Osteoporosis (bone loss) is the primary disease associated with chronic calcium deficiency; it may be associated with bone pain and spinal deformity. Depleted levels can also cause muscle cramps, irregular heartbeat, and depression.
Depleted levels of iron may lead to anemia and weakened immune function. Symptoms include dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, pale skin color, and possibly irregular heartbeat.
Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)
Low levels of folic acid have been linked to anemia, heart disease, and birth defects. Symptoms may include fatigue, mouth sores, swollen tongue, and poor growth.
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Obvious symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are rare because it takes years to develop complications associated with long-term depletion of this nutrient. Irritability, weakness, numbness, anemia, loss of appetite, headache, personality changes, and confusion are some of the signs and symptoms associated with vitamin B12 depletion. Low levels of this vitamin may also be associated with an increased risk of colon cancer, heart disease, brain disorders, and birth defects.
Vitamin D deficiency leads to abnormal bone formation (rickets) in children and softening of the bones (osteomalacia) in adults. Vitamin D deficiency interferes with calcium absorption, leading to deficiency of that nutrient, as well as the associated symptoms such as increased risk of fractures, osteoporosis (bone loss), and muscle weakness. More recently, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to compromised immunity, cancer, and other chronic conditions. Because this nutrient is fat soluble, prolonged periods of deficiency are required to produce these symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of zinc deficiency include loss of appetite or sense of taste, growth retardation, skin changes, and increased susceptibility to infection.
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