What is Vitamin Deficiency?
In a general sense, we can attribute the term deficiency to the lack of an essential functional element to a degree where it is lesser than its supposed requirement. Therefore, vitamin deficiency is the shortage of vital vitamins and minerals in the body to a point where it is lower than what the body needs to function effectively. Now, vitamin deficiency in itself can be credited to two different reasons, one being natural and the other an external reason. Some bodies tend to have the genetic inability to work properly to complete vitamin absorption into the system, whereas others may simply have vitamin deficiency due to the lack of intake of vitamins.
Causes for Vitamin Deficiencies
A diet consisting of all nutrients in a balanced proportion can point in the direction of optimal health. However, deficiencies may occur for a multitude of reasons, some of the commonly talked about reasons for vitamin deficiencies include (a) insufficient absorption of the required minerals and vitamins (b) consumption of alcohol in excess (c) not meeting the extra need for vitamins and minerals during pregnancy (d) diets excluding fruits and vegetables. Therefore, it is preferable to get your vitamin and mineral levels checked, particularly if you are in greater danger of having a deficiency.
Why you should get Vitamin Deficiencies checked?
Many types of vitamin deficiencies can occur, some of them include Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Vitamin E, Iron, Iodine, etc. While each of these deficiencies has its specific symptoms that need to be looked out for, generically almost all vitamin deficiencies seem to have some common symptoms like exhaustion, lethargy, fainting spells, and low stamina. In case these symptoms get out of hand, they could prove to be fatal in the long term and cause serious health issues leading to slowed down development of the body or inferior mental or physical health. It is therefore advisable to get tested as vitamins form an important component required for the maintenance of our system and have a role in practically all bodily functions, including the synthesis of hormones and enzymes, also crucial for the growth of the body and mind.
What is a Vitamin Deficiency test?
In simple terms, a vitamin deficiency test is used to check whether the levels of vitamins in the body are apt. It tells us whether the nutrient content in the blood is correct and in case it falls below a given standard, you would be diagnosed with a vitamin deficiency. In such a case, regular solutions such as a change in diet, supplements, etc are advised.
How to get Vitamin Deficiency checked?
The safest and most efficient way to get checked for any vitamin deficiencies is to get a blood test done by a qualified medical practitioner. The blood sample that has been collected will be sent to a laboratory where testing is conducted to check whether the prerequisite vitamin and nutrient levels in the body are met. Some other methods would involve getting a finger prick test, however, it is still highly recommended to visit a medical provider with these concerns.
When should you take Supplements?
The majority of individuals can obtain all the nutrients they require through food alone. Therefore, you should only take a supplement for fun if you have a vitamin shortage. Nutrients produced artificially don’t always equal those obtained organically through food. Monitoring your vitamin and mineral levels with a blood test is a recommended strategy. You can increase your consumption of foods rich in certain nutrients if you’re deficient in a particular nutrient. But occasionally, supplements are essential.