If you’re feeling a little ‘off’ this winter season, talk to your doctor about testing your vitamin/nutrient levels. Here are four common deficiencies you should look out for.
Almost everyone you know has a magnesium deficiency. In fact, studies show that 70% of people under the age of 71 are deficient. That number rises to 80% for people over the age of 71. This deficiency can lead to metabolic syndrome, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Symptoms include muscle cramps, restless leg syndrome, fatigue, migraines, and abnormal heart rhythm. You might also be deficient if you struggle with insulin resistance and high blood pressure as well. Because it’s so common for a person to have a magnesium deficiency, talk to your doctor immediately if you’re struggling with any of the above mentioned issues.
It’s important to have your iodine levels checked. An article written for healthline.com explains, “Iodine is an essential mineral for normal thyroid function and the production of thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones are involved in many bodily processes, such as growth, brain development, and bone maintenance. They also regulate your metabolic rate. Iodine deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies, affecting nearly a third of the world’s population.
The most common symptom of iodine deficiency is an enlarged thyroid gland, also known as a goiter. It may also cause an increase in heart rate, shortness of breath, and weight gain. Severe iodine deficiency is linked to serious harm, especially in children. It may cause mental retardation and developmental abnormalities.” To avoid these issues, you can increase your iodine intake by eating things like seaweed, fish, dairy and eggs.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin deficiency affects over 40% of Americans. This number rises to over 70% in older adults and over 80% in people with dark skin. Darker skin doesn’t produce as much Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Symptoms can be subtle and accumulate over years. Look out for bone loss, muscle weakness, and reduced immune function. Very few foods can provide enough Vitamin D for your body to function well. However, you can get this vitamin by consuming cod liver oil, fatty fish and egg yolks. If you’re deficient, you can also consider taking a supplement or increasing your time out in the sun.
Iron deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies in the entire world affecting about 25% of people worldwide. This particular issues is common in preschool children, menstruating women and pregnant women as well. You should also check your iron levels if you are vegetarian or vegan. Iron deficiency causes anemia. Symptoms include impaired brain function, tiredness, weakness and poor immune system. You can add more iron to your diet by consuming shellfish, organ meat, red meat, beans, seeds and dark leafy greens.
Feeling better could be a simple matter of increasing your vitamins and supplements. Talk to your doctor if you’re not feeling 100% this winter season!