What Is Micronutrient Deficiency

What Is Micronutrient Deficiency

Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and noticed your pale skin for many days now, or you are facing weakness and fatigue despite having more or less a sedentary lifestyle?

Or maybe, you are experiencing hair loss every time you comb your hair, and this makes you feel upset!

You might be one of those people experiencing sleepless nights, heart palpitations, breathlessness, and a feeling of dizziness.

Well, all these symptoms indicate a nutritional deficiency, and you should reach out to your primary care doctor, who is likely to suggest you a CBC test (Complete blood count) for any relevant diagnoses.

But for a head start, we aim to give you an insight as to which different types of micronutrients you must be missing in your diet, their importance in the human body, and what steps should be taken to counter these symptoms!

Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency is the most extensive nutritional deficiency worldwide, leading to a blood disorder called Anemia. Anemic patients have lesser hemoglobin concentration than usual which leads to inadequate oxygen supply to the body.

 Hence, the patient experiences fatigue, weakness, and drowsiness. Anemia caused by iron deficiency is also known to affect cognitive development in children.

Iron intake can be increased by consuming more dark leafy greens, beans, red meat, dried fruits, egg yolks, etc. Meeting the iron requirements can restore the standard number of Red blood cells in your body and eventually oxygen supplies.

Vitamin A Deficiency

Vitamin A is essential for your normal eye functioning, reproductive mechanism and plays a vital role in building strong immunity.

 Shortage of Vitamin A in diet can lead to weak immunity development and is a major cause of ocular diseases such as night blindness and xeropthalmia, particularly in children.

Breast milk is the best source of vitamin A for newborn babies. In general, food sources rich in vitamin A include dairy products, green vegetables, oily fish, etc. 

Vitamin B-1 (THIAMINE) Deficiency

Another common micronutrient is Thiamine, commonly known as Vitamin B-1. It makes up an integral part of the nervous system and helps in carbohydrate metabolism.

 Thiamine deficiency results in weight loss, fatigue, and short-term memory loss, which can turn into long-term problems such as dementia. Inadequate vitamin B-1 can also be one of the causes of nervous and muscle damage. There has also been a link between excessive alcohol consumption and thiamine deficiency.

Good sources of Thiamine include eggs, legumes, nuts, grains, and pulses. 

Vitamin B-12 (COBALAMIN) Deficiency

Vitamin B-12 plays a significant role in making healthy red blood cells in the human body, eventually helping in ensuring sufficient oxygen supply to the organs. B-12 deficiency is widely common in vegans and diabetic patients who are prescribed Glucophage.

Reduced absorption of vitamin B-12 may cause pernicious anemia. Its deficiency causes many symptoms, including fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, and pale skin.

 Because B-12 is such a vital micronutrient, it may also cause serious nervous disorders such as dementia, depression and also influence muscle weakness.

Red meat, animal products, fortified plant-based milk, fish, and nutritional yeast are good sources.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D is very critical for healthy bones. Strong teeth and bones require the right amount of Vitamin D because it maintains calcium levels in the body.

Lack of vitamin D in diet can cause stunted growth. Osteoporosis is another nutritional disorder caused by inadequate content of Vitamin D and Calcium levels.

A massive 1 Billion people are said to suffer from this disorder. Exposing yourself for a minimum of 15 minutes in sunlight can help you cope with this nutritional deficiency.

 Dietary sources include mushrooms, egg yolks, fatty fish and fish liver oil, etc.

Calcium Deficiency

Asynchronous role with vitamin D is played by Calcium in the body. This mineral is also required for strong bones and teeth. Calcium is essential for the effective functioning of your heart and nerves too. 

Calcium shortage in diet can lead to an overall reduction in bone mass, and consequently, fragile bones. Deficiency in Calcium may prove to be life-threatening in the long term as the patient may suffer from convulsions and abnormal heart rhythms.

Calcium-rich sources include dairy products, small fish having bones, and green leafy vegetables.

Iodine Deficiency

Iodine is another essential micronutrient in the human body that is used by the thyroid gland to synthesize thyroid hormones for growth, repair, and effective metabolism.

Patients suffering from this deficiency experience neck swelling, weight gain, hair loss, and a change in normal heart rate. Many pregnancy issues may also arise due to iodine shortage in the diet. One of the most common diseases caused by iodine shortage is a goiter.

Iodine shortage is very widespread amongst pregnant women, vegetarians, and people who don't eat iodized salt.

Seafood, dairy products, and using iodized salt in the diet can solve the health problems associated with it.


1. Dietary Changes:

Although the doctor will discuss the severity of any particular micronutrient deficiency after assessing your relevant tests but making simple dietary changes can be your wild card here! Your dietician can manipulate your dietary intake accordingly.

For suppose, if you are short of iron, your dietician may increase red meat and beans content in your meal. If you are suffering from B-12 deficiency, increasing the consumption of dairy products can help you cope up!     

2. Supplements:

Consuming any specific supplements or multivitamins can also help you to deal with the symptoms. But, the correct dose of supplements can only be prescribed by the doctor.

Fix Your Appointment!

We recommend that if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is highly likely that it may be due to insufficient micronutrient content in your diet. And, these symptoms may turn into long-term problems, so fix your appointment before any of this deficiency gets converted into a life-threatening disease.

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