The body converts beta carotene to vitamin A, therefore, deficiency symptoms are the same as those of vitamin A. The earliest symptom is night blindness. Prolonged deficiency leads to more advanced changes in eye tissue. Other potential signs of mild to moderate deficiency include rough, dry skin, loss of appetite, loss of hair luster, brittle nails, joint pain, and increased susceptibility to infection.
Symptoms of deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, drowsiness, feelings of apprehension, excessive thirst, irrational behavior, fatigue, muscle pain and weakness (usually of the lower limbs). Severe cases may lead to irregular heartbeat.
Sodium deficiency is rare because it is widely available in dietary sources. When it does occur, depleted levels have been associated with gas, nausea and vomiting, headache, memory impairment, diminished attention, muscle weakness, heart palpitations, lethargy, and confusion. Extreme cases can cause stupor, seizures, and possibly coma. The development of symptoms depends on the rate of sodium loss.
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
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.
The information presented here covers some of the nutrients that may be lowered when you take certain medications. The signs and symptoms listed can be caused by other conditions. If you have these signs and symptoms, it doesn't always mean you have low levels of these nutrients. Many things affect the level of nutrients, including your medical history, diet, and lifestyle, as well as how long you have been taking the medication. Please talk with your health care provider. He or she can best address your health care needs and see if you are at risk for low levels of any nutrients.
Ames BN. Micronutrient deficiencies: A major cause of DNA damage. Ann NY Acad Sci. 2000;889:87-106.
Felipez L, Sentongo T. Drug-Induced Nutrient Deficiencies. Pediatric Clinics of North America. 2009;56(5).
Fitzgerald MA. Drug-induced vitamin B12 deficiency. Nurse Pract. 2007;32(9):6-7.
Hvas AM, Nexo E. Diagnosis and treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency -- an update. Haematologica. 2006;91(11):1506-12.
Humphreys M. Potassium disturbances and associated electrocardiogram changes. Emerg Nurse. 2007;15(5):28-34.
Hussain SM, Sureshkumar KK, Marcus RJ. Recent advances in the treatment of hyponatremia. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2007;8(16):2729-41.
Kaplan NM. The dietary guideline for sodium: should we shake it up? NAm J Clin Nutr. 2000;71:1020-1026.
Liamis G, Mitrogianni Z, Liberopoulos EN, Tsimihodimos V, Elisaf M. Electrolyte disturbances in patients with hyponatremia. Intern Med. 2007;46(11):685-90.
Lin SH, Halperin ML. Hypokalemia: a practical approach to diagnosis and its genetic basis. Curr Med Chem. 2007;14(14):1551-65.
Rakel: Textbook of Family Medicine, 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011.
Reynolds E. Vitamin B12, folic acid, and the nervous system. Lancet Neurol. 2006;5(11):949-60.
Stahl W, Heinrich U, Aust O, Tronnier H, Sies H. Lycopene-rich products and dietary photoprotection. Photochem Photobiol Sci. 2006;5(2):238-42.
Svenson J. Neurologic disease and vitamin B12 deficiency. Am J Emerg Med. 2007;25(8):987.e3-4.
Voutilainen S, Nurmi T, Mursu J, Rissanen TH. Carotenoids and cardiovascular health. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;83(6):1265-71.