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Preventing vitamin deficiencies: Advice for seasonal wellness

Preventing vitamin deficiencies: Advice for seasonal wellness Do you need to take vitamins in the spring (photo: Freepik)

Spring is already on the calendar, but many people may be feeling fatigue and depression. Therefore, people often attribute this to vitamin deficiency and take vitamin supplements. However, this is not entirely correct, according to the website of the medical community Take Care of Yourself.

What you need to know

Doctor-dietitian Hanna Parkhomenko explained that "spring avitaminosis" is a myth of Soviet medicine.

"There are deficiency states that are considered typical in the population and more likely for certain groups of people. For example, for women. However, they are extremely rarely associated with the season," the doctor notes.

The only condition that can be associated with seasonality is vitamin D deficiency.

Since the body produces vitamin D only under the influence of the sun, we often have a deficiency of it in autumn, winter, and early spring. This deficiency is typical for both men and women.

There are recommendations to take a prophylactic dose of vitamin D. Typically, this is about 400 international units (IU) for all adults from October to April.

Common deficiencies

Other common deficiencies include iron and magnesium deficiency.

Iron deficiency is more common in women. However, there is no correlation between the season and this condition. Signs of this deficiency may include persistent fatigue, hair loss, brittle nails, pale skin, headaches, and shortness of breath, especially during physical activity.

If you lack iron, it is important to find the cause. This can happen due to unbalanced nutrition.

Potential causes include:

  • pregnancy
  • heavy menstruation
  • stomach ulcer
  • taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.

One significant consequence of iron deficiency is the development of anemia. Iron deficiency is usually corrected by taking appropriate supplements.

Hanna Parkhomenko adds that after treatment, it is important to maintain a normal level of iron to prevent relapses:

  • regularly include iron-rich foods in your diet: offal (especially from poultry), veal, and beef, up to 350-450 g/week
  • separate food and drinks such as coffee, tea, chicory drinks, and cocoa from each other by at least 40 minutes or more
  • avoid excessive, intense physical activity
  • undergo a health check-up annually
  • if you have complaints about the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), consult a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. The condition of the GIT directly affects the effectiveness of iron absorption

Magnesium deficiency more often develops due to quite specific conditions:

  • significant burns
  • chronic diarrhea
  • excessive urination, which occurs with uncontrolled diabetes
  • celiac disease
  • certain medications
  • alcohol abuse

Common symptoms of magnesium deficiency include cramps, severe fatigue, weakness, and muscle spasms. Treatment of deficiency also requires magnesium supplements. But prevention is important, so the dietitian advises:

  • eat balanced and regular meals according to the healthy eating plate
  • systematically consume dried nuts, nut pastes, legumes, and whole grains
  • try to manage stress
  • choose what specifically helps you
  • annually undergo a health check-up with a family doctor

Earlier, we reported on the vitamins that men should take after the age of 50.

This material is for informational purposes only and should not be used for medical diagnosis or self-treatment. Our goal is to provide readers with accurate information about symptoms, causes, and methods of detecting diseases. RBС-Ukraine is not responsible for any diagnoses that readers may make based on materials from the resource. We do not recommend self-treatment and advise consulting a doctor in case of any health concerns.