Avitaminosis: Causes and consequences

It’s no secret that vitamins and minerals are necessary for the normal functioning of the human body. Vitamins are a group of organic compounds that have high biological activity levels and are necessary for normal metabolism (and vital activity) of a person. Vitamins act as components for enzymes and hormones, as well as as a starting material for the synthesis of tissue hormones.

There is a widespread misconception that we can always get everything we need from food, but it is not entirely true. The truth is that our body can “hide” that something is missing for a long time – and the diseases connected with this shortage can develop without visible symptoms.One of such illnesses is spring avitaminosis. It is a disruption of normal vital processes in the body due to the prolonged absence of one or several vitamins.

So what causes spring avitaminosis? Of course, not the change of seasons by itself. Usually, vitamin deficiency can be caused by:

  • Flu, acute respiratory disease, tonsillitis and other similar winter diseases (read here how to distinguish them from each other)
  • Exhausting work conditions, not enough rest and too much stress
  • Lack of vitamins from fruits and vegetables that have been stored or transported for a long time
  • Depletion of vitamin reserves because of changes occuring in the body

At the same time, the development of vitamin deficiency is affected not only by the quantity of vitamins consumed, but also by their quality. Our bodies adapt to the deficit if they receive less vitamins. As a result, our bodies can get used to this shortage, which can be dangerous. That is why even with a sufficient number of vitamins in the diet, relying on its “memory”, the body can still restrict their absorption, and this way the “planned” replenishment of vitamin supplies in the summer and autumn does not occur.

Avitaminosis can lead to serious consequences. The lack of different vitamins can lead to different consequences.

  • Without vitamin A one can get skin diseases, hair becomes dull and brittle, immunity to infectious diseases decreases, bone growth slows down, vision deteriorates.
  • Deficiency of B vitamins leads to metabolic disorders, which cause hair loss as well as dryness and peeling of the skin
  • Deficiency of vitamin C causes a sharp decrease in immunity, increases or causes the bleeding of the gums, increases the risk of cardiovascular and oncological diseases.
  • Deficiency of vitamin D (which is often due to artificial lighting and lack of sunlight) contributes to the development of rickets in children, increasing the fragility of bones.
  • The lack of vitamin E increases the risk of inflammatory processes and hormonal disorders, and also reduces libido, affects the progression of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Deficiency of vitamin K leads to worsening of blood coagulation and bleeding.

Avitaminosis: Symptoms

To determine if you lack some vitamins, pay attention to the following signs:

  • Do you feel tired and/or sleepy all the time?
  • Is your concentration reduced?
  • Is memory worse?
  • Is there an exacerbation of chronic diseases?
  • Has the condition of the skin, hair and/or nails worsened?
  • Are your gums bleeding more often?
  • Did cracks appear in the corners of your mouth?
  • Do you notice cramps, numbness, muscle pain, poor coordination of movement?
  • Has you body odor changed or intensified?
  • Are you constantly feeling cold?

 

If you notice these symptoms, then it can signal vitamin deficiency. We advise you to see a doctor to clarify the treatment or confirm the diagnosis and do not wait for the symptoms to go away by themselves. A lack of vitamins means a metabolic disorder, and this can be dangerous.

Avitaminosis: Prevention

Of course, the most effective strategy is a balanced, varied diet. It is not only necessary to follow the principles of healthy eating, but you should also pay attention to the foods that you eat too much or little of. Ideally, you should consume as many whole grain cereals as possible and try to cook dishes that need minimal culinary processing. Prefer bread from wholemeal flour, and use unrefined butter. Including fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits should be mandatory. If it is a question of treatment and prevention of a lack of vitamin C, then you should eat more citrus fruit, as well as apples, currants, sauerkraut. For a truly balanced, vitamin-rich diet you should also include products of animal origin. The necessary daily amount of vitamin A is contained in eggs, beef liver, fish oil. Another great source of vitamins and calcium is sour dairy (yoghurts, quark).

However, getting enough vitamins only with food is often not easy – some foods are expensive, others are not tasty for you.. Therefore, it makes sense to take vitamin complexes (including synthetic vitamins, they are safe). If you take such complexes in therapeutic doses, they do not accumulate in the body and do not give side effects.

It is important not to forget that the main part of vitamins is absorbed only with food intake, that you can not take vitamins with coffee, carbonated water and milk in order to avoid inadequate digestion. Be careful not to exceed the recommended daily dose of vitamins! Overdose will negatively affect the general condition and may even lead to new diseases.

Fact: What causes seasonal exacerbations of diseases in spring

After a long period of cold weather and small amounts of sunshine, the reserves of our body are fairly depleted. Among other things, there is a weakening of immunity due to sudden changes in temperature and atmospheric pressure, and the stores of vitamins in the body are markedly reduced over the winter. As a result, even practically healthy people feel unwell: in the early spring, among other things, many feel is weak, sad and drowsy.