- Dr. Elisse Evans
Are You Nutrient Deficient?
Is it possible to be nutrient deficient in this tech-savvy, data at your fingertips, 21st century world? Did you know less than 16% of Americans consume the daily recommended vegetable intake per day? This is due to many reasons, fast food is on the rise, convenience foods are usually not based in fruits and vegetables, and our soils are becoming more and more stripped of nutrients.
Not only are our foods becoming less nutrient dense, but our lifestyles are more demanding than ever which causes increased demand of these basic nutrients.
Many common medications cause depletions of many essential vitamins: NSAIDs, Metformin, statins, anti-hypertensive medications, acid blockers, many antidepressants, and most antibiotics are nutrients blockers.
With the combination of pharmaceuticals, decreased vegetable intake, and overall diminished nutrient densities in food, millions of Americans have nutrient deficiencies.
Most common deficiencies:
You may have a vitamin D deficiency if you experience fatigue, muscle weakness, mental fog and brittle bones. Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common vitamin deficiencies in the nation. People at higher risk for vitamin D deficiency are people with darker skin, age 50 or older, if you have a gastrointestinal disorder or those living in areas with little sun exposure.
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, deficiencies are relatively common. If you have impaired wound healing, brittle skin, easy bruising, fatigue, depression, and gingivitis you may have a vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C is also utilized in the production of carnitine, thyroxin, norepinephine, dopamine, tryptophan, and serotonin.
Pyridoxine or B6 is an essential B vitamin. B6 is important for serotonin, dopamine, and melatonin production. Decreased levels of B6 can present as symptoms of depression, poor memory, low energy, decreased sleep quality, inability to maintain attention, and PMS symptoms. Pyridoxine is depleted with alcohol intake, stress, and some medications.
Anyone who has been to Origins Integrative Medicine knows we are big fans of B12! Why? B12 is an essential vitamin used in almost every cell in the body. Vitamin B12 is depleted in those taking aspirin, hormonal birth control, acetaminophen, and hydrocodone. Not only do some drugs deplete B12 but it can also be decreased when eating a vegan or vegetarian diet, being over age 50, in those who drink alcohol, and in people with digestive disorders. Signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency are fatigue, poor balance, memory problems, tingling in feet, depression and anxiety.
Magnesium is similar to vitamin B12 in the sense that it is widely needed in most biochemical reactions. Magnesium is great for headaches, anxiety, constipation, and sore muscles. You may have a magnesium deficiency if you have high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, difficulty sleeping, muscle cramps, and in some cases an irregular heart beat. Over half of the population is said to be magnesium deficient.
Melatonin isn't necessarily a vitamin, it's a hormone and a very important one! Signs of melatonin deficiency are poor sleep quality, confusion, heart disease, hot flashes, ADD/ADHD, fibromyalgia and chronic pain. Studies investigating the uses of melatonin are growing outside the sleep realm and new information is showing melatonin may be beneficial in some cancer therapies and for improving fertility.
One of the best ways to replete vitamin deficiencies are using injections and IV therapy. Why is this method preferred? Injections and IV vitamins are 100% absorbed, whereas oral supplements can be as low as 10% absorbed. This vast difference in absorption can be due to many factors: diet, genetics, gastrointestinal disorders and inflammation.
Curious to learn more about your specific nutrient levels? Schedule an appointment and we can discuss lab testing and creating a personalized treatment plan, IV, or injection.
This blog is not intended to provide a health diagnosis, treat a medical condition, or provide medical advice. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes.
All posts and information provided within this blog is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not to be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken solely on the contents of this blog. Please consult your doctor or a qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health and well-being or on any opinions expressed within this blog.
1. "Dirt Poor: Have Fruits and Vegetables Become Less Nutritious?" Scientific American. N.p., 25 Apr. 2011. Web. 18 May 2017.
2. "Melatonin." University of Maryland Medical Center. University of Maryland Medical Center, n.d. Web. 18 May 2017.
3. NutritonReview.org. "NutritonReview.org." Nutrition Review. N.p., 11 Dec. 2016. Web. 18 May 2017.
4. "Vitamin C - Nutritional Disorders." Merck Manuals Professional Edition. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 May 2017.
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