What a Nutrient Deficiency Could Mean For Your Health

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Most nutrients our bodies receive come in the form of foods. However, our diets typically don’t include nutrient-rich foods at every meal. Do you know that, if left untreated, nutrient deficiencies could cause potentially harmful conditions? According to the Center for Disease Control, micronutrients are only required by the body in small amounts, and are vital to your overall health. Micronutrients are not made in the body and must be provided from your food or supplements. Do you think you have a nutrient deficiency? Keep reading to learn more about them and your options. 

What is a Nutrient Deficiency?

GoodRX defines a nutrient deficiency as something that happens when your body isn’t getting enough of any one nutrient or mineral. To function optimally, your body needs these micro nutrients. Many of these vitamins and minerals are in the foods we eat, however sometimes we don’t get enough of them in our diets. It also depends on your individual needs. Your body might require more of one vitamin than your mom or dad require, and you might need less than what your child needs. 

What is a Micronutrient?

Micronutrients is the broad term for vitamins and minerals. Micronutrients are found within our diets, and include things like iron, cobalt, chromium, copper, iodine, manganese, selenium, zinc, and molybdenum. They are called micronutrients because the body doesn’t need as much of these as it does others.

Common Deficiencies

Here is a list of the most common deficiencies and how your body could be telling you that you need more of them.

Iron:

Iron is a mineral that is a component of red blood cells. It works with hemoglobin and transports oxygen to our cells. Iron can be: 

  • Hemme iron
  • Non-hemme iron

Heme iron is only in animal foods, like red meat. Non-heme iron is in animals and plants and is more common, however it’s not as well absorbed like heme iron is.

It’s been researched and found that up to 10 million people within the United States have an iron deficiency. In some cases, this causes anemia, which is where you don’t have enough active red blood cells to carry an efficient amount of oxygen to you tissues. Anemia can make you feel overly fatigued. Out of the 10 million people with an iron deficiency, 5 million of them suffer from anemia.

If you need more iron, try eating red meats, beans, or dark leafy greens.

Vitamin D:

Our bodies use vitamin D almost like a steroid. It goes through the bloodstream and into your cells to communicate with them. Vitamin D comes from cholesterol when we’re exposed to sunlight, so most people who deal with a vitamin D deficiency live in cold, northern places that don’t get as much sunlight as often as their southern counterparts. Many people might not know they don’t get enough vitamin D for years, as it can result in having bone loss and weak muscles. When children have this, they’re more likely to break bones when they fall. In severe cases, it can even delay their growth. Our bodies also use vitamin D to help with immunity and fighting off cancer.

If you are not getting enough vitamin D, try eating foods like: egg yolks, fish, and cheese.

Calcium:

Calcium plays a lot of roles with every cell in the body. It mineralizes your bones, including your teeth. The calcium is crucial for bone maintenance. Alternatively, calcium also allows your heart and muscles to function properly. When people are deficient in calcium this most commonly results in osteoporosis, which is when your bones become substantially more fragile. Foods high in calcium include: almonds, dairy, broccoli, tofu, and bread.

Vitamin B12:

Vitamin B12 is water soluble and aids in blood formation along with brain and nerve function. If you don’t have enough B12, none of your cells will be working optimally. For the most part, you can only get Vitamin 12 from animal foods. 80% of vegetarians are deficient in B12, which is why people who do not eat them might have to supplement this vitamin to make sure they’re getting enough of it. You can get B12 in fish, poultry, milk, and other dairy products.

What Your Body Needs

With Balanced Well-Being Healthcare, we know that your body has its own needs. When you want to take your health into your own hands and get treated for your nutritional deficiencies, the appointments will look something like this:

  • You will have the baseline that we will then gauge progress from through the program we develop for you.
  • You will see where all your nutrient levels currently sit. This helps us see what you should or shouldn’t be supplementing or adding into your diet.
  • If you already eat a well balanced diet, then we will talk about adding supplements into your routine. If after that we still find these levels low, we will look at other conditions that could be causing these deficiencies.

Take Your Nutrition Seriously

Here at Balanced Well-Being Healthcare, we take your nutrition and health seriously. If you have a nutrient deficiency, we will work with you to identify your own internal and other conditions that help your body live a balanced and healthy lifestyle – which requires being sufficient in vitamins and minerals. If you think that you might have a deficiency, call us today to schedule an appointment: (970)-631-8286.