If we lack just one of the 13 vitamins, our body gets out of balance – and reacts with symptoms that even doctors often cannot distinguish from serious diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Our blood count provides information about whether it is a matter of vitamin deficiency or illness. PraxisVITA explains how to replenish your vitamin stores.
It started slowly: with numbness in my fingers. Then came muscle cramps. At some point, Irene Maluschek could hardly move her left leg. The diagnosis: multiple sclerosis.
The 43-year-old is devastated, doesn’t want to believe what she’s hearing – and gets a second opinion. With a nutritionist who works holistically. After the blood test, his verdict is clear: Irene Maluschek does not suffer from MS – but from a massive vitamin B12 deficiency. It triggers almost identical symptoms because the nutrient is responsible for our cell division. If it is missing, the spinal cord is broken down – and nerves are damaged.
Prevent vitamin deficiency
Vitamin deficiency as a cause of illness? Together, the 13 vitamins are involved in around 100,000 vital metabolic processes. Without them, our bodies can’t use any nutrients, and if even one is missing, the entire system falters.
The result of a vitamin deficiency: symptoms that resemble the most serious diseases. The best prevention? “Eat vegetables three times, fruit twice, and two dairy products a day,” advises nutritionist, Dr. Petra Ambrose. If in doubt, a blood test will provide clarity – a vitamin deficiency can usually be easily remedied with special preparations in consultation with the doctor.
Vitamin deficiency or eye disease?
If our night vision deteriorates, this can be a first indication of cataracts, an eye disease that gradually clouds visual acuity. If the ophthalmologist doesn’t find anything, it’s worth taking a look at the shopping list: if there’s a permanent lack of foods containing vitamin A, such as carrots, green vegetables, or eggs, this can be the cause of night blindness.
Because: Vitamin A is the basis of all visual pigments. The light-sensitive sensors in the eye cannot transmit any stimuli in the dark without it – we only see black. What helps? The targeted administration of vitamin A-containing eye drops.
What vitamin am I missing if I’m tired all the time?
The causes of fatigue are numerous. For example, an underactive thyroid can be behind it. If the blood test is inconclusive, an examination of the refrigerator is recommended. Are dairy, meat, or cabbage present? Otherwise, a niacin deficiency could be causing the symptoms. The vitamin is involved in many reactions that render free radicals harmless in our bodies.
If these processes cannot take place, the aggressive substances attack our cells and we lose energy. Furthermore, niacin is needed to gain new strength from fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. A vitamin deficiency, therefore, weakens us twice over.
Eczema or vitamin deficiency?
Scaly skin rash is a typical symptom of neurodermatitis. What very few people know: the symptoms also occur with a vitamin B6 deficiency. The reason: The vitamin supports the cross-linking of the collagen threads in the tissue. If it is missing, the skin begins to flake off.
Vitamin B6 also strengthens our nerves. If there is a vitamin deficiency, they react irritated, are oversensitive, and feel depressed. The vitamin is mainly found in beans, seeds, and beef.
Which vitamin helps my body to have more energy?
Persistent nausea is the typical symptom of a gastrointestinal infection. In many cases, however, it has a much more harmless cause – namely vitamin H deficiency. The so-called biotin helps our body to convert food into energy and it is urgently needed for fatty acid metabolism.
If it is missing, our digestion gets in a bad mood: When nutrients can hardly be broken down, our body reacts with nausea and thus defends itself from further food that it cannot metabolize. Biotin is mainly found in dairy products, eggs, and oatmeal.