Being deficient in vitamins increases your risk of many health problems:
Jan. 02, 2014
- Pregnancy complications. Pregnant women with folate deficiency may be more likely to experience complications, such as premature birth. A developing fetus that doesn't get enough folate from its mother can develop birth defects of the brain and spinal cord. If you're thinking of becoming pregnant, ask your doctor whether you should consider taking folic acid supplements so that your body's stores of folate will be enough to support your baby.
- Nervous system disorders. While vitamin B-12 is important for the production of red blood cells, it's also important for a healthy nervous system. Untreated, vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to neurological problems, such as persistent tingling in your hands and feet or problems with balance. It can lead to mental confusion and forgetfulness because vitamin B-12 is necessary for healthy brain function. Without treatment for vitamin B-12 deficiency, neurological complications can become permanent. Vitamin B-12 deficiency can cause these and other health problems before it leads to anemia.
- Scurvy. Vitamin C deficiency can lead to scurvy. Signs and symptoms of this rare disease include bleeding under the skin and around the gums.
- Lichtman MA, et al. Williams Hematology. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2010. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=69. Accessed Sept. 14, 2013.
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- Schrier SL. Diagnosis and treatment of vitamin B12 and folate deficiency. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 14, 2013.
- Dietary reference intakes (DRIs): Recommended intakes for individuals, vitamins. Institute of Medicine. http://iom.edu/Global/Search.aspx?q=dietary+reference+intakes+vitamin&output=xml_no_dtd&client=iom_frontend&site=iom&proxyreload=1&ie=UTF-8&ulang=&ip=188.8.131.52&access=p&sort=date:D:L:d1&entqr=3&entqrm=0&start=10. Accessed Sept. 14, 2013.
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/DGAs2010-PolicyDocument.htm. Accessed Sept. 14, 2013.
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