Vitamin blog

Vitamin deficiency in women

Our bodies are fascinating, they help us do all kinds of things, from working to having fun, to even making babies! And because of our busy lives, we may forget about our bodies’ most essential need; a well-balanced diet.

In this article we will explore five nutrients women tend to be lacking, we will also help you identify symptoms and signs of their deficiencies.

Iron

Every month, our bodies need to make up for the blood we lose during menstruation. To make new blood, we need iron. That’s basically why women need more iron than men. Additionally, pregnant women are especially vulnerable to low iron as they support a growing baby.

Signs and symptoms of low iron may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Brittle nails
  • Pale skin
  • Headache
  • A sore tongue
  • Cravings for ice or dirt

Women need about 18 milligrams per day, and more than that if they’re pregnant. Iron is naturally found in:

  • Red meat
  • Liver
  • Fish
  • Beans
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Dried fruits

Iodine

Iodine plays a vital role in metabolism, it is necessary for the thyroid, the gland that regulates all metabolic processes in our bodies. Women in particular are more likely to have thyroid issues. In fact, women need about 150 micrograms of iodine per day, and more than that if they’re pregnant. Iodine deficiency is very serious for pregnant women and may cause developmental problems in the fetus.

Signs and symptoms of iodine deficiency may include:

  • weight gain
  • fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin and hair
  • Sensitivity to cold

To avoid iodine deficiency, make sure you consume iodine-rich food, examples include:

  • Seafood, fish, shellfish
  • Dairy (milk, yogurt)
  • Beef liver
  • Chicken
  • Eggs

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is the vitamin we get naturally from exposure to the sun, its main function is to keep the bones healthy. but it also plays other vital roles in the body, like strengthening immunity and boosting mood.

To get enough vitamin D, we need to be in the sun for 15-30 minutes each day, depending on our skin color, where we live and the time of the year. That’s why many of us miss out on this vitamin.    

Women need about 600 international units (IUs) of vitamin D per day.

Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include:

  • Fatigue
  • Bone pain
  • Low mood
  • Hair loss
  • Frequent illness
  • Anxiety

In addition to sun exposure, you can get vitamin D from:

  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Beef liver
  • Fortified milk

Calcium

It’s important for women to pay extra attention to calcium, especially as they age. usually, women with low calcium levels don’t realize they have a problem until they experience a bone fracture. low calcium levels lead to osteoporosis, a health problem older women commonly face.

Your daily need of calcium is about 1,000 milligrams, and more than that if you’re over 50.

Symptoms and signs of low calcium can easily go unrecognized. those include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Muscle spasms
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Numbness in the legs, arms, or around the mouth

Calcium is naturally found in plenty of food items, including:

  • Dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese)
  • Seeds (sesame, chia)
  • Sardines and salmon
  • Beans
  • Leafy green vegetables

Folate

Folate, folic acid, or vitamin B9 deficiency is common in women. Folate is essential for forming new blood cells and for a healthy nervous system. women who are planning to have a baby should take adequate amounts of folate to protect the growing baby from potential neurological deficits.

The daily need for folate is about 400 to 600 micrograms. 

The symptoms of folate deficiency are often subtle. They include:

  • Fatigue
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Muscle weakness
  • Headaches
  • Numbness and tingling in the feet and hands
  • Depression

Sources of folate include:

  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Brown rice
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Whole grains
  • Liver
  • Fresh fruits

In the end, we would like to emphasize that the information in this article is for educational purposes only. it’s necessary to consult with your doctor before adding any new supplement to your routine.

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