Vitamin deficiencies can develop slowly over a number of years.
If your body doesn’t get enough of the nutrients it needs it can cause serious health issues.
This includes vitamin deficiency anaemia, a condition that occurs when your body doesn’t have enough vitamins needed to produce sufficient quantities of red blood cells.
These are essential for carrying oxygen from the lungs to all over your body.
Vitamin deficiency anaemia can be caused by eating a diet lacking in vitamins, or if your body is unable to properly absorb nutrients from food.
Common symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, pale skin and irregular heartbeats.
Additionally, it can also cause weight loss, numbness in hands and feet, muscle weakness, personality changes, unsteady movements and mental confusion or forgetfulness.
Here are three key nutrients you could be missing out on, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Also known as vitamin B9, it is a nutrient found largely in fruits and leafy green vegetables.
One reason it may not be absorbed is because of diseases of the small intestine, such as coeliac disease, or if it has been surgically removed.
Additionally alcohol and anti-seizure medications can also mean you don’t get as much as you need.
This vitamin is found mainly in meat, eggs and milk, meaning that if you follow a strict vegan diet you may not absorb enough.
It can also happen because of issues with the small intestine – like above – or if you suffer from Crohn’s disease or have abnormal bacterial growth.
A deficiency could also be caused by consuming tapeworm from contaminated fish.
The most common cause, however, is a lack of intrinsic factor – a protein meant to escort B12 through the small intestine for absorption – which means it leaves the body as waste.
This deficiency can develop if you don’t get enough vitamin C from foods such as oranges, kale, red peppers and broccoli.
It can be caused by activities, such as smoking, which prevent your body from efficiently absorbing the nutrient.