Friday, September 16, 2011

Signs of Nutritional Deficiency

Here's a compilation of symptoms of nutritional distress. Lab tests also help with diagnosing deficiencies, but there are plenty of useful clinical indicators. Eye, hair, nail, mouth and skin symptoms are among the earliest outward warning signs of vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

The following list may help in diagnosing and treating these deficiencies. However, increased metabolic requirements for indicated deficiencies may persist for a long time after the outward symptoms have disappeared. Many listed symptoms may also be caused or aggravated by allergies and problems with the blood sugar and fat metabolism.

If you child has numerous symptoms, you may want to look into a multivitamin. If your child is on a multivitamin, you may want to look into reasons why s/he may not be absorbing the nutrients. If you suspect allergies, look to an NAET practitioner to find and clear the allergies. Perhaps adding enzymes or probiotics would help with digestion. The hyperlinks take you to the blog post or outside source on that particular nutrient or topic as it relates to Down syndrome (if possible).

Hands and nails

Cold hands - check thyroid, magnesium deficiency
Shaking hands - magnesium and vitamin B1 deficiencies (common with low blood sugar issues)
Arthritis - Boron and sulphur (MSM) deficiency

White spots on nails - almost any mineral deficiency but typically zinc
Ridges on nails - poor blood supply, zinc deficiency, vitamin A or a protein deficiency or kidney disorder
Soft or brittle nails - mineral deficiency, especially magnesium
Splitting, peeling or brittle nails- deficiency of vitamin A or Vitamin D3 it could also be due to poor circulation of blood or may be due to some thyroid problem. Sometimes Iron (Fe), calcium or protein deficiencies also have this symptoms.
Bitten nails - general mineral deficiency
Chewing hands - general mineral deficiency, particularly Iron (Fe) or zinc deficiency
Hang nails - Vitamin C, Folinic Acid, proteins
Nails curved upwards- Iron (Fe) or zinc deficiency
Nails curves downwards passing down the fingers- vitamin B12 deficiency. This may be also due to some disorder in the heart and liver or any kind of respiratory disorder.
Dark and spoon shaped nails- vitamin B12 deficiency or it may be due to anemia.
Flat nails- protein or Iron (Fe) deficiency or may be due to vitamin B12 deficiency.
Wide and square nails- hormonal imbalances.
Poor growth in nails- deficiency of zinc.

Numbness or tingling of the fingers- calcium deficiency

Many of the raw materials for nails are the same for bone and connective tissue so nail health reflects bone and connective tissue health.


Carpal tunnel syndromeVitamin B6 deficiency


Red cheeks- Dairy, wheat, gluten and other food / supplement sensitivities. Consider adrenal fatigue if flushing while eating. Vitamin C flush can help.
Tickling, itchy skin - (in DS, overexpression of GABA)- Gingko
Follicular hyperkeratosis (rough skin, especially on the heels)- Vitamin A deficiency
Spontaneous hemorrhages - lack of Vitamin C or Vitamin K
Dermatitis- calcium deficiency 
Dry skin- thyroid, iodine deficiency
Dry scaly skin with hair follicles plugged with coiled distorted hairs and a red halo - Vitamin C deficiency
Yellow/reddish brown palms - excessive beta carotene intake. But can be due to eating lots of colored vegetables.
Pimply rough skin at the back of the upper arms (chicken flesh) - essential fatty acid deficiency SCAD
Greasy red scaly skin of face and sides of nose - vitamin B2 deficiency
Seborrhoeic dermatitis around nose and an acne-like forehead rash - Vitamin B6 deficiency
White spots, especially on forearms - Vitamin D3 deficiency
Stretch marks - zinc deficiency. They are common in pregnancy not because the skin is stretched, but because demands for zinc are high.
Lack of sweating-
thyroid, iodine deficiency. Three to four weeks of iodine supplementation may reverse this symptom, allowing your body to sweat normally again.
Pale skin- - Folinic Acid/Folate deficiency, zinc deficiency

Mouth and gums

Pale fissured tongue - Iron (Fe) deficiency
Sore painful fissured tongue - vitamin B3 deficiency
Sore burning tongue and lips and peeling of lips - vitamin B2 deficiency
Swollen tongue with lateral teeth indentations - food intolerance. Also myxoedema - see Hypothyroidism.
Painful sore tongue with a smooth appearance - Folinic Acid
/Folate deficiency
Tender, swollen tongue - Folinic Acid /Folate deficiency
Angular cheilosis (splits in lips) - vitamin B2 deficiency, thrush
Gum disease and pyorrhoea - Co Q 10 deficiency, Folinic Acid
/Folate deficiency.
Bleeding gums - Vitamin C deficiency, K2 deficiency

Crusty, dry skin on corners of mouth- B2 or B3 deficiency
Dry mouth - iodine deficiency in Salivary glands = inability to produce saliva, producing dry mouth
Cancer sores- Folinic Acid/Folate deficiency


Bags under eyes - thyroid, allergies or food intolerances
Bitot's spots, foamy patches on conjunctiva - vitamin A
Bloodshot eyes - treatment: boric acid for fungus infection, blue light
Blurred vision - vitamins B2, B6, pantothenic acid B5
Bulging eyes - vitamin E, nicotinamide, iodine, hyperthyroid
Cataracts (lens becomes opaque) - vitamins B2, Vitamin C, E, antioxidants (avoid lactose), chronium deficiency or excess free radicals
Blue eyes and blond hair are often seen in hyperactive male children - zinc , magnesium, Vitamin B6 and essential fatty acids deficiencies
Blue eyes and premature grey hair - vitamin B12 deficiency - a feature of pernicious Anemia
Color-blindness - vitamin A
Conjunctivitis - vitamins A, B2, Vitamin C (B6, zinc)
Cross-eyes - vitamin E, Vitamin C, B1, (allergy testing & look into heavy metals)
Dark spots in front of the eyes - vitamins B6, Vitamin C, zinc (liver problems)
Dim vision (amblyopia) - vitamins B1, B2, Vitamin C, B12 (allergy testing)
Dark rings under eyes - low Iron (Fe)
Dry, hard eyes (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, Vitamin C, B2, B12, E, pantothenate)
Infected, ulcerating eyes (keratomalacia) - vitamin A (Vitamin 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, Gingko, bilberry, eyebright, MSM, EFA
Near-sightedness (myopia) - chromium, Vitamin C, E, Vitamin D3, calcium (proteins, avoid sugars)
Night blindness (nyctalopia) - Vitamin A, (B2, B6, zinc)
Red blood vessels in the sclera - vitamin B2
Retinal detachment - zinc, vitamins B6, B2, Vitamin C, E, A
Sensitive eyes, fear of strong light (photophobia) - vitamins B2, A, magnesium deficiency
Tics of eyelids - magnesium, vitamins B2, B6, zinc
Poor eye growth and refractive development - (in DS, overexpression of GABA) Gingko 

Poor retina development - Gingko, Vitamin C


Nasal polyps- salicylate sensitivity, catarrh, sinusitis, history of removal of Ts and As for good clinical reasons, milk intolerance
Blocked nose with red wine- molybdenum deficiency
Greasy red scaly skin of face and sides of nose- vitamin B2 deficiency
Seborrhoeic dermatitis around nose and an acne like forehead rash - Vitamin B6 deficiency
Red nose- check for mycoplasma infection


Excessive ear wax production- essential fatty acid deficiency


White hair- magnesium deficiency

Dry scaly skin with hair follicles plugged with coiled distorted hairs and a red halo - Vitamin C deficiency
Blond hair and blue eyes are often seen in hyperactive male children -zinc , magnesium, Vitamin B6 and essential fatty acids deficiencies
Premature grey hair - Folinic Acid/Folate deficiency
Premature grey hair and blue eyes - vitamin B12 deficiency - a feature of pernicious Anemia 
Hair loss - thyroid, Iron (Fe), biotin, zinc and essential fatty acid deficiencies (must measure serum ferritin to check iron stores)
Hair loss, dandruff, eczema, excessive ear wax production, poor wound healing, excessive thirst (especially in hyperactive children), pre-menstrual symptoms of any sort - essential fatty acid deficiency


Goiter, thyroid swelling - iodine deficiency (check thyroid)


Tender calf muscles - magnesium or zinc deficiency
Brisk knee reflexes - magnesium deficiency
Restless legs - mineral deficiency, tendency to be acidic - see Acid-Alkali balance, magnesium deficiency
Muscle cramps- calcium or potassium deficiency


Cold feet- thyroid


Stomach upset (in DS, overexpression of GABA)- Gingko, need probiotics
Constipation- thyroid, also see post on constipation 

Constipation, bloating, IBS- Folinic Acid/Folate deficiency
Persistent diarrhea leading to fatigue - zinc deficiency, magnesium and potassium deficiencies
Poor appetite- calcium or zinc deficiency B-12 can help

Persistent Runny stool- zinc deficiency

Central Nervous system (Brain)

Sleepiness, drowsiness, sedative (in DS, overexpression of GABA)- Gingko 
Reduced alertness and lowered IQ- iodine deficiency

Airway Epithelium

Excess mucous; decreases smooth muscle tone (in DS, overexpression of GABA)- Gingko


Inhibitions of urination with increases in bladder capacity (in DS, overexpression of GABA)- Gingko
Strong smelling urine- look to too much ammonia, butyrate and TMG can help


Acts as an inhibitory signal for hepatic cell proliferation (in DS, overexpression of GABA)- Gingko
Needs detox- milk thistle


Shortness of breath (in DS, overexpression of GABA)- Gingko


Reflux- check thyroid, (in DS, overexpression of GABA)- Gingko
apple cider vinegar works well
Laryngeal motorneurons- decreases laryngeal moror neurons, inhibits Adductor and abductor- (in DS, overexpression of GABA)- Gingko


Decreased muscle tone- thyroid, Gingko
Muscle cramps- magnesium or calcium deficiency
Muscle nodules- iodine deficiency
Scar tissue-
zinc or iodine deficiency
Muscle fibrosis- iodine deficiency 
Fibromyalgia- iodine deficiency (among other things)

increase NREM/ Decrease REM (in DS, overexpression of GABA)- Gingko 
restless sleep- magnesium or zinc deficiency, also look to tryptophan
night terrors-
zinc deficiency
thoughts won't stop- try ashwagandha poor dream recall - Vitamin B6 deficiency, zinc deficiency

Slow growth- thyroid

Chewing hands/clothes- general mineral deficiency such as magnesium or zinc
Walking in circles- bacopa works to stop this
Anger/violence/defiance/immoral or criminal activity- mycoplasma infection

Issues of nutritional relevance
Poor healing - zinc deficiency 
Blood sugar swings with obvious low blood sugar episodes - chronium deficiency
Pre-menstrual syndrome - progesterone, magnesium, zinc and essential fatty acid deficiencies
Glandular fever - inadequate liver detoxification mechanisms
Sensory symptoms - B12, B1, magnesium deficiencies
Mental symptoms - B12 deficiency
Parkinsonism/Multiple sclerosis - glutathione deficiency
Cervical dysplasia - Vitamin B6 and Folinic Acid deficiency, papilloma/wart virus. Heals well with DMSO on the end of a tampax
Arthritis - Boron and sulphur (MSM) deficiency
Measles - Vitamin A deficiency
Many diuretics cause magnesium and potassium deficiencies
Hypertension - magnesium deficiency
Dysphagia - magnesium deficiency
Sensitivity to light - magnesium deficiency
Osteoporosis - magnesium or calcium deficiency
PET - magnesium deficiency
Frequent colds - zinc and Vitamin C deficiencies
Infertility, miscarriages and premature labor - zinc deficiency
Poor sense of smell and taste - zinc deficiency
The contraceptive pill and HRT can cause an increase in copper levels and zinc, magnesium and Vitamin B6 deficiencies
Bowel cancer - selenium deficiency
Mercury amalgams in teeth - selenium and glutathione deficiencies
Cardiomyopathies (Keshan Disease) - selenium deficiency
Heart attacks - vitamin E deficiency (Shute brothers)
Vegans - vitamin B12, zinc and (iron) Fe deficiencies
Gastrectomy - vitamin B12 and HCI (stomach acid) deficiencies
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy - vitamin B12 deficiency
Persistent infections - Vitamin C and zinc deficiencies

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Rosa said...

Thanks so much for sharing. Great information!

Kris said...

Great post. Love all of this quick reference information in one place. And I'm sure there can be a lot of reasons for a lot of these things, but it at least gives you something to check first.

I would note that white spots on arms is actually vitaligo - more people have it than anyone realizes - and that can be caused by hypothyroidism.

Pediatrician recommended health drink supplements said...

Thanks so much for sharing this article. Thank you.

Horlicks said...

Thanks for sharing an interesting post about Nutritional Deficiency. Great job! You have a nice blog. I will be back a lot Good luck with all you do!