Avitaminosis: Symptoms and Prophylaxis
When colds come, and — more importantly — when they disappear in spring, some people experience a deterioration in the overall state of their health. Tiredness, sleepiness, various manifestations of depression, brittle hair and skin peeling are typically a result of avitaminosis. However, once we’ve made this diagnosis ourselves we can begin to fight the problem.
Family doctor, C.M.S. Getman Olesya Ivanovna, whom we asked to clarify this issue, told us that avitaminosis is an illness that isn’t just connected to winter colds or a seasonal lack of vitamins. As a practicing physician, Dr. Getman has encountered many cases of autumn avitaminosis that shouldn’t have occurred, as our body absorbs many different vitamins and nutrients at this time of year. The most common reason for spring avitaminosis is
Signs of avitaminosis include diarrhea or, conversely, constipation, a burning sensation, convulsive muscle contractions, tingling in the body, drowsiness, low mood and an increased tendency toward depression. External signs of avitaminosis are dryness and peeling of the skin, pale milky coffee- colored skin instead of natural healthy rosiness, brittle hair and nails, and even herpes.
Such symptoms can easily be confused with a deterioration of your appearance simply resulting from, for instance, long exposure to cold or wind. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have avitaminosis. In order to make a diagnosis of insufficient vitamins or minerals in the body, and to replenish them, Dr. Getman recommends getting a general blood test and following the recommendations of your doctor.
A consultation, in this case, is extremely important, as trying to replace the lack of vitamins and minerals on your own rarely helps. The likely scenario is your attempted intake won’t help your body — it’ll have no effect or cause a “placebo effect”.
The worst-case scenario is that you trigger an allergic reaction or ingest unnecessary elements to your body. Vitamins can be purchased in any pharmacy, without a prescription, and you can buy them without seeking medical advice. There’s nothing harmful in vitamin capsules, according to doctors. You can buy the usual Vitamin C you’ve taken since childhood, or you might find some newly-marketed remedy that’s helpful for you. However, if you do have the chance to see a qualified specialist, take the opportunity, as you’ll significantly improve the likelihood of boosting your overall health. The intake of a vitamin and mineral complex is particularly advisable for people recovering from a virus or any surgical intervention, as such cases require strengthening your immune system by feeding it beneficial substances.
A balanced, enriched, and rational diet will help you to avoid avitaminosis in the first place. Such a diet should include these five components:
Fruit and vegetables. These don’t have to be seasonal, so don’t limit yourself to cabbage, beetroot and canned fruits in winter. Naturally such foods are useful in the winter season too, but a healthy body requires fruits and vegetables that have recently absorbed the heat of sunrays. Try to use tomatoes, cucumbers, and greens that are grown in an organic way (today’s farming technologies enable this). Also, try to use more tropical fruits and winter sorts of pears and apples.
Cereals and grains. Increase your consumption of cereals, as these are rich in B vitamins, which manifests themselves in the human body through clear skin and an elevated However, don’t consume too much white rice, as this can be harmful to people with a high glycemic index and consumption can increase blood sugar levels.
Dairy and yogurt products. These are rich in vitamins and microelements, and are healthy for people who don’t have any allergies.
Fats. During the winter our body is obliged to produce more energy. We all have to consume more vegetables and animal fats in the winter to replenish our energy levels. 80 percent of the entire quantity of fats entering our body should be of vegetable origin (nut oils, olives, corn, sunflower) and 20 percent of animal origin. If you eat porridge, then try to enrich them with butter and oils. You can also add them to your salads and use them to make different sauces and dips.
Meat. Meat is an essential component of the winter diet as it is a rich source of much-needed protein. Modern medicine has encountered frequent cases where the human body has an intolerance to cow protein, but the abundance of choice in stores still allows us to select an appropriate type of meat. A portion of meat as big as a human hand should definitely be present in your daily nutrition. Otherwise, you risk developing
In addition to the above-mentioned, enrich your diet in winter with products rich in antioxidants (quercetin and resveratrol), such as apples, pineapples, tomatoes, grapes, and citrus fruits.
Avitaminosis itself is not dangerous for health, but you should pay close attention to its underlying cause and recognize how it manifests itself. For instance, it can be caused by disturbances to the gastrointestinal tract and so you need to treat this specific problem — not something else. If you do suspect avitaminosis in your body, discuss it with your doctor as soon as possible.