Cracks and sores in your mouth
Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, shutterstock Possible deficiency: B12
If your body needs more B12, you may notice that you’re getting ulcer-like lesions in your mouth or cracks on the sides. “I see people come in with this who have a B12 deficiency,” says Wagner. To correct that, she’ll look into a possible supplement, as well as advise adding more B12 sources into the diet. Get more poultry, (lean) red meat, and eggs. If you’re vegetarian, it’s a bit more of a challenge, but it’s doable with fortified foods, like non-dairy milk, cereal, and nutritional yeast. Here are more nutrients you could be missing if you’re vegetarian or vegan.
Bumps on the backs of arms
Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, shutterstock Possible deficiency: Zinc and vitamin A
If your arms aren’t super smooth but you don’t know why—and treating the bumps, a condition called keratosis pilaris, isn’t working well—something could be missing from your diet. “Many patients have these little red bumps that don’t itch. I always look at their zinc and vitamin A levels,” says Small. That’s because both nutrients are vital for maintaining skin health, and play key roles in wound repair. To get enough, you can find zinc in poultry, hummus, and pumpkin seeds. Get vitamin A from sweet potatoes and cantaloupe. These are the best vitamins for your skin.
Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com, shutterstock Possible deficiency: Stomach acid
Having inadequate stomach acid doesn’t seem like a vitamin issue, but it can prevent you from breaking down nutrients in food and fully absorbing the vitamins and minerals you need. One possible cause: taking an over-the-counter heartburn medication, which will decrease your stomach acid, says Small. Some people find that taking some apple cider vinegar with water with a meal or taking a digestive enzyme (available as a supplement) can help. Bonus: “This can cut down on bloating after eating,” she says. These are the vitamin mistakes you don’t even realize you’re making.