Nutritional Deficiencies Your Body Can Show You

Published: October 21, 2012

Clues about possible nutritional deficiencies can often be spotted by simply making a close inspection of a few areas on your body.

Examine Your Tongue (Low Thyroid or B Vitamin)

Look in the mirror and stick out your tongue.

Do you see "scalloped edges" along both sides where you can see the indentations from your teeth? This can indicate a low thyroid.

Does your tongue have a white coating that makes it hard to see the bumpy texture of your taste buds? It could be vitamin B deficiency.

Are the taste buds hard to see because your tongue is smooth and shiny? That can mean low iron or low vitamin B12.

Look at Your Eyebrows (Low Thyroid)

Are the outer 1/3 of your eyebrows gone? Think low thyroid.

Check Your Fingers (Low Thyroid)

Do your rings tend to feel tight after wearing them for a while because your fingers start to get puffy? Take a multivitamin with at least 50 mg of vitamin B6 a day. Fluid retention reflected as puffy fingers can also indicate a low thyroid.

Be aware that low thyroid can be a serious health issue. In addition to its fatiguing effect, low thyroid is also associated with a 69% increased risk of heart attack and a three-fold risk of miscarriages! Fortunately, low thyroid is easily addressed. You just need to be careful not to overlook that you may have it, as half the people who have low thyroid aren't aware of it because their blood tests during medical checkups show up as so-called "normal." (To learn more, see "Thyroid Hormone Deficiency — An Overview.")

Breast Tenderness (Low Iodine)

Are your breasts tender or do they have recurrent cysts (fibrocystic breast disease)? This often reflects an iodine deficiency. The fringe benefit of taking the iodine (6-12.5 mg a day) is that not only will the breast cysts often resolve, but it will give your thyroid a boost, which will increase your energy and help your lose weight if you are dieting.

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. His newest book (June 10, 2024) is You Can Heal From Long COVID. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.

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