What is a Nutrient Deficiency?
Nutrient deficiencies are the absence of enough of a particular nutrient in the body. The major causes of nutritional deficiencies are insufficient intake of food, inability to absorb nutrients, and consumption of diets that lack some of those essential nutrients. There is a recommended dietary allowance set daily for every person based on age and gender so that knowledge of proper nutritional intake is clear; however, most people are not aware of what nutrients they need or how much.
Common Nutrient Deficiencies and Signs You May Have One
There are so many symptoms associated with nutrient deficiencies and many could be mistaken for other conditions or health issues. Some nutrient deficiencies do not show any short-term effects at all, which makes it hard to know you’re dealing with a deficiency until the long-term effects of that deficiency set in. Here are some common nutrient deficiencies and the problems they cause.
- Iron deficiency: 25% of the world’s population suffers from iron deficiency. Symptoms usually include tiredness, weakness, a weakened immune system, and impaired brain function. Prolonged iron deficiency can result in anemia, a blood disorder that affects your red blood cells.
- Vitamin D deficiency: Also known as the “sunshine” vitamin, vitamin D is produced when cholesterol in your skin is exposed to sunlight. Because so many people work indoors or live in a climate that does not receive a lot of sunlight, 42% of people in the U.S. are deficient in it. Symptoms are not obvious and develop over time; they include muscle weakness, bone loss, and an increased risk of fractures.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency: Every cell in your body needs B12 to function properly, but the body does not make it on its own, so you have to get it from food or supplements. B12 is only found in sufficient amounts in animal products, so many vegetarians and vegans are deficient in it. Symptoms of a B12 deficiency include megaloblastic anemia, impaired brain function, and elevated homocysteine levels which is a risk factor for many diseases.
- Calcium deficiency: Calcium is essential to the proper functioning of your entire body and it mineralizes bones and teeth, especially during times of growth. Extra calcium is stored in the bones, and when your body is lacking enough calcium, your bones release it. This is why the most common symptom of calcium deficiency is osteoporosis, which begins with soft and fragile bones.
- Magnesium deficiency: Magnesium is vital in the body because it is part of over 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body like protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. A magnesium deficiency is one that can exist a long time before it is detected. Muscle twitches, cramps, mental health conditions, fatigue and muscle weakness, and asthma are all signs of a deficiency.
- Zinc deficiency: Zinc is used by your body to fight infections and produce cells. When you are deficient, your body cannot produce healthy, new cells, this leads to symptoms like unexplained weight loss, wounds that will not heal, lack of alertness, diarrhea, open sores on the skin, and loss of appetite.
How Do You Test for Nutrient Deficiencies?
Although nutrient deficiencies can cause many conditions and diseases, it is relatively easy to find out if you have one. A simple blood test can detect any nutritional deficiencies that exist in your body, giving you the opportunity to make lifestyle changes to correct them.
10X Blood Test
Your basic doctor’s office blood test will not give you a clear picture of all of the nutrients you may be deficient in — but the 10X Health blood test will! Our professional medical experts look at over 70 biomarkers in your blood sample to get the best picture possible of your current state of wellness. We then provide you with a comprehensive report that pinpoints what nutrients you personally are deficient in and how you can improve those deficiencies.
Our blood test not only looks at nutrients present or missing in your blood, but hormone balance, and blood sugar levels, thyroid function, and more! These three elements are vastly important to your overall wellness, and keeping them within the optimal range means keeping you feeling your best.
Want to know if you have a nutrient deficiency and what to do about it? Reach out to 10X Health today for more information about our comprehensive blood test.