Vitamins are an essential part of the human diet, and deficiencies can create a wide variety of problems, ranging from scurvy and dry hair to blindness. Generally, symptoms of a vitamin deficiency can be mistaken for other problems, so it is essential to get blood work done to determine the cause of your ailment. However, there are distinct conditions that are caused by specific vitamin deficiencies, and replacing these vitamins can often quickly erase the problem
Detail the problems that have caused suspicion of a vitamin deficiency, even symptoms that appear trivial, such as dry hair and skin, or discoloring of the nails. It is important to be thorough, as often subtle signs of vitamin deficiency go unnoticed for a long time, which can cause more serious problems. A deficiency in vitamin B-12, for example, can cause fatigue and weight loss, among other symptoms, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Research what vitamins can cause the symptoms you are experiencing. The National Institutes of Health offer detailed information about all essential vitamins, including symptoms of possible deficiency. If you experience a significant number of the symptoms described, consider supplementing that nutrient, and visit your doctor for any further treatment that may be necessary.
Analyze your diet, and see if you are at risk for any deficiency based on what you are eating. Nutrients such as vitamin C are found in fresh fruits, so a lack of these in your diet could cause such a condition.
Take a general multivitamin for a few weeks, and see if your symptoms start to disappear. Vitamins work by having a consistent concentration within the body, so it is important to wait a while before making a judgment about their efficacy. Consider taking a specific vitamin supplement if you have a good idea of what you are missing from looking at your diet and symptoms.
Visit your doctor to get tests for vitamin deficiency to know for sure. Many vitamin deficiencies have serious consequences, possibly even contributing to death in extreme cases. Your doctor will be able to conclusively tell you what you are missing, and even give you advice on how to get more of that deficient nutrient or nutrients.