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How to Know if You're Nutritionally Deficient

How to Know if You're Nutritionally Deficient

With so many tempting meal options in the form of fast foods and convenience foods, even if you think you’re grabbing what you consider “healthy” choices off the shelves, you might not be giving your body the nutrition it needs. In fact, most women, men, and children in the United States indulge in diets that are “high-energy” (i.e., “high sugar”) but low in nutrition.

The lack of macronutrients, micronutrients, and phytonutrients in our diet is the main reason why chronic diseases have skyrocketed in recent decades. Only 27% of calories in the average US diet are from healthy and whole foods, such as fresh vegetables, fruits, high-quality sources of protein, and low-glycemic carbohydrates.

About half of US adults have a chronic disease, such as diabetes, that could be prevented or reversed by proper nutrition. Another third are overweight, which puts them at risk for life-threatening heart attacks, stroke, and some cancers.

Even if you’re at a healthy weight, you could score low in nutrients. Over time, nutrient deficiency takes its toll on all of your organs, general health, and sense of well-being.

Although we’re always happy to help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight at Low Testosterone & Weight Loss Center in Allen, Texas, we’re also dedicated to helping you achieve optimal nutrition. Our health specialists evaluate your diet and administer blood tests to determine if you lack key nutrients.

Are you unsure of whether your diet is keeping you nourished? Following are a few key signs that it may not be.

Do you have muscle cramps or twitches?

Your body needs the mineral calcium to perform a variety of functions, including building new bone cells to keep your bones strong and dense. Calcium also regulates your heartbeat and helps your muscles relax. Signs of calcium deficiency include:

To ensure you get the 1,000 mg of calcium that healthy adults need each day, eat a diet focused on calcium-rich foods, including cooked spinach and broccoli, bone-in canned sardines and salmon, and dairy products. You may also need to take a calcium supplement. 

Are you losing a lot of hair?

Hair loss is partly determined by genetics and is also affected by the aging process, particularly in a drop in essential hormones such as testosterone and estrogen. However, if you’re losing more than the usual 100 strands per day, you may have an iron deficiency.

Your body needs iron for healthy thyroid function, too. Other symptoms that you’re deficient in iron include:

You can increase the amount of iron in your diet by eating beans, organ meats, and vegetables such as cooked spinach. If you’re severely iron deficient, a condition called anemia, we may put you on iron supplements for a few months until your levels normalize.

Are you having vision problems?

Your eyes need vitamins, particularly vitamin A. While carotene-rich foods, like carrots, help, you may need supplements to counteract symptoms of vitamin A deficiency, such as:

Vitamin A-rich foods include mangos, sweet potatoes, and apricots. Between diet and supplements, men should get 900 mcg of vitamin A per day, and women should get 700 mcg. 

Are you feeling woozy or unfocused?

The nutrient vitamin B12 is essential to brain function. However, our bodies don’t make B12. We have to get it from food sources or supplements, such as:

Without enough vitamin B12, you can’t produce sufficient hemoglobin for your red blood cells, which carry oxygen to your organs. Symptoms of a B12 deficiency include:

Without treatment, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause permanent nervous system damage. We may recommend injections of vitamin B12 as well as daily supplements and dietary changes.

Do you have other symptoms?

Many symptoms that people struggle with — including insomnia — are due to nutritional deficiencies, such as a lack of magnesium and other vitamins and minerals. For instance, vitamin C deficiency could cause bruising and bleeding gums.

Even if you don’t have symptoms, if you’re not sure about your nutritional status, come in for an evaluation. Once we determine which nutrients you lack, we recommend dietary changes and supplements. Contact our team at 469-912-2113 or use our online form to book a nutrition evaluation today. 

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