Modern medicine has brought us wonderful ways, like blood tests and x-rays, to peer into our bodies and see what’s going on inside. These solutions are great for diagnosing all kinds of illnesses, but did you know your body offers clues when it’s lacking essential nutrients?  

The human body is an expert in telling us what we need. We can spot what our bodies lack and address the issue before they worsen by tuning into these signs.

Gum bleeding

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Bleeding gums are often due to dental diseases. However, suppose a dental professional has ruled out gum disease, and you are not using excessive pressure when brushing. In that case, you may have low vitamin C levels.

Known as scurvy, severe vitamin C deficiency can even lead to tooth loss and symptoms like joint pains and tiredness. Although it’s rare today, scurvy is more common among those who smoke and people who consume very little food. 

The NHS in the UK recommends a diet rich in fruits and vegetables to prevent severe vitamin C deficiency.

Pale skin

It can be challenging to identify paleness among those with darker complexions, but a lack of redness on the inside of your lips, gums and eyelids may signal low iron levels. Other symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia include shortness of breath, tiredness and weakened immune system.

Women are more likely to become deficient, as well vegetarians and vegans. Sources of iron include dark leafy greens, red meat and tofu.

Swollen tongue 

A swollen, pale, and very smooth tongue can also signify iron deficiency. Other oral symptoms include a dry, burning mouth.

Muscle twitching

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Seemingly random leg jolts and other muscle spasms can be a sign of low magnesium. Magnesium is used to turn food into energy, so it’s essential to get enough through sources such as spinach, nuts and wholemeal bread.

Bumpy upper arms  

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Many dry, pimple-like bumps on your upper arms and thighs are often symptomatic of a harmless skin condition called keratosis pilaris. It is sometimes associated with a lack of vitamin A. Good sources include dairy products or yellow, red and dark green vegetables.

The takeaway

Our bodies have many weird and wonderful ways of telling us when something’s wrong. These clues may provide some insight into how the body expresses deficiency, but rectifying the problem through a healthy diet and supplements where required is what matters. Of course, if you’re worried you may be deficient in a vitamin or mineral, consulting a medical professional is the best port of call.

This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.