Dr Rama Prasad

A Diet Low in This Vitamin > May Produce These Signs of Deficiency

Vitamin A > Poor night vision; dry, rough, or cracked skin; dry mucous membranes including the inside of the eye; slow wound healing; nerve damage; reduced ability to taste, hear, and smell; inability to perspire; reduced resistance to respiratory infections

Vitamin D > In children: rickets (weak muscles, delayed tooth development, and soft bones, all caused by the inability to absorb minerals without vitamin D)

In adults: osteomalacia (soft, porous bones that fracture easily)

Vitamin E > Inability to absorb fat

Vitamin K > Blood fails to clot

Vitamin C > Scurvy (bleeding gums; tooth loss; nosebleeds; bruising; painful or swollen joints; shortness of breath; increased susceptibility to infection; slow wound healing; muscle pains; skin rashes)

Thiamin(vitaminB1) > Poor appetite; unintended weight loss; upset stomach; gastric upset (nausea, vomiting); mental depression; an inability to concentrate

Riboflavin(vitaminB2) > Inflamed mucous membranes, including cracked lips, sore tongue and mouth, burning eyes; skin rashes; anemia

Niacin > Pellagra (diarrhea; inflamed skin and mucous membranes; mental confusion and/or dementia)

Vitamin B6 > Anemia; convulsions similar to epileptic seizures; skin rashes; upset stomach; nerve damage (in infants)

Folate > Anemia (immature red blood cells)

VitaminB12 > Pernicious anemia (destruction of red blood cells, nerve damage, increased risk of stomach cancer attributed to damaged stomach tissue, neurological/psychiatric symptoms attributed to nerve cell damage)

Biotin > Loss of appetite; upset stomach; pale, dry, scaly skin; hair loss; emotional depression; skin rashes (in infants younger than 6 months)

If the cause for deficiency is Undernourishment the treatment is simple - supplementation. In many cases its the case. 

In many other cases its NOT the case. If your body doesn't process and absorb the vitamins we need to correct it.

Inability to process could be due to toxicity or weakness. The actual culprit could be lifestyle issues and related toxicity along with tissue damage. We need to upgrade your lifestyle as well as remove the toxins with suitable herbs and cleanses. 

An Ayurveda practitioner can guide you with this.

Eye symptoms < Deficient vitamin

Bitot's spots - foamy patches on conjunctiva < vitamin A

Bloodshot eyes < boric acid 

Blurred vision < vitamins B2, B6, pantothenic acid

Bulging eyes < vitamin E, nicotinamide, iodine

Cataracts (lens becomes opaque) < vitamins B2, C, E, antioxidants (avoid lactose)

Color-blindness < vitamin A

Conjunctivitis < vitamins A, B2, C (B6, zinc)

Cross-eyes < vitamins E, C, B1, (allergy testing)

Dark spots in front of the eyes < vitamins B6, C, zinc (liver problems)

Dim vision (amblyopia) < vitamins B1, B2, C, B12 (allergy testing)

Dry, hard eyeballs (xerophthalmia) < vitamin A

Farsightedness (hyperopia) < magnesium, potassium, MSM

Glaucoma < magnesium, vitamin C (B2, B1,salt)

Hemorrhaging in the back of the eye (retinitis) < vitamin B6, zinc, bioflavonoids (also magnesium, vitamins C, B2, B12, E, pantothenate)

Infected, ulcerating eyes (keratomalacia) < vitamin A (vitamins C, B2, B6, zinc, blue light, boric acid)

Itching, burning, watery, sandy eyes < vitamin B2

Macular degeneration < vitamins A, B2, B6, magnesium, zinc, antioxidants, bioflavonoids, esp. lutein & zeaxanthin, ginkgo biloba, bilberry, eyebright, MSM, EFA

Near-sightedness (myopia) < chromium, vitamins C, E, D, calcium (proteins, avoid sugars)

Night blindness (nyctalopia) < vitamins A, (B2, B6, zinc)

Red blood vessels in the sclera < vitamin B2

Retinal detachment < zinc, vitamins B6, B2, C, E, A

Sensitive eyes, fear of strong light (photophobia) < vitamins B2, A

Tics of eyelids < magnesium, vitamins B2, B6, zinc

Skin-deficiency Symptoms

Symptom < Deficiency / Treatment / Cause

Acne < vitamins A, E, B2, B6, C, niacin, biotin, zinc, EFA*, lecithin, MSM, retinoic acid topically (minimize sweet food & fats)

Addison's disease - adrenal exhaustion: increased tanning, especially on skin-folds, scars, elbows, knees; black freckles < all B vitamins, especially pantothenic acid; vitamin C; all minerals, digestive enzymes, allergy testing, avoid sweet food

Arterial spiders (fine branching arteries on face, neck, chest) < antioxidants, bioflavonoids, glucosamine, cartilage, calcium

Bedsores < vitamins C, E

Blisters < vitamin E

Brown discoloration around small joints < vitamin B12

Brown skin spots < antioxidants (weak liver)

Dry skin < vitamins A, C, EFA

Eczema, skin ulcers < vitamin C, B2, B6, zinc, magnesium, EFA, allergy test, cleanse

Eczema, infantile < EPA, zinc, vitamin B6

Edema < vitamin B6, zinc (also vitamin C, magnesium, avoid salt)

Fingers white, numb, stiff, swellings (Raynaud's disease) < vitamins B6, B1, antioxidants, niacin, magnesium/calcium, EFA

Fungus infections (e.g. athlete's foot, ringworm)

B vitamins, (external tea tree oil, intestinal sanitation)

Gangrene < vitamins C, E, B1 , magnesium chloride, (urine packs)

Greasy dermatitis around eyes, nose < vitamin B6, zinc

Greasy skin eruptions (seborrhea) < vitamin B2

Horny red skin on pressure areas (e.g. knees, elbows) < zinc (vitamin B6)

Hot flushes < vitamin E, boron, magnesium, calcium (Wild Yam cream)

Ichthyosis (fish-like scales) < vitamin A, retinoic acid topically, MSM

Infant dermatitis with inflamed pustules around body openings < vitamin B6, zinc

Infections of the skin (boils, cold sores, impetigo, and so on) < vitamins C, A, B6, zinc, magnesium chloride (hot Epsom-salt packs, tea tree oil or propolis rubs)

Itching < vitamins B, C, EFA, alkalizer, bicarbonate rubs, (allergy tests)

Jaundice < vitamins C, E, A, B12, B6, lecithin, magnesium, zinc (blue light therapy, treat gall bladder & liver)

Keratosis, horny, goose-pimple-like skin < vitamin A internally & externally

Lemon-yellow skin < vitamin B12

Oily skin, white-heads < vitamin B2

Over-sensitivity to sunlight < vitamin B6, zinc, PABA, beta-carotene, antioxidants, bioflavonoids, alkalizers

Pale skin < biotin, folic acid, vitamin B6, , iron (anemia)

Prickly-heat rash < vitamin C

Psoriasis < as for acne; blue light, sunlight; avoid gluten

Purplish or blue-black skin areas < vitamin C, B2, bioflavonoids

Rash < allergy test, alkalizers, vitamin C, calcium

Red-brown, often symmetrical discoloration of skin exposed to the sun, later ulceration < niacin or nicotinamide (folic acid)

Red-brown or dark-red spots < manganese

Rosacea (redness of part of face) < vitamin B2

Scaly dermatitis < biotin

Scaly eczema around nose, ears, scrotum, vulva < vitamin B2

Scar tissue < vitamin E, MSM externally & internally, camphorated oil rub

Scleroderma (hardening and swelling of skin) < vitamin E, C, A, PABA, MSM, magnesium chloride (zapper, pulser and parasite therapy, tea tree oil packs)

Sensitivity to insect bites < vitamin C, B1, calcium, alkalizers, bicarbonate rub/bath

Shingles < vitamins B12, C, A, B, E, zinc, lysine, zinc oxide lotion, zapper

Skin cancer < vitamins A, B6, PABA, antioxidants, bioflavonoids, carotenes, chlorophyll, propolis, zinc (blue light, escharotics)

Skin-folds red, infected < niacin

Stretch-marks < vitamins E, B6, zinc

Subcutaneous bleeding (red or purplish spots under the skin, bruises easily)

vitamin C, bioflavonoids and rutin, grape seed extract, glucosamine, alkalizer

Swellings (for example, face) < zinc, magnesium, vitamins B6, B12

Vaginal itching < vitamins B2, E, C (avoid synthetic underwear, treat Candida)

Warts, moles < vitamins C, A, E

Weals on the skin (urticaria) < vitamin B6, zinc, vitamin C, (alkalizer, allergy test)

White skin patches (vitiligo) < PABA, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, zinc

Wrinkles or aging skin < vitamins C, E, A, EFA, bioflavonoids (too much sun)

Hair and Nail Deficiency Symptoms

Symptom < Deficiency treatment cause

Coarse, brittle hair < zinc

Dandruff < vitamins B2, B6, zinc, magnesium, biotin

Dry hair < vitamin A, zinc

Graying hair < folic acid, pantothenic acid, PABA, biotin, minerals (weak adrenals, avoid sweet food)

Hangnails < vitamin C, folic acid, proteins

Hair loss < copper/lead contamination: use zinc, vitamin B6, sulfur (MSM), selenium, biotin

Nails opaque, white spots/bands < zinc, vitamin B6

Oily hair < vitamin B2

Peeling nails < vitamins A, C, calcium

Ridges on nails, longitudinal < vitamin A, protein, calcium (anemia, poor circulation, thyroid/parathyroid glands)

Ridges on nails, transverse < fever, infection, inflammation, menstrual problems, period of protein deficiency

Scaling of cuticle or lips < biotin

Tongue and Mouth Deficiency Symptoms

Mouth problems are often due to amalgam fillings, allergies or Candida infestation (thrush).

Symptom < Deficiency treatment cause

Beefy, enlarged tongue < pantothenic acid

Burning, sore tongue < vitamins B2, B6, B12, niacin

Cracked lips & corners of the mouth (cheilosis) < vitamins B2, B6, folic acid

Distended, purplish-blue veins under the tongue < vitamin B2 (circulation poor, congested)

Edema or tooth-marks on tongue < niacin/nicotinamide

Furrowed tongue < vitamin B1, pantothenic acid

Gums receding, bleeding (gingivitis) < vitamin C, bioflavonoids, calcium, alkalizers

Halitosis (bad breath) < vitamin B6, zinc, magnesium, propolis, chlorophyll (cleansing, intestinal sanitation)

Mouth ulcers, canker < folic acid, vitamin B6, zinc (alkalize, allergy test)

Papillae prominent or erased < niacin/nicotinamide

Purplish or magenta tongue or lips, also veins under the tongue < vitamin B2

Tongue red at tip or edges; severe deficiency: whole tongue scarlet red, sore < niacin (vitamin B6)

Tongue shiny, smooth, beefy; early sign: strawberry-red tip/sides < vitamin B12, folic acid

Tongue too small or too large < niacin, pantothenic acid

White-coated tongue < intestinal putrefaction, cleansing

White patches on tongue < vitamin B2 and other B vitamins (allergy)

Yellowish-brown-coated tongue < liver or gall bladder problems

Symptoms of a Vitamin C Deficiency

A variety of symptoms will show that an individual is suffering from a vitamin C deficiency. Here are some of the top signs of this kind of shortage in the system.

  1. Fatigue – Early on, someone with a vitamin C deficiency will tend to get tired easily and experience reduced energy. Because chronic fatigue is a symptom of so many illnesses, it can be hard to catch a specific condition based on this symptom.
  2. Mood Changes – Individuals with a vitamin C deficiency may become irritable or short tempered.
  3. Weight Loss – As with other “wasting conditions” someone with a vitamin C deficiency may experience sudden weight loss.
  4. Joint and Muscle Aches – Chronic pain in the limbs or joints can be a symptom of a vitamin deficiency.
  5. Bruising – Individuals with a vitamin C deficiency will tend to bruise easily. Excessive bruising is a sign that the body’s chemistry needs to be improved.
  6. Dental Conditions – Just as a healthy daily dose of vitamin C contributes to healthy teeth and gums, a deficiency can cause deterioration of the gums. Periodontal problems are a symptom of a vitamin C deficiency that has been allowed to develop to a hazardous level. This kind of deficiency was classically called "scurvy" when it happened to mariners who had no access to nutrients (or sometimes even fresh water) on long trips at sea. In today’s world, it is a rare but frightening condition.
  7. Dry Hair and Skin – A change in hair and skin conditions can also signal that the body is not getting enough of vitamin C and other essential vitamins and minerals.
  8. Infections – When an individual does not have enough vitamin C over time, this can have a negative impact on general healing of wounds and the fighting of infections. Generally, the body’s immune system will be compromised.

Short term Vitamin D deficiency symptoms

  1. Rickets: Rickets is caused by a deficiency in Vitamin D, calcium or phosphorus. It used to be a common symptom of vitamin d deficiency but has not been a major problem since food manufacturers started fortifying milk and other foods with small doses of Vitamin D.
  2. Depression: There is some evidence to show that low Vitamin D levels have an association with depression. Studies have shown that Vitamin D3 can alleviate seasonal depression during winter months. Weakened immune system: Most cells in the body contain receptor sites for Vitamin D and these include immune system cells.
  3. Vitamin D has been shown to enhance the activity of those cells, and to decrease chances of developing autoimmune diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis.
  4. Mysterious health issues: Vitamin D has many varied effects on the cells in the body, and if you have any mysterious health issues then you should have a blood test done to make sure you are not Vitamin D deficient.

Long term symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency

  1. Osteoporosis: An important role of Vitamin D is regulating calcium absorption in the digestive tract and calcium balance in the bones. Weakened and brittle bones are common symptoms of deficiency, where severe cases end with osteoporosis.
  2. Cancer: Many research studies have found an association of Vitamin D deficiency with various forms of cancer. This makes the recommendation to avoid sun exposure to reduce chances of skin cancer seem questionable, since avoiding the sun and therefore lowering vitamin d levels may increase risk of other forms of cancer.
  3. Heart Disease: Higher Vitamin D levels have been shown to have a favourable effect on cardiovascular disease. One study found that older adults who were Vitamin D deficient had twice the chances of developing cardiovascular disease (the #1 killer) compared to those who had adequate levels.

Vitamin A deficiency - Signs and symptoms

  1. The most common cause of blindness in developing countries is vitamin A deficiency (VAD). The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 13.8 million children to have some degree of visual loss related to VAD.[7] Night blindness and its worsened condition, xerophthalmia, are markers of VAD, as VAD can also lead to impaired immune function, cancer, and birth defects.
  2. Night blindness is the difficulty for the eyes to adjust to dim light. Affected individuals are unable to distinguish images in low levels of illumination. People with night blindness have poor vision in the darkness, but see normally when adequate light is present.
  3. VAD affects vision by inhibiting the production of rhodopsin, the eye pigment responsible for sensing low light situations. Rhodopsin is found in the retina and is composed of retinal (an active form of vitamin A) and opsin (a protein). Because the body cannot create retinal in sufficient amounts, a diet low in vitamin A will lead to a decreased amount of rhodopsin in the eye, as there is inadequate retinal to bind with opsin. Night blindness results.
  4. Night blindness caused by VAD has been associated with the loss of goblet cells in the conjunctiva, a membrane covering the outer surface of the eye. Goblet cells are responsible for secretion of mucus, and their absence results in xerophthalmia, a condition where the eyes fail to produce tears. Dead epithelial and microbial cells accumulate on the conjunctiva and form debris that can lead to infection and possibly blindness.
  5. Decreasing night blindness requires the improvement of vitamin A status in at risk populations. Supplements and fortification of food have been shown to be effective interventions. Supplement treatment for night blindness includes high doses of vitamin A (200,000 IU) in the form of retinyl palmitate to be taken by mouth, which is administered two to four times a year.[9] Intramuscular injections are poorly absorbed and are ineffective in delivering sufficient bio-available vitamin A. Fortification of food with vitamin A is costly, but can be done in wheat, sugar, and milk.[10] Households may circumvent expensive fortified food by altering dietary habits. Consumption of yellow-orange fruits and vegetables rich in carotenoids, specifically beta carotene, provides pro-vitamin A precursors that will prevent VAD related night blindness.

Am I vitamin D deficient?

The best way to discover vitamin D deficiency is to take a blood test that will measure the level of the vitamin in your blood. You can either ask your doctor to administer the test or buy a home test kit do the test yourself. However, you are certainly vitamin D deficient if you have any of the following ailments, and you need to consult with your doctor regarding your preventive, as well as curative, options as soon as possible.

1.) The flu - In a study published in the Cambridge Journals, it was discovered that vitamin D deficiency predisposes children to respiratory diseases. An intervention study conducted showed that vitamin D reduces the incidence of respiratory infections in children.

2.) Muscle weakness - According to Michael F. Holick, a leading vitamin D expert, muscle weakness is usually caused by vitamin D deficiency because for skeletal muscles to function properly, their vitamin D receptors must be sustained by vitamin D.

3.) Psoriasis - In a study published by the UK PubMed central, it was discovered that synthetic vitamin D analogues were found useful in the treatment of psoriasis.

4.) Chronic kidney disease - According to Holick, patients with advanced chronic kidney diseases (especially those requiring dialysis) are unable to make the active form of vitamin D. These individuals need to take 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 or one of its calcemic analogues to support calcium metabolism, decrease the risk of renal bone disease and regulate parathyroid hormone levels.

5.) Diabetes - A study conducted in Finland was featured in Lancet.com in which 10,366 children were given 2000 international units (IU)/day of vitamin D3 per day during their first day of life. The children were monitored for 31 years and in all of them, the risk of type 1 diabetes was reduced by 80 percent.

6.) Asthma - Vitamin D may reduce the severity of asthma attacks. Research conducted in Japan revealed that asthma attacks in school children were significantly lowered in those subjects taking a daily vitamin D supplement of 1200 IU a day.

7.) Periodontal disease - Those suffering from this chronic gum disease that causes swelling and bleeding gums should consider raising their vitamin D levels to produce defensins and cathelicidin, compounds that contain microbial properties and lower the number of bacteria in the mouth.

8.) Cardiovascular disease - Congestive heart failure is associated with vitamin D deficiency. Research conducted at Harvard University among nurses found that women with low vitamin D levels (17 ng/m [42 nmol/L]) had a 67 percent increased risk of developing hypertension.

9.) Schizophrenia and Depression - These disorders have been linked to vitamin D deficiency. In a study, it was discovered that maintaining sufficient vitamin D among pregnant women and during childhood was necessary to satisfy the vitamin D receptor in the brain integral for brain development and mental function maintenance in later life.

10.) Cancer - Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington DC discovered a connection between high vitamin D intake and reduced risk of breast cancer. These findings, presented at the American Association for Cancer Research, revealed that increased doses of the sunshine vitamin were linked to a 75 percent reduction in overall cancer growth and 50 percent reduction in tumor cases among those already having the disease. Of interest was the capacity of vitamin supplementation to help control the development and growth of breast cancer specially estrogen-sensitive breast cancer.

5 Signs of Vitamin Deficiency in Children

Is your child getting enough vitamin C?Vitamins are more than just little pills to pop; they are the building blocks and support system of our bodies. Well-rounded, healthy diets can provide all a growing body needs, but the reality of our busy lifestyles and sometimes finicky eating patterns can lead to vitamin deficiency. Knowing what to look for is part of the battle. The following signs of vitamin deficiency in children are by no means complete, but it will give you a good idea of potential problems. 

Signs your child lacks Vitamin D > Vitamin D deficiency in children is a common problem. Signs that your child is not producing enough include late teething, irritability, poor growth, and muscle cramps. Seizures and breathing difficulties could also be traced back to insufficient vitamin D. Combat vitamin D deficiency with exposure to sunlight, milk, cheese, yogurt, and egg yolks. 

Signs your child lacks Vitamin A > Vitamin A deficiency can lead to serious vision problems. In children a vitamin A deficiency can start to show up as tiredness, hair loss, weakness, and weight loss. Other symptoms include dry eyes, scaling of the skin, and respiratory infections. Combat vitamin A deficiency by ensuring children eat plenty of yellow-orange vegetables such as carrots, yams, and squash, as well as eggs and cheese. 

Signs your child lacks vitamin B 12 > Deficiencies in vitamin B 12 in children shows itself in a wide variety of ways. Specifically, vitamin B 12 greatly influences the nervous system and affects the functions of the brain and heart. Signs your child lacks the proper amount of vitamin B 12 include abdominal pain, edema, weakness, insomnia, and they may begin to lose their voice. 

Signs your child lacks vitamin B 6 > Manifestations of a vitamin B 6 deficiency in children include diarrhea, anemia, weakness, irritability, and seizures. Researchers have also pointed to a lack of vitamin B 6 as the culprit behind inattention, impulsiveness, hyperactivity, temper tantrums, and other inappropriate behaviors. Combat vitamin B deficiencies by offering a wide variety of meat, chicken, fish, nuts, eggs, milk, cheese, beans. Vegans and Vegetarians should look into supplementation in order to maintain a healthy amount of vitamin B. 

Signs your child lacks vitamin C > Easy bruising is one sign that your child is not getting enough vitamin C. Additionally they may experience joint pain, have dry skin, and poor appetite. Frequent nose bleeds, infections, and illness can also be traced back to a vitamin C deficiency. Combat vitamin C deficiency by providing plenty of opportunities to eat a wide variety of citrus fruit, strawberries, tomatoes, kiwi, and green vegetables like broccoli.  

While the problems caused by vitamin deficiencies are shocking, it is important to note that excessive amounts of vitamins taken in supplement form can be toxic to the body. If you suspect any of these signs point to a deficiency, check with your physician before administering extra vitamins to your child to avoid an overdose. 

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