A major problem that exists in America today is the growing number of people who see a doctor for symptoms that are actually caused by vitamin or mineral deficiency. Since most medical doctors don’t recognize or acknowledge nutritional deficiencies, these patients are usually prescribed drugs which fail to address the underlying cause–nutritional deficiency. Problems like allergies, high blood pressure, arthritis, asthma, memory loss, depression, fatigue, stomach ulcers and sleep problems are often the result of nutritional deficiencies.
In addition to serving as major constituents of our blood, muscles, nerve cells, bones and teeth, minerals are required for the assimilation of vitamins, the digestion and absorption of foods, maintaining pH balance, delivering nutrients to cells, and much more. Without minerals, we would die! In fact, many experts agree that one of the most dangerous health crises in America today is the lack of minerals in our diets. For decades, modern farming techniques have been leeching the minerals from our soils, and instead of replacing them with healthy, natural nutrients, they force crops to grow with chemicals and unnatural fertilizers. (For more information on this, read my article “Organic Foods: Is Better Nutrition Worth Paying More For?”)
This is a health crisis for you and me, but ideal for drug manufacturers, whose marketing skills are so incredible, they have managed to convince a major portion of the U.S. population that they need drugs rather than nutrients if they wish to be healthy. They make hundreds of billions of dollars every year selling harmful drugs to Americans. (For more information regarding the seriousness of this matter, check out my article: “Dangers of FDA-Approved Drugs: Part One”)
Another reason for nutritional deficiencies is the enormous amount of processed food in our diets, which is at its best–“fake” food cooked up in a laboratory that (even though the label may indicate otherwise) provides no utilizable nutrients for our bodies. The purpose of eating food is to obtain nutrients and energy. Our bodies were built for nutrition just like cars are built for gasoline, oil, transmission fluid.. When you don’t provide your car with these essentials, it breaks down, right? Same principle applies for your body. The only difference is that the human body has many internal emergency backup systems that enable you to keep going for quite some time, even in the absence of the essential requirements.. As opposed to your car, for example, which stops immediately when it is out of fuel. The effects of deficiency often take years to manifest into health problems like cancer, heart disease and arthritis, but that doesn’t make the deficiency any less serious. The good news is that you can correct the deficiencies and eradicate the problems in most cases. Here are a few common health symptoms caused by deficiencies:
Mineral Deficiency Symptoms
Calcium deficiency symptoms include muscle spasms, softening of bone, insomnia, hypertension and colitis.
Chromium deficiency symptoms include fatigue, memory loss and muscle loss, as well as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity.
Copper deficiency symptoms include anemia, constipation and difficulty breathing.
Iodine deficiency symptoms include low vitality, nervousness, goiter, dry hair and/or skin and irritability.
Iron deficiency symptoms include listlessness and fatigue, irritability, heart palpitations, dizziness, susceptibility to infections, anemia and pale color.
Magnesium deficiency symptoms include tingling lips, poor insulin management, confusion, mood and behavioral disturbances, insomnia, high blood pressure, rapid pulse, nervousness and tremors, angina, ADHD, asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, epilepsy, gastrointestinal problems, kidney stones, migraines, nausea, osteoporosis, PMS and respiratory problems.
Manganese deficiency symptoms include skeletal changes, convulsions, ringing in the ears, dizziness, epilepsy, nerve disorders and memory loss.
Molybdenum deficiency has been linked to mouth and gum disorders, cancer, bone loss and impotence (in older men).
Phosphorus deficiency symptoms include weakness, weight loss, appetite loss and nervous disorders.
Potassium deficiency symptoms include nervous disorders, constipation, fluctuations in heartbeat, nausea and vomiting, muscle weakness, spasms and cramps, water retention, irritability and dry skin.
Silicon deficiency may lead to psoriasis and other skin problems. It is also needed to maintain strong bones and flexible arteries and immune system function, and plays a major role in preventing heart disease. Silicon counteracts the effects of aluminum in the body and is believed to be important in preventing Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis. Silicon levels decrease with age.
Stomach ulcers often indicate a lack of sodium, which can be caused by blood pressure medications, diuretics or too strict of salt regulations in the diet.
Zinc deficiency is known to cause acne, ADHD, enlarged prostate, canker sores, impaired insulin management, fatigue, ear infections, eczema, herpes simplex, impaired immune function, infertility, lupus, macular degeneration, osteoporosis, peptic ulcers and rheumatoid arthritis.
Vitamin Deficiency Symptoms
– Vitamin B1 deficiency has been linked to memory loss, depression, dementia and heart disease.
– Vitamin B2 deficiency is known to cause migraine headaches and anemia, among other problems.
– Vitamin B3 deficiency has been linked to high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and schizophrenia.
– Vitamin B6 deficiency has been found to contribute to asthma, PMS, mood disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other health problems.
– Folic acid deficiency has been linked to anemia, arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, cervical dysplasia, gingivitis, kidney disease and multiple sclerosis.
– Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause anemia, dementia, hepatitis, mouth ulcers, multiple sclerosis and sleep disorders.
Choline deficiency may result in fatty buildup in the liver, cardiovascular problems, gastric ulcers, high blood pressure, inability to digest fats, kidney and liver impairment, stunted growth and impaired brain and memory function.
Vitamin C deficiency is a common problem known to cause angina, arthritis, asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, cervical dysplasia, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, eczema, fatigue, glaucoma, gout, hepatitis, herpes, high cholesterol, immune dysfunction, infertility, irritable bowel syndrome, lupus, macular degeneration, migraines, pancreatitis, Parkinson’s disease, periodontal disease, psoriasis, respiratory problems, stroke and ulcerative colitis (among others).
Vitamin D deficiency may cause osteoporosis, thyroid malfunction, blood clotting issues, poor appetite, insomnia, visual problems, diarrhea, and a burning sensation in the throat and mouth.
Essential Fatty Acids
Deficiency of linoleic acid can lead to acne, personality changes, gallbladder dysfunction, cardiovascular problems, prostate inflammation, excessive thirst, arthritis, miscarriage, kidney problems, muscle tremors, skin disorders, sterility, tingling in extremities, learning disorders, poor vision, poor motor coordination, and long-term deficiency can cause death. In fact, the body requires linoleic acid more than any of the other 45 known essential nutrients.
Inositol deficiency can lead to arteriosclerosis, hair loss, high cholesterol, irritability, mood swings and skin eruptions.
Vitamin K deficiency may cause abnormal or internal bleeding, osteoporosis, liver problems and impaired infection resistance.
Anti-aging Manual: The Encyclopedia of Natural Health; Joseph B. Marion; 2005
The Hundred Year Lie; Randall Fitzgerald; 2006
Prescription for Nutritional Healing; Phyllis A. Balch, CNC and James F. Balch, M.D.; 2000
Spiritual Nutrition; Gabriel Cousens, M.D.; 2005
Selling Sickness; Ray Moynihan and Alan Cassels; 2005