There are a number of general symptoms those experiencing nutritional deficiencies may see, including:
These symptoms can often be confused with other diagnoses and many will find out if nutrient deficiencies are the cause by undergoing various blood tests. However, before spending money on a diagnosis, there is a lot your face can reveal about the internal state of your body.
Here are 5 facial signs that you’re experiencing nutrient deficiency.
1. A pale complexion. There are a number of vitamin deficiencies that can lead to a loss of skin pigmentation and a notably paler complexion than normal. Restoring your body of these vitamins can help you regain healthy looking skin.
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, affects skin pigmentation because it helps produce collagen, which is an essential protein for a number of tissues in the body as well as healthy skin and nails.
Vitamin B-9, or folic acid, maintains the metabolism and helps supply energy production, which is an important role in developing red blood cells. Not getting enough folic acid can result in folate-deficiency anemia, which can lead to visibly paler skin.
Vitamin B-12, or cobalamin, helps produce hemoglobin and also break down nutrients for energy within tissues. Deficiency can result in pernicious anemia, which can make one lose skin pigmentation.
2. Puffy eyes. If you begin to notice that your eyes appear puffier than normal, this could be your face’s way of telling you that you are lacking iodine in the body.
Iodine deficiency can cause improper thyroid function, which can lead to an array of symptoms with one of those being puffy eyes.
The body doesn’t make iodine so it’s essential that it becomes a part of one’s diet to ensure proper development and metabolism.
To make sure that you’re getting enough iodine in your diet, some common sources include: cheese, cow or soy milk, eggs, frozen yogurt, ice cream, iodized table salt, seaweed, and multivitamins containing iodine.
3. Painful or bleeding gums. If you start to notice that your gums are becoming irregularly tender and painful or are bleeding, it might not be a dental issue if you’re hygienic. Instead, it could be a case of vitamin C deficiency.
Vitamin C is crucial for the body and inadequate vitamin C consumption can result in bleeding gums and if left untreated, can turn into gingivitis.
The body doesn’t store vitamin C long term because it’s water-soluble, which means that daily consumption is necessary to avoid deficiency.
According to the Institute of Medicine, it’s recommended that men over the age of 18 have 90 milligrams of vitamin C per day and women over 18 have 75 milligrams per day.
4. Hair issues. If you begin to notice that your hair feels brittle, you begin experiencing dandruff or just seems lifeless altogether, this could be your body’s way of telling you that you’re lacking Vitamin B7 (Biotin).
Biotin aids the body in metabolizing fats and proteins, which also helps with hair growth. Not only can a vitamin B7 deficiency result in lifeless hair, severe cases can result in hair loss and scaly red rashes around the eyes, nose, and mouth.
Biotin is essential to many body functions. The U.S. Food and Nutrition Board suggests that adult males and females 19 years and older should be consuming 30 mcg per day.
Many supplements provide the daily dietary requirements of biotin, but there are multiple food groups rich in the vitamin including eggs, almonds, whole grains, and meats.
5. Pale lips. If you begin to notice that your lips are lacking color and you start to have unusual cravings for things like ice or dirt, this may be your body’s way of telling you that have an iron deficiency.
Iron is critical for the body to produce hemoglobin yet iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States.
The signs of iron deficiency in the face aren’t just limited to the lips, the entire face can become pale when the body is low on iron.
There are a number of iron rich foods including red meat, pork, poultry, seafood, beans, dried fruit, and if those aren’t for you, there’s always the option of supplements.