Signs of nutrition deficiency and how to fix it

Signs of nutrition deficiency and how to fix it

Strolling past the drug store shelves, looking at the flashy labels and claims while also wondering “Am I getting enough nutrients?” Big containers with bright coloured pills and even candy-like gummies, difficult to resist the appeal of these, right? But if you are generally healthy and also adapt a healthy diet rich in nutrients along with a regular workout regime there would be no need to take pills.


Our body requires different nutrients to function properly. Nutrition deficiency occurs when body does not get enough nutrients like minerals, vitamins or protein, or if it does not absorb the nutrients. Chronic deficiency of nutrients may result in illness. Primary nutritional deficiency occurs when one does not get vital nutrients and intake consistently falls below the recommended requirement. This can be resolved by adding foods rich in the deficient nutrients or by taking supplements. Secondary nutritional deficiency occurs when body is limited by certain medical conditions or illness and is not able to absorb nutrients. 


Human body needs vitamins, minerals, protein, fats, water, dietary fiber and carbohydrates every day for proper function of the body. When you eat a healthy meal, you might think your body will get all the benefits of the food. Generally, body absorbs the nutrients through the small intestine and partially digested food works its way through the digestive system. Blood carries nutrients such as protein and calcium to the bones, muscles and other organs. But several conditions may hinder this process.  

But there is a certain condition called malabsorption syndrome wherein your body will not be able to take in many of the nutrients from the food you take. Reasons for this may include lactose intolerance, certain intestinal disorders like celiac disease, fibrosis and other illnesses.


1. Vitamins

    Folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, Thiamine, Vitamin D and Niacin (Vitamin B3) are some of the essential vitamins that the body needs for day to day functioning. Vitamin D deficiency is common since few foods are rich in it. As we age, we get progressively less efficient in absorbing Vitamin B12, which is crucial to healthy nerves and red blood cell production. Symptoms of vitamin deficiency include brittle hair and nails, hair loss, scaly patches in the skin, mouth ulcers etc. These symptoms are body’s way of communicating potential vitamin deficiencies. Folate plays an essential role in creating red blood cells., fetal development and DNA. Folate deficiency is more common in pregnant women. Vitamin B12 helps the body to create healthy red blood cells, and deficiency of this vitamin may result in dizziness, fatigue, weight loss etc.

    2. Proteins

      Protein isn't only needed to bulk up your muscles or tone your body. It is actually one of the most essential elements of muscle development, bone density, muscle mass, and lean tissues. And this is just the start. If your muscles are a home, then proteins are the bricks. Protein is an essential nutrient to pair with other food so that the food gets absorbed by the body. Combining protein with other foods helps the body to get maximum benefits of the food you eat.  The most common sign of protein deficiency is swelling (edema). Mood changes, brittle nails and hair, fatigue, weakness, and slow healing of injuries may be a few other symptoms.

      Nutritional bars are a convenient way to get protein into your diet. Whey91 Protein Bars are clean and dense with protein and nutrition. Each Whey91 Protein Bar gives you 20g of Premium Protein. It is also powered with immunity enhancing Lactoferrin, a super protein found in mother’s milk and bovine milk.

      3. Fats

      Fat is a source of essential fatty acids which body cannot make by itself. Some amount of fat is required as a part of healthy, balanced diet. Fat helps our body to absorb Vitamins A, D, K and E. These vitamins are fat soluble and hence can be absorbed by the body with the help of fats. Body needs dietary fats to make hormones including testosterone and estrogen. Dietary fat deficiency may put one at the risk of inflammatory bowel disease, cystic fibrosis etc.

      4. Dietary Fiber

      Dietary fiber is mainly found in wholegrain cereals, fruits and vegetables. Fiber is mainly carbohydrate and keeps the digestive system healthy. Health conditions linked to a low fiber diet include; constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diverticulitis, heart disease and some cancers (including bowel).

      5. Minerals

      Calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc and the five main minerals body requires. Calcium promotes bone growth and muscle strength. Calcium deficiency may cause brittle bones or low bone density.

      6. Carbohydrates

      Carbohydrates help in providing energy to the body and in regulating blood glucose. They are found in a range of foods; bread, beans, corn, cherry pie, milk etc.  The healthiest source of carbohydrates is found in minimally processed or unprocessed whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans. They promote good health by providing vitamins, minerals and a host of phytonutrients. Deficiency of carbohydrates ay cause headaches, fatigue, weakness, difficulty in concentration, nausea and other vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

      7. Water

      Water helps to regulate body temperature, protects the body tissues and organs, carries oxygen and nutrients to cells, and detoxifies the body by flushing out toxins through the kidneys. If the body does not have sufficient water, it results in dehydration and this can cause symptoms including dizziness, headache, fatigue and more. If you are feeling thirsty, it means you are mildly dehydrated, so the best way to beat dehydration is to drink water even before you get thirsty.



      1. Drink water and stay hydrated.
      2. Have a healthy and balanced diet.
      3. Eat lean protein.
      4. Limit your intake of sugary foods and beverages.
      5. Measure and watch your weight.
      6. Get enough and quality sleep every day.
      7. Stay physically active. Have a regular workout routine.
      8. Get regular checkups. This is important even when you feel healthy.

      When body does not get enough nutrients, it might lead to infections, osteoporosis and more. A healthy balanced diet combined with the regular workout routine is necessary for overall wellbeing. Avoid crash diets or fad diets as they may cause nutritional deficiency due to lack of minerals and vitamins.



      1. 2011 May; 3(5): 574–603. Published online 2011 May 11. doi: 10.3390/nu3050574
      2. What is Malabsorption Syndrome?, Medically Reviewed by Minesh Khatri, MD on March 25, 2023,
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