B Vitamin Deficiency: How To Diagnose, Treat And Prevent It

As a group, B vitamins are absolutely vital for the overall health of your child. They play a crucial part in growth and development, are necessary for brain and nervous function and are essential for the metabolizing of carbohydrates needed for growth and energy. These vitamins are also involved in maintaining healthy hair, skin and hormone-producing glands, as well as boosting the immune system and digestive function. As a result, B vitamin deficiency can be problematic. Use the guide below to diagnose, treat and prevent B vitamin deficiency.

Symptoms of B vitamin deficiency

If your child is vitamin B deficient, they are likely to present symptoms that will baffle you and health experts alike. This is because the deficiency affects the skin as well as multiple organs, presenting confusing symptoms that may be associated with other diseases.

The life of children with this deficiency is often riddled with doctor's appointments, as many complications like nausea, vomiting, indigestion and constipation are present—problems usually associated with infectious diseases. Bad breath and loss of appetite are also common symptomsOther symptoms of vitamin B deficiency include dry, flaky skin; inflammation on the face and sores on the corners of the mouth. Oily or cracked skin could also indicate a vitamin B deficiency.

Monitoring your child for these symptoms is crucial, because most health professionals will often overlook a deficiency problem and search for a disease instead. Solving the deficiency in its early stages is very important, as the problem could become chronic and affect growth and development in your child.

How a B vitamin deficiency affects learning

Because of their role in brain function and development, B vitamins are heavily linked to good mental health. Children deprived of these vitamins usually present a lowered capacity to learn, with mental symptoms such as confusion, dizziness, loss of memory and alertness.

Children will also suffer from frequent headaches, moodiness, as well as poor hand-eye coordination. Movements of their hands and legs could be sluggish or unsteady as well. If your child has difficulty reading, this could be as a result of a vitamin B deficiency, which also causes burning eyes, eye fatigue and other visual disturbances.

How to protect your child

A diet rich in vitamin B—such as eggs, meat, whole grains, bananas, fish and dairy products—is your best defense against a deficiency.  If you are already noticing symptoms of vitamin B deficiency in your child, there is no need to panic. A diet of vitamin B rich supplements can improve their health and vitamin B status.

B vitamins are soluble in water, and are thus flushed out of our system with ease. Therefore, there is no danger of your child taking too many supplements, although you should consult a doctor before commencing treatment. Contact a vitamin store like Corner Drugs for more information.