Just as your computer will tell you when it needs an update, your body has its own ways to tell you that it needs a little bit of help. Here are a few warning signs that your body can give you and some ideas about supplementation that will help you reboot for better health.
1) Muscle Cramps If you are cramping earlier in workouts or getting a charley horse at night the problem is likely a magnesium deficiency. Sometimes chocolate cravings can be another indicator. Magnesium is one of the most critical minerals required by your body for optimal function. Adults should be getting 300 to 400 mg every day.
2) Hair Loss If you are losing hair it could be as a result of low levels of iron, B vitamins, or an underactive thyroid. If you don’t feel that your hair loss is natural, you should see your Naturopath and have your blood levels checked to rule out thyroid issues and other possible deficiencies.
3) Ridges and White Spots on the Nails These are symptomatic of deficient levels of the minerals zinc and iron. If your nails are also brittle, there may be a reason to believe that your thyroid levels are involved and should be checked as well as magnesium levels. Increasing your zinc, magnesium and iron levels should help. But, never forget that your thyroid health impacts your whole body, so ensuring that it is functioning correctly is massively important.
4) Numbness or Tingling in Hands and Feet Assuming that you and your physician are able to exclude spinal, nerve or disc issues, vitamin or mineral deficiencies can often lead to this type of numbness. Often, vitamin B6, Folic Acid and B12 are involved as the root causes of the numbness and their supplementation can alleviate the problem.
5) Red Bumps on the Back of Arms This condition is referred to as keratosis pilaris and it is found in nearly half of the population. It can present itself on your cheeks, arms, thighs, and buttocks and is often a source of anxiety for people affected. Supplementation with essential fatty acids, vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin D and zinc may help with this issue.
A small dose of vitamins or minerals can often alleviate these symptoms. But remember, many of these symptoms can be your body telling you that other, more serious issues, such as an under or overactive thyroid need to be addressed. A few simple tests from your Naturopathic Doctor can provide you with all of the information that you need to begin a reboot of your health as we head into the winter months.