Monday, May 6, 2013

Talking About Vitamin Deficiencies

As a trainer I am often asked about the meaning behind strange symptoms my clients are experiencing. They often (always) want a quick fix, such as drink more water and the symptoms will disappear. It's difficult to remember all the many symptoms that can manifest themselves from malnutrition, or the lack  of one specific nutrient. This is why I love to find charts like this one from Precision Nutrition. It does not cover everything as a chart like that would take several pages, but it does cover some of the more common problems people experience.

Deficiencies by body part

AnklesSwollen anklesOver-hydrated
BrainMemory problems, disorientation or dementiaNiacin (B3), vitamin B12, or thiamine (B1) deficiency
EyesPuffy, swollen eyesOver-hydrated
Sunken, dull or dry eyesVitamin A or zinc deficiency; under-hydration
Dry eyes with gray spotsVitamin A deficiency
Red or difficult-to-control eyesRiboflavin (B2), pyridoxine (B6), thiamine (B1) or phosphorus deficiency
FaceAcneVitamin C deficiency
FeetTingling feetPyridoxine (B6) or vitamin B12 deficiency
GumsSore and spongy or red and swollenVitamin C deficiency
HandsTingling handsPyridoxine (B6) or vitamin B12 deficiency
LipsCracked lipsRiboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), or pyridoxine (B6) deficiency
LungsShortness of breathOver-hydrated
Mouth and mucous membranesDry mucous membranesUnder-hydrated
Sore mouthPyridoxine (B6) or vitamin B12 deficiency
MusclesMuscle spasmsCalcium, magnesium or vitamin D deficiency
NailsBrittle, thin nailsIron deficiency
SalivaSticky saliva / dry mouthUnder-hydrated
SkinMoist skinOver-hydrated
Dry, scaly, pale or bruises easilyIron, vitamin A, C, K, zinc, essential fatty acid or protein deficiency
Red spots under your skin’s surfaceVitamin C deficiency
Cool, pale, clammy skinUnder-hydrated
Scaly, greasy skinVitamin A, zinc or riboflavin (B2) deficiency
TonguePurple, white, or smooth and slick; painfulRiboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6), folic acid (B9), B12, zinc or iron deficiency
Sore tonguePyridoxine (B6) or Vitamin B12 deficiency
UrineLight-coloured urineOver-hydrated
Dark coloured urineUnder-hydrated

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