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Nutritional Deficiencies – Signs

March 4, 2013

Wilted FlowerNutritional deficiencies – What signs to look for if you think you may have them
by Dr Myhill, Dr Patrick Kingsley

Symptoms are actually better indicators of nutritional deficiency than signs […], the following can be pointers to deficiencies, but they do not apply in all cases.

cold hands – magnesium deficiency, hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue with low cardiac output

white spots – mineral deficiency but often low zinc
ridges – zinc deficiency
soft or brittle nails – magnesium deficiency
bitten nails – general mineral deficiency

stretch marks – zinc deficiency
follicular hyperkeratosis – vitamin A deficiency
spontaneous bleeds – vitamins C or K or platelet deficiency
dry scaly skin with hair follicles plugged with coiled distorted hairs and a red halo – vitamin C deficiency
yellow palms – excessive beta carotene intake
pimply rough skin at the back of the upper arms “chicken skin” – essential fatty acid deficiency

pale fissured tongue – iron deficiency
sore painful fissured tongue – vitamin B3 deficiency
sore burning tongue and lips and peeling of lips – vitamin B2 deficiency
swollen tongue with lateral teeth indentations – food intolerance
painful sore tongue with a smooth appearance – folic acid deficiency
cracked lips – vitamin B2 deficiency, thrush

pyorrhoea – Co Q 10 deficiency
bleeding gums – vitamin C deficiency
gum disease – co Q 10, folica acid, vitamin C deficiency

greasy scaly skin of face and sides of nose – vitamin B2 deficiency
seborrhoeic dermatitis around nose and an acne like forehead rash – vitamin B6 deficiency

cataracts – chromium deficiency or excess free radicals – see Antioxidants
bags or dark rings under eyes – allergies or food intolerances

thyroid swelling – iodine deficiency, hypothyroidism

any problem with the heart, including irregular beat, high blood pressure, cardiomegaly – magnesium and Co Q 10 deficiencies and sensitivity to caffeine.

tender calf muscles – magnesium deficiency
brisk knee reflexes – magnesium deficiency

The following problems can suggest particular deficiencies or allergies:

Nasal polyps – salicylate sensitivity
Catarrh, sinusitis, history of removal of tonsils or adenoids – milk intolerance
Poor healing – zinc deficiency
Can’t remember dreams – vitamin B6 deficiency
Sugar craving, blood sugar swings, low blood sugar – chromium deficiency, carbohydrate intolerance and gut fermentation syndrome
Pre-menstrual syndrome – magnesium, zinc and essential fatty acid deficiencies
Glandular fever – inadequate liver detoxification mechanisms
Sensory symptoms – B12, B1, magnesium deficiencies
Mental symptoms – any B vitamin deficiency! Allergies, toxic stress.
Cervical dysplasia – vitamin B6 and folic acid deficiency
Arthritis – Boron and sulphur (MSM) deficiency
Measles – vitamin A deficiency
Persistent diarrhoea leading to fatigue – magnesium and potassium deficiencies
Many diuretics cause magnesium and potassium deficiencies
Muscle cramps – magnesium deficiency
Shaking hands – magnesium and vitamin B1 deficiencies
Hypertension – magnesium deficiency
Dysphagia – magnesium deficiency
Sensitivity to light – magnesium deficiency
Osteoporosis – don’t forget to think about magnesium
High blood pressure in pregnancy – magnesium deficiency
Hair loss – thyroid, iron stores (must measure serum ferritin), biotin, zinc and essential fatty acid deficiencies
Frequent colds – zinc and vitamin C deficiencies
Infertility, miscarriages and premature labour – zinc deficiency
Poor sense of smell and taste – zinc deficiency
Poor vision or night blindness – zinc and vitamin A deficiencies
Dry eyes – vitamin A deficiency
The contraceptive pill and HRT can cause an increase in copper levels and zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 deficiencies
Blocked nose with red wine – molybdenum deficiency
Any cancer or family history of cancer – selenium deficiency
Mercury amalgams in teeth – selenium and glutathione deficiencies
Cardiomyopathies (Keshan Disease) – selenium deficiency
Heart attacks – vitamin E deficiency
Hair loss, dandruff, eczema, excessive ear wax production, poor wound healing, excessive thirst (especially in hyperactive children), pre-menstrual symptoms of any sort- essential fatty acid deficiency
Carpal tunnel syndrome – vitamin B6 deficiency
Vegans – vitamin B12, zinc and Fe deficiencies
Gastrectomy – vitamin B12 and hydrochloric acid deficiencies
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy – vitamin B12 deficiency
Elderly – low everything, especially vitamin Bs and HCI deficiencies
Persistent infections vitamin C and zinc deficiencies

  1. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that as people age these deficiencies tend to manifest themselves more therefore diet and proper supplements become even more necessary in replacing what is missing.

    • No need to correct. Aging, illness, environment, food. All point toward the need for a better diet and proper natural supplements. A lot of ‘young’ people now display the deficiency signs of ‘old’ people. Why? The GMO food and supplements are not designed to deliver on nutrients. Those who do not rapidly age on the outside, do so on the inside. So, diet has become the most important thing to get right for young and old alike. Thanks for the comment. 🙂

    • You’re right about needing diet and supplements. Those needs do change and are different for everyone. My belief is that food is so contaminated with growth hormones, antibiotics, and whatever they can think of, that food is no longer adequate to meet a person’s needs. Anyone born in the 1940’s and later are the 1st generation of the “improved” foods. How processed foods that have their natural nutrients stripped out and only a few replaced back are supposed to be good for us is beyond me. The rate of illness and obesity has increased dramatically over the years. I don’t believe all of it is due to lack of activity.

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this article! I believe in taking extra supplements. My husband picks on me for being the unhealthiest person he knows that takes vitamins. My most frequent reply is–think how much worse I’d be if I didn’t take them. Most foods, like Emma said, are contaminated with junk to “protect us”. I don’t believe they are! A lot of supplements will list ingredients; however, some are in a form not digestible and pass straight through; or have less than what is stated on the label; or are not in the pill at all.

    • Quirkywritingcorner, you are correct that some of the ingredients even in supplements pass directly through one and many do contain less than was is actually listed. I like your term “improved foods”.
      What a misnomer.

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