We all want to live happier, healthier lives and dietary supplements can help you do just that. You watch what you eat. You exercise regularly. Yet, for some reason, you just don’t feel up to par. Surprisingly, diet alone may not always be enough to make sure you are getting all the nutrients your body needs to function properly. And there may be a surprisingly quick fix for your symptoms.

Dietary Supplements for Deficiencies You Don’t Know You Have

Many of the uncomfortable symptoms we experience on a day to day basis can be attributed to various deficiencies. Many you might not even know you have. From persistent fatigue to muscle spasms, nutrient deficiencies can make you feel just plain lousy. Fortunately, once you know what vitamin or mineral your body is missing, it can be pretty easy to remedy. With dietary supplements, you can start feeling better. First, though, you might want to have your doctor run a blood test to see if you have any deficiencies.

1. Dietary Supplements for Vitamin C Deficiency

The body uses vitamin C to produce collagen, carnitine, hormones, and to form amino acids. Additionally, Vitamin C also plays a critical role in wound healing. Although vitamin C deficiencies have become rarer in recent decades, they do still exist. Symptoms of a vitamin C deficiency include fatigue, weakness, irritability, weight loss, and vague myalgias and arthralgias.

Symptoms of a vitamin C deficiency in infants can include irritability, pain during movement, anorexia, and slowed growth. If left untreated, scurvy can develop. A vitamin C deficiency can be remedied with a nutritious diet and a dietary supplement that contains vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid.

2. Dietary Supplements for Vitamin D Deficiency

When it comes to strong bones, vitamin D is essential. This nutrient is found naturally in fish and fish oils, egg yolks, fortified milk, and beef liver. The body can also synthesize vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D deficiencies are quite common. Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency can include bone pain and muscle weakness.

Many people feel no symptoms at all even when suffering from a fairly severe deficiency. Vitamin D deficiencies lead to serious health problems if left untreated, even if no symptoms are felt. Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to conditions such as cardiovascular disease and multiple sclerosis. If not treated with a dietary supplement, a vitamin D deficiency can turn into rickets.

3.Dietary Supplements for Iron Deficiency

When the body doesn’t get enough iron, iron deficiency anemia occurs. This is currently the most common condition in the world. Iron is required for the body to make hemoglobin, which is responsible for carrying oxygen through the blood. Signs and symptoms of an iron deficiency can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Pale skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Dry hair and skin
  • Swollen tongue
  • Mouth sores
  • Restless legs
  • Brittle or spoon-shaped fingernails

A simple finger prick test can diagnose anemia.To treat an iron deficiency, take a dietary supplement that is fortified with iron. Take care not to exceed recommended doses of iron. Too much iron can be fatal.

4. Dietary Supplements for Vitamin B12 Deficiency

As the body ages, absorbing vitamin B12 can become more difficult. Furthermore, various health conditions, such as Crohn’s disease and lupus, can also predispose you to a vitamin B12 deficiency. A mild vitamin B12 deficiency may not be felt at all. However, if left untreated, a vitamin B12 deficiency can cause weakness, fatigue, lightheadedness, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, constipation or diarrhea, loss of appetite, numbness or tingling, vision loss, or depression. Treat a vitamin B12 deficiency with an over the counter dietary supplement or B12 injections prescribed by your doctor.

5. Dietary Supplements for Magnesium Deficiency

Low magnesium levels are common but often overlooked. Known as a silent epidemic, magnesium deficiency can have a wide-ranging impact on the human body. Among the signs and symptoms of a magnesium deficiency include the following:

Neurological symptoms of magnesium deficiencies:

  • Behavioral disturbances
  • Irritability and anxiety
  • Lethargy
  • Impaired memory and cognitive function
  • Anorexia or loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Seizures

Muscular symptoms of magnesium deficiencies:

  • Weakness
  • Muscle spasms (tetany)
  • Tics
  • Muscle cramps
  • Hyperactive reflexes
  • Impaired muscle coordination (ataxia)
  • Tremors
  • Involuntary eye movements and vertigo
  • Difficulty swallowing

Metabolic symptoms of magnesium deficiencies

  • Increased intracellular calcium
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Calcium deficiency
  • Potassium deficiency

Cardiovascular symptoms of magnesium deficiencies

  • Irregular or rapid heartbeat
  • Coronary spasms

Magnesium deficiencies are treated by eating foods that are high in magnesium or by taking a dietary supplement that contains magnesium. Because researchers are beginning to see how common magnesium deficiencies are, even in developed countries like the United States, many doctors recommend supplements.

6. Dietary Supplements for Calcium Deficiency

Although symptoms may not be apparent right away, calcium deficiencies can have dire consequences long term if left untreated. Calcium is vital for strong, healthy bones. Bone loss can result when the body doesn’t get enough calcium through nutritious food or dietary supplements. But osteoporosis isn’t the only consequence of low calcium levels. Calcium deficiencies can also lead to convulsions, abnormal heart rhythms, and even death, if not treated properly.

7. Dietary Supplements: Folic Acid for Women

Women have different nutritional requirements than men. The differences between the needs of men and women become more pronounced when women are pregnant or breastfeeding. The FDA recommends that in addition to discussing prenatal vitamins with their healthcare provider, women should make sure they are getting enough folic acid. Sufficient folic acid intake during pregnancy can help prevent neural tube birth defects, such as spina bifida. Women should also get the all-clear from their doctor before taking any dietary supplements during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

Start Living Better Today with Dietary Supplements

Dietary supplements can help you be a healthier you by providing you with nutrients that are missing from your diet. However, getting all the vitamins and minerals our bodies need from food alone can seem like a monumental task at times, especially when life gets hectic. Fortunately, dietary supplements can help to fill in the gaps. If you are experiencing any nagging symptoms, talk to your doctor. They can test for any nutritional deficiencies and recommend an appropriate course of treatment for any you may have. Remember to always follow your doctor’s expert medical advice.

Featured image CC by A-SA 4.0 International, by Tiia Monto, via Wikimedia Commons

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