25+ Signs of Nutritional Deficiencies

While eating a healthy diet can give the body all the nutrition the body needs, physical signs on the body such as chicken skin on the upper arms (keratosis pilaris) or dark rings under the eyes can all point to vitamin or nutritional  deficiencies.
I’ve experienced this first hand with my son. He has had keratosis ever since he was a toddler. My doctor recommended alpha hydroxy lotion, but I declined and researched diet-related options instead. That’s when I found out that keratosis pilaris is related to both an essential fatty acid deficiency and wheat gluten.
I eliminated gluten from his diet, which we needed to do anyway to help with his colitis (read more about why my family is gluten free and why you should consider it too), and started supplementing with fermented cod liver oil. After a month or so, most of his keratosis has been eliminated.
Even I’ve had issues with nutrition deficiencies. I’ve struggled with leg and foot cramps most of my life, and usually took potassium to try to remedy it. I later found out that leg cramps are usually due to a magnesium deficiency – and with supplementation I’ve been able to get my leg cramps under control.
So what are the common signs of a vitamin and nutritional deficiencies? Check out this list from PositiveMed.

25+ Signs of Nutritional Deficiencies


  • Stretch marks
  • Hyperkeratosis
  • Spontaneous bleeding
  • Dry skin with plugged hair follicles
  • Yellow palms
  • Chicken skin on the upper arms
  • Muscle cramps
  • Brisk knee reflexes


  • Irregular heart beat
  • High blood pressure
  • Thyroid swelling


  • White spots on nails
  • Soft or brittle nails
  • Bitten nails
  • Ridges on nails


  • Greasy, read, scaly skin
  • Dermatitis around nose


  • Cataracts
  • Bags or dark rings under eyes
  • Blue eyes and premature grey hair


  • Pale, fissured tongue
  • Sore, painful tongue
  • Sore, burning tongue and peeling of lips
  • Swollen tongue with lateral teeth indentations
  • Painful, sore tongue with smooth appearance
  • Cracked lips

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