Low on vitamins? Your body will tell you
If you wonder, “What vitamins should I take?”, your body is the best place to find the answer. Vitamin deficiency can manifest as physical symptoms that are easy to recognise if you know how.
Read more articles about vitamins and minerals
We all know it’s important to get all the vitamins we need to stay healthy. Lack of vitamins can have many different effects on the body. If you know what to look for, you might be able detect a deficiency yourself. Our handy vitamin checklist below reveals the telltale signs of deficiencies.
Helps to maintain normal sight, skin, mucous membranes and immune system.
- Dry eyes
- Reduced ability to see in low light / night blindness
- Decreased resistance to infection
Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
Helps to maintain normal heart function, nervous system, energy production and mental functions.
- Difficulty concentrating
- Numbness in fingers and toes
- Problems with balance
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
Helps to maintain normal skin, vision, metabolism, nervous system, mucous membranes and red blood cells.
- Mouth sores and cracks in the corners of the mouth
- Itching eyes
- Dry skin
- Brittle nails
Vitamin B3 (nicotinamide/niacin)
Helps to maintain normal skin, mucous membranes, metabolism, mental functions and nervous system.
- Skin rash
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
Helps to maintain normal immune system, hormonal balance, metabolism, nervous system, protein distribution, mental functions and formation of red blood cells.
Vitamin B 8 (biotin)
Helps to maintain normal skin, hair, metabolism, mucous membranes, nervous system and mental functions.
- Muscle pain
- Skin changes
Vitamin B9 (folate/folic acid)
Helps to maintain normal cell division, blood production, mental functions and immune system.
Helps to maintain normal nervous system, metabolism, mental functions, immune system, formation of red blood cells and cell division.
- Sore tongue
Helps to maintain normal collagen production for skin, bones and cartilage. It also helps to maintain a normal immune system, mental functions and absorption of iron. Protects cells against damage from free radicals.
- Bleeding skin and gums
- Slow wound healing
Helps to maintain normal uptake and distribution of calcium and phosphorus. It also helps to maintain muscles, bones, teeth, the immune system and cell division.
- Impaired immunity
- Joint and skeletal pain
- Bones that break easily
Helps to maintain normal protection of cells against oxidative stress.
- Visual disturbances
- Unsteady walk
Helps to maintain normal bones and coagulation of blood.
- Slow blood clotting
If you suspect that you have a deficiency disease, ask your doctor to check the vitamin levels in your blood. If you are diagnosed with a deficiency, treatment involves receiving large doses of the vitamin until your body is “filled up”. Normally, you will continue with a smaller dose to ensure you get enough vitamins. Your doctor can also advise you on your diet to ensure you get enough of the different vitamins in the future.
Source: Felleskatalogen, Norwegian Health Informatics, sml.snl.no