Many Americans do, yet never know it. Allopathic (conventional) medicine doesn’t often test for deficiencies, although vitamin D is becoming more well-known these days.
The symptoms of vitamin and mineral deficiencies are vague and varied, meaning that just because you have dry skin or feel tired often, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a deficiency.
Here are some vague and varied symptoms of vitamin and mineral deficiencies:
- Dry and/or itchy skin
- Frequent irritability or moodiness
- Muscle cramping
- Eye twitching
- Fingernail ridging, spots or other changes
- Changes in hair
- Tendency to get sick often
Vague and varied symptoms can arise with a range of health conditions, which highlights the importance of regular check-ins with your primary care provider and your naturopathic physician.
With naturopathic medicine, we look at you as a whole person, looking for patterns that can point us to the underlying causes of symptoms. Part of this usually involves lab work to understand what’s going on inside your body, including vitamin and mineral levels as appropriate.
It makes sense to check your vitamin and mineral levels to understand if you need supplemental and/or nutritional support. It’s also important that once you start a vitamin or mineral supplement, you check in with your doctor and complete lab work when they recommend it – vitamin levels can occasionally skyrocket, which can be dangerous. Monitoring your levels allows us to see these changes and address them as needed.
I’ve had a handful of patients who were told to take a moderate-to-high dose of vitamin D regularly by their primary care provider, but their PCP did not monitor their levels! Even worse, some providers will recommend a vitamin or mineral supplement without checking a patient’s levels first. Thankfully, I’ve caught a few of these and corrected them before they could cause any major health issues.
Everyone is an individual and, because we don’t know how each person will respond to changes in their supplements and diets, these levels do need to be monitored.
Do you take a vitamin or mineral supplement? When was the last time your levels were checked? If you’re not sure, ask your care provider or get yourself scheduled for a naturopathic appointment.
This blog and website do not provide medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Always check with your own healthcare provider before taking a new supplement and before making any significant diet, lifestyle, exercise or other changes. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on this site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.