Vitamin deficiency symptoms: Three common signs you lack vitamins including B12 and D

Vitamins are essential nutrients the body needs in order to function properly and stay healthy. Deficiencies in certain vitamins can lead to a whole host of health problems, so it’s important to know if you are lacking a particular type. Symptoms of vitamin deficiencies can be very subtle and easily overlooked, so you may not realise you have one unless you know what signs to look out for. The following three issues are three of the most common symptoms of vitamin deficiencies:

Fatigue

Most types of deficiency can cause tiredness, fatigue and lethargy, but the most common types are deficiencies in iron  and vitamin B12.

Both vitamin B12 and iron are responsible for the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body.

A lack of red blood cells or abnormally formed red blood cells can cause anaemia, which can make you feel tired and lacking energy.

Mouth ulcers

Mouth ulcers could be linked to deficiencies in iron or B vitamins, such as B1, B2, B6 and B12.

Vitamin B1, also known as thiamin, is responsible for keeping the nervous system healthy and breaking down and releasing energy from food.

Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, helps keep the skin, eyes and nervous system healthy, and helps the body release energy from food.

Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, helps the body to use and store energy from protein and carbohydrates in food, and also helps form haemoglobin in red blood cells.

Hair problems

Brittle hair and nails could be a sign of a deficiency in vitamin B7, otherwise known as biotin. Like many of the other B vitamins, vitamin B7 helps the body convert food into energy.

Hair loss, meanwhile, can be a symptom of vitamins including B7, B3, D, and minerals like iron and zinc.

Vitamin B3, or niacin, helps keep the skin and nervous system healthy and also helps release energy from the food we eat.

Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, which are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.

Zinc helps make new cells and enzymes, processes carbohydrates, fat and protein in food, and helps heal wounds.

Most people get enough vitamins by eating a healthy, balanced diet, but eating a particularly poor diet can lead to a lack in certain vitamins.

“A diet that provides too little vitamins and minerals can cause the appearance of several symptoms, some of which are more common than others,” said medical website Healthline.

Some people also become deficiency in certain vitamins due to illness or an underlying medical condition, so see a GP if you think you might have a deficiency.