Sheremet Gashi, MD
Internal Medicine & Internal Medicine located in North Arlington, NJ
Vitamin deficiencies can cause serious health issues that can be difficult to diagnose, as well as symptoms like tiredness and malaise. In North Arlington, NJ, internist Dr. Sheremet Gashi offers comprehensive diagnostic and treatment options for vitamin deficiency in adults from throughout Bergen County.
What are the symptoms of vitamin deficiency?
Vitamin deficiencies can produce different symptoms depending on which vitamins are lacking. Different vitamins perform different essential functions for maintaining optimal health, and when one or more vitamins is lacking or at low levels, the health effects can be quite serious. Some of the more common signs and symptoms of vitamin deficiencies include:
- numbness or tingling
- slow-to-heal sores or mouth sores
- balance issues
- pale skin
- frequent colds or flu
- problems concentrating or memory problems
How can I tell if I have a vitamin deficiency?
Vitamin deficiencies can be identified with blood tests. Most general blood tests performed as part of annual physical exams don't check for specific vitamins. Instead, special testing must be ordered. The type of test that's ordered will be determined by a review of the patient's symptoms as well as the results of other lab tests or medical screenings. For instance, if a general blood test reveals anemia, a blood test for vitamin B-12 may be ordered since low levels of this important vitamin can interfere with the production of red blood cells, resulting in anemia. People with persistent fatigue or a general feeling of malaise may benefit from more extensive blood tests aimed at evaluating the levels of many types of vitamins and other micronutrients. Many vitamin deficiencies occur as a result of underlying diseases.
I take a multivitamin; do I still have to worry about vitamin deficiencies?
Yes. While multivitamins can play an important role in ensuring the body gets the vitamins and minerals it needs, they can't compensate for severe deficiencies. Plus, pills are broken down by the digestive system, which means lower levels of nutrients can be absorbed. Vitamin testing can reveal low levels of micronutrients that aren't being effectively “boosted” by oral supplements.
How are vitamin deficiencies treated?
Vitamin deficiencies often can be addressed with nutritional counseling combined with vitamin injections or IV administration of essential vitamins and nutrients. When a deficiency is caused by an underlying disease, treatment will focus on managing that disease to resolve the deficiency.