight infections and heal wounds, making recovery from illnesses longer and more complicated. These symptoms collectively underscore the importance of Vitamin C in immune function, wound healing, and overall skin and joint health.

If experiencing a combination of these signs, it may be beneficial to assess your diet, ensure it includes plenty of vitamin C-rich foods like fruits and vegetables, or consult a healthcare professional for advice.

Vitamin A Deficiency

Vitamin A deficiency is a health concern that can manifest in several subtle yet significant ways, primarily affecting vision, skin health, and immune function. One of the earliest signs of vitamin A deficiency is night blindness, a condition where an individual finds it increasingly challenging to see in low light or darkness.

This issue arises because vitamin A is crucial for the maintenance of the photoreceptors in the eyes. As the deficiency progresses, it can lead to a more severe condition known as xerophthalmia, which can damage the cornea and, if left untreated, result in complete blindness.

The skin also suffers when vitamin A levels are not sufficient. The skin may become dry, flaky, and prone to irritation, a condition often referred to as hyperkeratosis. This occurs because vitamin A is vital for the regeneration of skin cells and helps maintain a healthy, protective barrier against environmental damage.

Moreover, individuals with insufficient vitamin A intake may notice that wounds heal more slowly, and they may suffer from frequent infections, signaling a weakened immune system. Vitamin A plays a critical role in maintaining the structural and functional integrity of mucosal cells, which are part of the body’s first line of defense against pathogens.

In children, the consequences of vitamin A deficiency can be particularly severe, including growth retardation and increased susceptibility to serious infections like measles and diarrhea.

Given these varied and significant impacts, maintaining adequate vitamin A levels through a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens, or supplements as advised by a healthcare professional, is crucial for preserving vision, skin health, and overall immune function.

Vitamin B Deficiency

Vitamin B deficiency encompasses a range of symptoms, reflecting the diverse and crucial roles that different B vitamins play in the body. Being a complex of eight different vitamins, each with unique functions, a deficiency can manifest in various ways, impacting energy levels, brain function, and metabolism.

One of the most common symptoms across several types of Vitamin B deficiency is fatigue and weakness. This occurs because many B vitamins are integral in converting food into energy. For instance, deficiencies in Vitamin B12 or B6 can lead to anemia, a condition where the body lacks enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to tissues, leading to persistent tiredness and weakness.

Vitamin B12 deficiency specifically can also cause neurological issues, such as tingling in the hands and feet, balance problems, and in severe cases, memory loss and cognitive decline, reflecting its role in nerve function and brain health.

Mood disturbances are another hallmark of Vitamin B deficiency, particularly with B6, B9 (folate), and B12.

These vitamins are crucial for the production and regulation of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which affect mood and brain function. Deficiency can result in mood changes, irritability, and symptoms of depression. In pregnant women, insufficient intake of B9 or folate can lead to severe birth defects of the baby’s brain or spine, underscoring the importance of adequate dietary intake even during pregnancy.

Moreover, skin and mouth issues can indicate a deficiency in certain B vitamins. For example, a lack of B2 (riboflavin) can lead to cracks or sores at the corners of the mouth, swollen and cracked lips, and a sore, red tongue, known as glossitis. Vitamin B3 (niacin) deficiency can cause pellagra, characterized by dermatitis, diarrhea, and dementia.

Given the wide range of functions of B vitamins, it’s crucial to maintain a balanced diet rich in whole grains, proteins, and leafy greens or consider supplementation under professional guidance to ensure adequate intake and prevent these potential symptoms. If you’re experiencing a combination of these symptoms, consulting with a healthcare professional for proper assessment and treatment is advisable.

Use IV Therapy From Mobile IV Medics for Vitamin Deficiency

Do you think you might have a vitamin deficiency? Consider contacting your medical professional and getting a blood test to see which vitamins you lack and make a plan to increase those vitamins in your body. In addition to adjusting your diet and taking supplements as directed by your doctor, IV therapy from Mobile IV Medics can also help to increase your vitamin intake.

We offer mobile IV therapy that can be done in the comfort of your own home, office or even hotel room. You can create a customized IV, filled with only the vitamins that your body needs to help you feel your best. Contact us today to learn more about IV therapy and how it can help prevent you from experiencing the most common types of vitamin deficiencies.