Always Feeling Tired? These 3 Vitamin Deficiencies in Women May Be the Reason Why
With so many daily tasks that need to be accomplished, it’s hard to keep track of the nutrients that your body gets. In some cases you may not even eat enough healthy food to reach the recommended daily nutrient requirements. Over time, this can make you more prone to certain vitamin deficiencies and even some health issues.
Ladies, take note of these three common vitamin deficiencies seen among women; how these can potentially affect you and what you can do to address these right away.
Iron is involved in the production of hormones and certain proteins that bring oxygen to your brains and muscles. However, lots of women are at high risk for iron deficiency anemia. This health issue is said to affect 1 billion people, making it the most common deficiency worldwide.
Women with iron deficiency anemia lack the iron needed to produce hemoglobin, a protein responsible for your blood’s red color and for transporting oxygen in red blood cells all over the body.
Extreme fatigue and weakness, headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness, chest pain, and rapid heartbeats are common iron deficiency anemia symptoms. If you develop iron deficiency anemia during a pregnancy, the risk for premature birth, low birth weight, and postpartum depression increases.
Iron-rich food like spinach, liver, organ meats, broccoli, and pumpkin seeds may help address iron deficiency. Supplements may also help. But it would be best to consult your doctor first before taking any supplements, since several symptoms of iron deficiency were also observed in other types of anemia wherein iron may be contraindicated or inadvisable.
- Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
This B vitamin is essential in the production of red blood cells and synthesis of DNA. It also assists in keeping your nerve cells healthy, and aids in enhancing your digestion and neurological function.
Common symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency include feelings of tiredness or weakness, numb or tingling feet, difficulties with balancing, poor memory, and tongue or mouth soreness.
Failure to address a vitamin B12 deficiency right away may increase your risk for stomach cancer, nervous system problems like memory loss, paraesthesia or pins and needles sensation usually in the extremities, and nervous system damage, or infertility. During a pregnancy, vitamin B12 deficiency can also increase the risk of neural tube defects among newborns – such as spina bifida (a spinal cord defect), and anencephaly (a defect that affects the brain and the skull).
Aside from eating food loaded with this B vitamin such as chicken breast, salmon, low-fat milk, and eggs, taking a supplement can also help. Try looking for those that contain vitamins B1 and B6, all of which may help you prevent and address deficiencies related to these nutrients. It may also assist in managing nerve pain and inflammation that can arise when your body lacks these B vitamins.
- Vitamin B9, Folate, or Folic Acid
Another type of B vitamin, folate or folic acid is critical in the production of red blood cells, as well as the synthesis and repair of DNA.
Having too little amount of vitamin B9 in your body can lead to symptoms like fatigue, mouth sores, and swelling of the tongue. In the long run, a folate deficiency may put you at risk for low levels of white blood cells and platelets and/or megaloblastic anemia (a condition wherein red blood cells appear larger than normal despite not being fully developed). Folate deficiency among pregnant women may also lead to increased risk for neural tube birth defects in their newborn, as mentioned previously.
Folate-rich food like beans, spinach, lettuce, and whole grains, and/or a supplement may be helpful in preventing and addressing a deficiency of this kind. If you’re pregnant or are planning to get pregnant, adding this to your regimen may help lower your baby’s risk for neural tube defects.
To determine if you have any vitamin or mineral deficiency, consult your doctor. They can help you check what nutrients you need to have more of, and provide you with concrete ways to help tackle health issues that come with nutrition deficiencies.
If you’re already experiencing more severe symptoms other than those mentioned above, seek medical attention immediately. These may indicate a severe nutrient deficiency that must be addressed quickly.