7 Common Nutrient Deficiencies: Know the Signs

The most important factor to being well and being healthy is meeting the nutrition levels as required by our body. Nutrients are essential components of our diet that are necessary for the proper functioning. They help in maintaining good health and preventing diseases. However, due to several reasons including poor dietary habits, lack of access to nutritious foods, malabsorption, and certain medical conditions, many people suffer from nutrient deficiencies. These deficiencies can have serious consequences on our health and well-being.

Symptoms of Nutrient Deficiency

Our body shows signs when there is any deficiency in nutrient levels. How we identify the red-flag scenarios is critical in meeting the nutrient demands of the body. Let us take a look at a few of the major symptoms.

Hair Loss

One major tell-tale sign of nutrient deficiency is the loss of hair. When you wake up from sleep and find strands of hair on your pillow, have frequent headaches, and feel dizzy often, it indicates a lack of iron levels in your body.

Burning Sensation in Different Parts of the Body

Dry skin, and a burning sensation, accompanied by constipation are sure signs of vitamin deficiency causing a lack of haemoglobin and damaging vital functions of the body like blood and oxygen supply. Eating vegetables rich in vitamins such as B and C may help overcome these problems and add to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of the body.

Prolonged Wounds

When wounds take time to heal, and the soreness and pain continue for a long, there is soreness and redness of the gums, it is a sign of nutrient deficiency.

7 Common Nutrient Deficiencies

In this section, we will learn about the seven common nutrient deficiencies and their signs −

Iron deficiency

Iron is essential for the production of haemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen in the blood. Symptoms of iron deficiency include fatigue, weakness, pale skin, shortness of breath, and difficulty in concentration.

Vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium and is essential for maintaining strong bones. Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include muscle weakness, bone pain, and a higher risk of fractures.

Vitamin B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 is important for the normal functioning of the nervous system and the formation of red blood cells. Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include fatigue, depression, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, and anaemia.

Calcium deficiency

Calcium is important for bone health, muscle function, and blood clotting. Symptoms of calcium deficiency include muscle cramps, loss of bone density, and a higher risk of fractures.

Magnesium deficiency

Magnesium is involved in several bodily functions, including energy production, muscle, and nerve function, and the regulation of blood pressure. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include muscle cramps, fatigue, and a higher risk of developing osteoporosis.

Folate deficiency

Folate, also known as vitamin B9, is important for the formation of red blood cells and the proper functioning of the nervous system. Symptoms of folate deficiency include fatigue, anaemia, forgetfulness, and mood changes.

Zinc deficiency

Zinc is important for immune function, wound healing, and DNA synthesis. Symptoms of zinc deficiency include a weakened immune system, delayed wound healing, and skin problems.


It is important to maintain a well-balanced diet consisting of a variety of nutrient-rich foods to prevent nutrient deficiencies. If you suspect that you may have a nutrient deficiency, it is important to consult a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Updated on: 31-Mar-2023


Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started