Nutritional Deficiency Diseases

A deficiency disease is a medical condition that occurs when the body does not have enough of certain nutrients or vitamins. The most common deficiency diseases are iron, vitamin A, and folate. These deficiencies can lead to anemia, blindness, or birth defects in unborn babies. There are many different ways to prevent these diseases and they can be treated with supplements and dietary changes

The most common deficiency diseases are iron, vitamin A, and folate. These deficiencies can lead to anemia, blindness, or birth defects in unborn babies. There are a lot of different ways to prevent these diseases and they can be treated with supplements and dietary changes.

There are three types of deficiency diseases that can affect humans:

1) Nutrient deficiencies: If a person has a deficiency in one or more nutrients, they will have an increased risk for deficiency diseases.

2) Mineral deficiencies: If a person is deficient in one or more minerals, they will be at higher risk for deficiency diseases.

3) Vitamin deficiencies: If someone has low levels of vitamins B6 and B12, they may develop deficiency disease symptoms such as fatigue, depression, and nerve damage.

What are Deficiency diseases?

Deficiency diseases are diseases that occur when the body has a deficiency in one or more essential nutrients. Deficiency diseases can be caused by lack of food, vitamins, minerals, or other substances. Some of the most common deficiency diseases include scurvy, rickets, and pellagra.

Some deficiency diseases are also called “hidden hunger” because they don’t show themselves until later in life. They may not cause symptoms until after a certain age like Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.

A balanced diet is extremely important for the good health of a person. Any imbalance in the diet might lead to excess or insufficient intake of certain nutrients. Insufficient intake of a particular nutrient can lead to a deficiency disease.

Let us have a detailed look at different types of deficiency diseases and the methods of prevention of deficiency diseases.

List of Deficiency Diseases

Following is a list of major deficiency diseases that occur due to lack of essential minerals and vitamins:

Types of VitaminsDeficiency Diseases
A (Retinol)Night blindness
B1 (Thiamine)Beri-beri
B2 (Riboflavin)Retarded growth, bad skin
B12 (Cyanocobalamin)Anaemia
C (Ascorbic acid)Scurvy
D (Calciferol)Rickets
K (Phylloquinone)Excessive bleeding due to injury
Types of MineralsDeficiency Diseases
CalciumBrittle bones, excessive bleeding
PhosphorusBad teeth and bones
IodineGoitre, enlarged thyroid gland
CopperLow appetite, retarded growth

Vitamin Deficiency Diseases

Vitamin is a micronutrient that is not prepared by the body in sufficient amounts. This is the reason why it is necessary to take in from outside sources for the normal functioning of the body. Inadequate intake of vitamins results in vitamin deficiency diseases.

Following is the list of some of the vitamins and the deficiency diseases caused by them:

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a type of water-soluble vitamin that is essential for vision and maintaining the immune system. It can be found in plant sources like carrots, spinach, and sweet potatoes. It is essential for the proper function of your vision, reproductive organs and even your immune system.

Vitamin A deficiency has been linked to a number of health problems including blindness and night blindness, infection susceptibility, respiratory infections, impaired immunity, and impaired growth.

According to most statistics, children under five years of age account for 70% of acute vitamin A deficiency cases. Not only does this disorder lead to irreversible eye problems, but it can also affect the mother while she’s pregnant and during childbirth.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B can be of different types, such as Vitamin B1, B2, B12 etc. The deficiency diseases depend on the type of Vitamin B that a person is lacking.

Vitamin B1 (or) Thiamine:

Vitamin B1 is also known as thiamine. It is a water-soluble vitamin that helps the body metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Vitamin B1 is important for the proper functioning of nerve cells, muscles, and the heart.

Beriberi is a deficiency of vitamin B1 which causes the individual’s muscles to become weak, leading to an inability to use limbs and a loss in body weight. Acute deficiency can lead to paralysis, cardiac failure, and even death.

Vitamin B2 (or) Riboflavin:

Vitamin B2 is also known as riboflavin. It is essential for metabolizing fats and carbohydrates, and it is required for the production of red blood cells. Vitamin B2 has many health benefits. It supports the function of the central nervous system and helps produce energy. Vitamin B2 also protects against heart disease and stroke by lowering blood pressure, which may lower your risk for these conditions.

Vitamin B2 deficiency can cause anemia, fatigue, and irritability. It can also lead to a lack of appetite and weight loss.

Vitamin B3 (or) Niacin:

Vitamin B3 is a water-soluble vitamin that helps the body to convert food into energy, which means that it can be easily digested by the body and does not need to be stored in large amounts and supports many bodily functions, including brain function, muscle function, and normal growth.

Vitamin B3 deficiency can cause changes in mood, cognition, and behavior. Symptoms may include fatigue, weakness, weight loss or gain, and skin changes such as dryness or itchiness. It can also lead to anemia if it’s not treated and people lose red blood cells from their bodies.

Vitamin B5 (or) pantothenic acid:

Vitamin B5 is a group of related compounds that include pantothenic acid, and biotin(vitamin B7). It is also known as coenzyme A, and it plays an important role in the metabolism of fatty acids.

Vitamin B5 is a source of energy for cells, which helps in building proteins and maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails. It also helps in the synthesis of cholesterol.

Vitamin B5 deficiencies can lead to a lot of health problems such as anemia, fatigue, hair loss, and skin disorders. The most common deficiency is due to a lack of folic acid in the diet.

Vitamin B6 (or) Pyridoxine:

Vitamin B6 is essential for the body to produce energy and it is also important for healthy nerve and brain function. It is a water-soluble vitamin and it can be found in many food sources, including meats, grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits and milk.

Vitamin B6 deficiency can cause fatigue and irritability. It may also lead to neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin B6 deficiencies are very common in the United States with an estimated 50% of adults being deficient in this essential vitamin.

Vitamin B9 (or) Folic acid:

Vitamin B9 is a water-soluble vitamin that is needed by the body for cellular energy and healthy functioning. It is also important in the prevention of heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.

Vitamin B9 deficiencies can cause fatigue, weakness, dizziness, poor memory, depression and other symptoms. The most common cause of Vitamin B9 deficiency is not getting enough dietary folate. Other causes are alcoholism and taking certain medications such as anticonvulsants or antibiotics.

Not getting enough Vitamin B9 can lead to serious health issues. This deficiency can be treated with a proper diet plan that includes folic acid supplements or fortified foods such as cereals or breads.

Vitamin B12 (or) cyanocobalamin:

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is critical for the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system.

Vitamin B12 deficiency occurs when the body doesn’t have enough of this vitamin in its diet or when it’s not absorbed properly from food sources. It’s important to eat foods with Vitamin B12 in them like dairy products, meat, eggs, fish, poultry, and fortified cereals.

Lack of vitamin B12 causes pernicious anaemia. Other diseases related to B12 deficiency are muscle and nerve paralysis, extreme fatigue, dementia, depression and neurological problems. It can also lead to weight loss and fatigue.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a nutrient that is important for the growth and development of cells in the human body. The deficiency of vitamin C can lead to scurvy, which is a disease that causes extreme fatigue and other symptoms.

Deficiency of vitamin C can cause scurvy, a disease that is characterised by bleeding gums, skin spots and swelling in joints. It also affects the immune system and can even be fatal in acute conditions.

Vitamin C deficiency leads to scurvy, which is a disease that causes extreme fatigue and other symptoms. Scurvy was first discovered by James Lind in 1753 when he found sailors who had been at sea for months without fresh fruit or vegetables had developed bleeding gums, swollen legs, and spongy bones.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency is a common condition that can lead to many different health problems. It is important for people to get enough vitamin D from their diet or supplements.

Vitamin D deficiency is not just a cosmetic problem, but also a serious health condition. It has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Vitamin D deficiency leads to an increased risk of death from all causes by about 30%.

Vitamin D deficiencies are most commonly seen in children and the elderly because they do not get enough exposure to sunlight. If you are over 50 years old, you should consider taking vitamin D supplements every day as well as increasing your exposure to sunlight by wearing sunscreen with SPF of at least 15 and staying out of the sun between 10am and 3pm when UV rays are strongest.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is a nutrient that helps in blood clotting. It is also known to have other benefits like bone health, healing wounds, and improving resistance to bacterial infections. However, the deficiency of vitamin K can lead to bleeding disorders and osteoporosis.

Vitamin K is responsible for the production of proteins that are needed for blood clotting. With this function, it has been associated with some diseases like osteoporosis and bleeding disorders.

Also read: Vitamins for Migraine

Mineral Deficiency Diseases

Minerals are inorganic nutrients that include trace elements such as copper, zinc, iodine, iron, along with the micronutrients such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and sodium.

Following is the list of a few minerals along with the deficiency diseases associated with them:


Iodine deficiency is a worldwide problem that affects the health of many people. It is caused by lack of iodine in the diet and can result in serious, long-term health problems.

Iodine is the most important element required for the brain development of the developing foetus. It is responsible for a number of other functions such as the production of hormones. Salt is an important source of iodine in many countries. Iodine deficiency leads to goiter, cretinism and other neurological disorders.


Calcium deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies and it can lead to serious health problems. It is a risk factor for osteoporosis, which is when bones become fragile and break easily. It can also cause heart disease and muscle cramps. The best way to prevent calcium deficiency is by getting enough calcium from food or supplements.


Iron deficiency is a common condition that affects many people. It can cause several health problems, including anemia and fatigue.

Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world. It’s estimated that about 10% of people living in industrialized countries have iron deficiency. Some people may not even know they are deficient because they don’t experience any symptoms of low iron levels.

Iron is a mineral that helps to carry oxygen to red blood cells and other body tissues, which makes it essential for life. Iron is found in red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dried beans and peas, dried fruit and vegetables such as raisins and prunes.

Also read: Vitamins and Minerals

Prevention of Deficiency Diseases

The deficiency diseases can be prevented in the following manner:

  • Eating simple, wholesome food such as groundnut, soybean, pulses, etc.
  • For optimum nutrient preservation, cooking times for raw and cooked foods should be different. Longer cooking times for vegetables and fruit will stop the loss of their nutritional value by destroying its enzymes and nutritional content. This can help prevent discrimination diseases such as scurvy, anemia, and pellagra.
  • Fermentation and sprouting dramatically increase the nutritional value of food. Food that is stored for long periods of time, such as grains and beans, are subject to more than just oxidation- they are also broken down into their constituent amino acids, fatty acids, sugars and minerals by the bacteria present in both.


Deficiency diseases are caused by a lack of nutrients in the body. They occur when there is a lack of certain vitamins and minerals, or when the body cannot properly absorb them.

Deficiency diseases are a group of diseases that occur when the body is not able to produce enough specific nutrients. They are usually caused by a lack of one or more essential micronutrients, such as vitamin A, Vitamin B12, and folate.

Deficiency diseases can be prevented with proper nutrition and healthy lifestyle. Some deficiency diseases can be prevented with vitamin supplements, but others cannot. They still have significant health impacts on individuals who do not receive treatment for their deficiency disease. Prevention of deficiency diseases is essential for a healthy life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a deficiency disease?

A deficiency disease is a condition that occurs when the body does not have enough of a certain nutrient. It can be caused by a lack of nutrients in the diet, an inability to absorb nutrients, or an inability to excrete waste products properly. The most common deficiency diseases are iron, folate, vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D and iodine. Some other deficiency diseases include anemia, vitamin A deficiency and zinc deficiency.

Why do deficiency diseases occur?

Deficiency diseases are caused by a lack of nutrients in the body. They are often caused by poverty, malnutrition, and other conditions that affect the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. The most common deficiency diseases include rickets, scurvy, pellagra, beriberi, and kwashiorkor.

How can deficiency diseases be overcome?

Deficiency diseases are a leading cause of death in the world. They can be overcome by taking supplements and vitamins.

What causes kwashiorkor?

Kwashiorkor is a nutritional disorder caused by a lack of protein. It is most common in children and developing countries. It is caused by a lack of protein, which leads to the body not being able to produce enough amino acids. Kwashiorkor can also be caused by poor intake of calories and micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals, or from chronic diseases that limit the body’s ability to absorb food nutrients.