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How To Find Out Vitamin Deficiency

Hormones And Your Weight

HoW to find out whether you are VITAMIN B 12 & D DEFICIENT?!!

If you have been taking all the right steps to lose weight such as cutting calories, eating healthy, wholesome foods and exercising nearly every day and no satisfactory results are surfacing up then, it may be time to have some lab tests done to check your hormonal status. Hormones are powerful little chemical messengers that aid in regulating nearly every function and system in the body. Many of them, when out of balance in your body, can affect your metabolism, making weight loss difficult. So, which hormones can cause hormone related weight gains and, how do you find out which ones are to blame for foiling your weight-loss plan?

Sex Hormones

Changes in the levels of sex hormones have been shown to affect the metabolism in a number of ways. For instance, estrogen levels affect the way a woman’s body stores fat. According to a research done by Concordia University, low estrogen levels increase the activity of certain proteins and enzymes in the body related to fat metabolism, causing the body to store more fat and burn less. Low testosterone levels alter metabolism as well, according to research done at the UCLA School of Medicine, reducing muscle mass and increasing fat storage in the abdominal region. Low levels of sex hormones in both men and women have also been shown to decrease insulin sensitivity, making the metabolism of sugars and starches less efficient, another mechanism that can inhibit weight loss.

Stress Hormones

Insulin

Thyroid Hormones

Types Of Mineral Deficiency Tests

As far as how to test for a vitamin and mineral deficiency, youll find several different options.

A venous blood test is done by a trained professional. A needle is used to puncture your vein, typically in the arm. This blood sample is then sent to a lab for evaluation.

There are also blood tests that only require a finger-prick. Instead of collecting blood from your arm, a small amount can be collected with a lancet to your finger. However, this style of testing wont supply enough to do a comprehensive pane of vitamins and minerals.

If you dont want to go to the lab or doctor, you can also use an in-home test for mineral deficiencies.

And, just like with lab tests, you have several options when looking at home tests for mineral deficiency.

One of the popular options is an at-home hair test. All you have to do is collect a hair sample and ship it to the lab for testing. The results are typically emailed or mailed back to you.

You can also choose from several urine tests. The first requires a specimen taken first thing in the morning. The sample is sent to the lab for analysis and the results are sent back to you.

Its also possible to simply use a dipstick urine test for quick answers. However, these strips arent always the most accurate and often dont test for every vitamin or mineral. Most strips only test a few specific minerals, like sodium, potassium, calcium and phosphate.

Can Vitamin Deficiency Anemia Be Prevented

Stopping behaviors that contribute to the deficiency, such as unhealthy eating, smoking, and heavy alcohol use, can help prevent vitamin deficiency anemia.

Eating a healthy diet can lower your risk of developing the condition. Some people take a daily vitamin supplement to help prevent the condition. Foods that can help your body produce healthy red blood cells include:

  • Red meat
  • Green leafy vegetables, including spinach and broccoli
  • Dried fruits

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Healthy Body: Nutrition Basics

Sometimes feeling tired or low in spirits, with mild aches and pains, or just generally feeling unwell, is considered insignificant. While from time to time some of these symptoms are minor disturbances of your daily life other times, they could be a sign of an illness/malfunctioning that can range from a simple cold, to some vitamins deficiencies. Occasionally, these symptoms can be more serious and indicate a chronic disease in progression. For your body to be well, you have to make sure that you are eating the right food choices for you and delivering to your body all that it needs from macro and micronutrients. Everyone has heard of colds and viral infections or even chronic diseases but very few truly understand the meaning of vitamins deficiencies. Many believe that a low level of a given vitamin could only be the burden of poor countries that suffer from poverty and famine. But, the truth is far beyond such a hypothesis. Even the richest countries or people could have vitamin deficiencies. Although the Western world has plenty of food, many people are suffering from nutrient deficiencies due to changes in the quality of the food that we produce, pick or eat. Vitamin deficiency can have many causes:

1- You could be eating the wrong kinds of food that do not offer a proper nutrition to your body

2- Maybe you are following a certain diet that does restrict you from a certain group of food, which could lead to deficiencies in both macro and micronutrients.

Are You At Risk Of Vitamin D Deficiency

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Certain groups of people may be more at risk of low levels of vitamin D. Those at a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency include:

The people on this list could be at risk of developing vitamin D deficiency. Always seek advice from your medical practitioner if you think you may be at risk of vitamin D deficiency and before taking supplements.

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Side Effects And Risks Of A B

You might feel a pricking when your healthcare provider inserts the needle into your arm. But a blood draw is low risk and generally painless. Its also possible to feel a little sore or observe bruising on your arm for a few days after. Alert your healthcare provider if the pain is throbbing or if your arm swells after the test.

Talk to your doctor before the test if you have a bleeding disorder, such as hemophilia, or if youve had problems with blood clotting in the past. Its possible to experience excessive bleeding where the needle punctures your skin.

Its also important to tell your doctor about any medications or over-the-counter drugs youre taking, as certain drugs may interfere with the test results.

Are You Nutrient Deficient How To Find Out

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Its easy to think that if you eat a healthy diet, youre getting all the nutrients you need. But nutritional deficiencies are surprisingly common. For example, one recent scientific review paper noted that 30 to 50 percent of the U.S. population is deficient in vitamin D.

Importantly, just because your blood work does not show that you have a nutrient deficiency does not mean you are getting enough of all the vitamins and minerals you need. Many folks who are not officially deficient in any given nutrient are still insufficient, meaning they may be getting enough to survive, but not to thrive.

On the other hand, more isnt always better. Its possible although rare to get too much of a nutrient, especially the fat-soluble vitamins. So how can you find out the optimal levels of various nutrients and how you stack up?

The good news is that there are blood tests you can have done that are reliable, accessible, and affordable. But first, it helps to know a little about the different kinds and amounts of nutrients everybody needs.

The two fat-soluble vitamins that are most likely to be out of balance are vitamin A, which is necessary for healthy vision and skin, and vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium and thereby promotes bone health. Both vitamins also play a key role in strengthening immune defenses.

Your blood levels of these vitamins should be:

Your blood levels of these vitamins should be:

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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency

Severe lack of vitamin D causes rickets, which shows up in children as incorrect growth patterns, weakness in muscles, pain in bones and deformities in joints. This is very rare. However, children who are deficient in vitamin D can also have muscle weakness or sore and painful muscles.

Lack of vitamin D is not quite as obvious in adults. Signs and symptoms might include:

  • Fatigue.

Your Night Vision Deteriorates

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If you don’t take in enough vitamin A, your night vision and the sharpness of your sight could deteriorate over time.

“A lack of vitamin A causes the cornea to become dry and that makes the eyes cloudy and can lead to vision loss,” Graham says. “It can also damage your retina.”

If you notice changes in your vision, schedule a visit with your ophthalmologist, who will examine the back of your eye.

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Why Is Vitamin Deficiency Testing So Important

Micronutrients, like vitamins and minerals, are essential for every biochemical reaction in your body, McHugh explains. Thats what were talking about with absorption. There are reactions going on in your intestines as well as throughout your body, and its important to have everything up to full speed.

Think of your body like a house. Not having enough nutrients is like building a house with poor construction materials. Eventually, things are going to fall apart, McHugh says. This is why testing for vitamin deficiencies is so important. Without testing, youre likely to find a band aid solution that only temporarily solves your problems. For example, if you have eczema, you might be given a steroid cream to treat it. But it might not actually ever go away completely, because youre not looking upstream to solve the deficiency thats causing it, McHugh explains.

Theres another big reason vitamin deficiency testing is key: Long-term deficiencies can cause long-term problems.

Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About Vitamin B Testing

Vitamin B6, folic acid , and vitamin B12 play a key role in maintaining a healthy pregnancy. While pregnant women are not routinely tested for vitamin B deficiencies, nearly all pregnant women are encouraged to take prenatal vitamins, which include B vitamins. Folic acid, in particular, can help prevent birth defects of the brain and spine when taken during pregnancy.

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Why Are Minerals And Vitamins Important

Nutrients from foods and supplements help your body maintain a healthy balance. That is why minerals and vitamins are necessary for your overall health. For example, calcium is used for vascular contraction and vasodilation, muscle function, nerve transmission, intracellular signaling, as well as hormonal secretion . Magnesium helps with the production of energy, in addition to oxidative phosphorylation and glycolysis .

Most minerals can be found in everyday food, so check the nutrition labels to determine the amount of vitamins or minerals that are present in your favorite foods. Zinc can be found in oysters, red meat and poultry in large amounts. Smaller amounts can be found in beans, nuts, whole grains, as well as other common breakfast foods . Most people know that bananas contain potassium and are usually prescribed for certain deficiencies and conditions that are caused by a lack of this mineral, such as hypokalemia .

You can learn more about the importance of vitamins and minerals in books such as Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements, which describes all of the nutrients your body needs, where to find them, how much you need and the results of deficiencies. If you have a deficiency, you can take supplements on a regular basis as prescribed by your doctor. Be sure to keep track of the vitamins and minerals you intake by checking nutrition labels.

Treatment For Vitamin D Deficiency

How to Find Out if You Have a Vitamin Deficiency

Treatment for vitamin D deficiency involves getting more vitamin D — through diet and supplements. Although there is no consensus on vitamin D levels required for optimal health — and it likely differs depending on age and health conditions — a concentration of less than 20 nanograms per milliliter is generally considered inadequate, requiring treatment.

Guidelines from the Institute of Medicine increased the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin D to 600 international units for everyone ages 1-70, and raised it to 800 IU for adults older than age 70 to optimize bone health. The safe upper limit was also raised to 4,000 IU. Doctors may prescribe more than 4,000 IU to correct a vitamin D deficiency.

If you don’t spend much time in the sun or always are careful to cover your skin , you should speak to your doctor about taking a vitamin D supplement, particularly if you have risk factors for vitamin D deficiency.

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Whats The Normal Range For Vitamin D Levels

Medical and scientific experts have determined the approximate range for adequate or normal vitamin D levels:

  • A vitamin D level less than about 30 nanograms/milliliter is considered inadequate by the Endocrine Society.
  • On the other end of the range, a vitamin D level above 100 ng/mL is often viewed as too high. Thatâs because vitamin D levels higher than 100 ng/mL increase the risk of hypercalcemia .
  • Itâs important to keep in mind, however, that optimal vitamin D levels vary from person to person âso itâs a good idea to share vitamin D test results with your healthcare provider.

Magnesium: Loss Of Appetite Nausea Fatigue And More

Magnesium helps support bone health and assists in energy production, and adults need between 310 and 420 mg, depending on sex and age, according to the NIH. Although deficiency is fairly uncommon in otherwise healthy people, certain medications and health conditions can limit the absorption of magnesium or increase the loss of this nutrient from the body.

Magnesium deficiency can cause loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, and weakness, according to the Cleveland Clinic. In more severe cases, it may also lead to numbness and tingling, muscle cramps or contractions, seizures, irregular heart rhythms, personality changes, or coronary spasms.

To help your levels return to normal, eat more magnesium-rich foods, such as almonds, cashews, peanuts, spinach, black beans, and edamame, Patton says.

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What Is Being Tested

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in many of the foods we eat. Retinol is the primary form of vitamin A in humans. This test measures the level of retinol in the blood.

Vitamin A is an essential nutrient required for healthy vision and skin, bone formation, immune system function, and reproduction. It is required to produce photoreceptors in the eyes and to maintain the lining of the surface of the eyes

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in many of the foods we eat. Retinol is the primary form of vitamin A in humans. This test measures the level of retinol in the blood.

Vitamin A is an essential nutrient required for healthy vision and skin, bone formation, immune system function, and reproduction. It is required to produce photoreceptors in the eyes and to maintain the lining of the surface of the eyes and other mucous membranes. A lack of vitamin A can affect night vision, cause eye damage, and in severe cases, lead to blindness. Too much vitamin A can be toxic, causing a range of symptoms, and sometimes leading to birth defects.

In the U.S., vitamin A deficiencies are primarily seen in those with malnutrition, chronic diarrhea, malabsorption disorders such as celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, or chronic pancreatitis, in the elderly, and in those with alcoholism, liver disease and blockage of the bile ducts. Surgery either on the intestine or pancreas can have the similar consequences.

Potassium: Muscle Weakness Constipation Irregular Heart Rhythm And More

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Potassium helps your heart, nerves, and muscles work properly and also delivers nutrients to cells while removing waste, according to MedlinePlus. Plus, its a useful nutrient that helps offset sodiums negative impact on your blood pressure: Its important in maintaining a healthy blood pressure, Zive says.

You could become low in potassium in the short term because of diarrhea or vomiting excessive sweating antibiotics, laxatives, or diuretics excessive alcohol consumption or because of a chronic condition such as kidney disease, per the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms of a deficiency include muscle weakness, twitches, or cramps constipation tingling and numbness and an abnormal heart rhythm or palpitations, says MedlinePlus.

For natural potassium sources, try bananas, milk, acorn squash, lentils, and kidney beans and other legumes. Adult men need 3,400 mg each day, and women need 2,600 mg, according to the NIH.

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What Does Your Diet Have To Do With Getting Enough Vitamin D

Vitamin D doesnt occur naturally in many foods. Thats why certain foods have added vitamin D. In fact, newer food nutrition labels show the amount of vitamin D contained in a particular food item.

It may be difficult, especially for vegans or people who are lactose-intolerant, to get enough vitamin D from their diets, which is why some people may choose to take supplements. It is always important to eat a variety of healthy foods from all food groups. The vitamin content of various foods is shown in the following table.

Vitamin D content of various foods

Food
Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce6

It is important to check product labels, as the amount of added vitamin D varies when it is artificially added to products such as orange juice, yogurt and margarine.

Mouth Ulcers Or Cracks In The Corners Of The Mouth

Lesions in and around the mouth may partly be linked to an insufficient intake of certain vitamins or minerals.

For instance, mouth ulcers, also commonly referred to as canker sores, are often the result of deficiencies in iron or B vitamins.

One small study notes that patients with mouth ulcers appear to be twice as likely to have low iron levels .

In another small study, around 28% of patients with mouth ulcers had deficiencies in thiamine , riboflavin , and pyridoxine .

Angular cheilitis, a condition that causes the corners of the mouth to crack, split, or bleed, can be caused by excess salivation or dehydration. However, it may also be caused by an insufficient intake of iron and B vitamins, particularly riboflavin (

17 ).

If you experience these symptoms, try adding the foods above to your diet to see if your symptoms improve.

Summary People with mouth ulcers or cracks at the corners of the mouth may want to try consuming more foods rich in thiamine, riboflavin, pyridoxine, and iron to alleviate symptoms.

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