What is nutrition deficiency?
Nutrition deficiency (or malnutrition) happens when you don’t absorb or get the right amount of vitamins and minerals from your food. These vitamins and minerals are often called micronutrients. These are not produced by your body naturally and must be part of your diet. Nutritional deficiencies can lead to a variety of health problems.
Not absorbing or getting the right amount of micronutrients alters the body at the cellular functional level. Vitamin, mineral, antioxidant, and amino acid deficiencies directly affect the function of the immune system. Nutrition deficiency can lead to digestion problems, arthritis, chronic pain, stunted bone growth, and more.
Nutritional balance plays a key role in overall wellness, disease prevention, and the aging process.
Symptoms of nutritional deficiency
While most nutrient-deficient people show no symptoms, here are the most common symptoms that you might notice:
- Food cravings
- Hair loss
- Heart palpitations
- Menstrual issues
- Muscle weakness
- Numbness or tingling
- Pale skin
- Trouble breathing
- Trouble concentrating
- Weight loss
Vitamin deficiency anemia can also occur. This is when your body has a shortage of vitamins needed to produce enough healthy red blood cells. This often occurs due to B12 and folate deficiency or iron deficiency, all of which are required to make healthy blood. Not only do red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to your cells but they are essential for carrying vitamins and minerals too.
Vitamin D deficiency is also common with symptoms of fatigue and muscle weakness or pain. Vitamin D does exist in some foods, but the primary way people get it is through sunlight. If you are deficient or have concerns with sun exposure, vitamin D is often fortified in orange juice. It can also be supplemented. To know if vitamin D has been added to a product, take a look at the US Food and Drug Administration nutrition label on the packaging.
Deficiencies in vitamins B12, folate, copper, and zinc can also reduce the number of white blood cells in your system. This can increase your chances of infection and sickness.
While these symptoms may seem distressing, nutritional deficiency testing is simple and deficiencies themselves are often quickly cured.
How does BackFit test for micronutrients?
Nutrient-rich foods are often low in sugar, sodium, starches, bad fats, and calories. However, the micronutrient lab test panels measure more than 35 nutritional components, many more than are on our food labels.
If you are a vegan, vegetarian, or eat mostly a plant-based diet, you may be a prime candidate for micronutrient testing. Exact results can help you adjust or supplement what you might be missing.
BackFit’s comprehensive micronutrient test measures the following:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B9 (Folate)
- Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K
- Alpha Lipoic Acid
- Coenzyme Q10
- Vitamin E
- Fructose Sensitivity
- Glucose-Insulin Metabolism
This test is a simple blood draw. Lab test results return in no more than 3 weeks. Once we receive your results, our medical team will provide an easy-to-read graphical report. You will see exactly where you have micronutrient deficiencies. We’ll review the results with you and provide supplementation recommendations and dietary advice.
It’s important that we help you find good sources for the nutrients you’re missing. If the results are inconclusive, we may suggest further testing. At BackFit, we can also test cardiovascular function, hormone levels, allergies, and food sensitivity. Or we can provide you with a referral for any other likely tests you may need.