Are you curious about your own nutritional strengths/weaknesses? Below are just a few common clues your body gives you:
Pale lower inner eyelid/pale coloring under the tongue: Pale lower inner eyelids and a pale coloring under the tongue can suggest an iron deficiency and/or anemia. This is especially true if accompanied by a sensitivity to cold and you experience dizziness. Asking your doctor for an iron panel that includes a ferritin (iron stores) is one of the easiest ways to determine your iron status.
Low body temp: A body temperature of less than 97.8 upon waking in the morning, and less than 98 during the day indicates a slowed metabolism. If there is a cellular energy deficit, and not enough nutrients to support thyroid (energy) production (conversion of T4 to T3-active thyroid hormone in the liver), then metabolism slows as the body makes adaptations to survive longer on less food (kinda like the body goes into hibernation). One of the body’s adaptations is lowering YOUR body temp, so you can survive longer on less energy. This is JUST like when your can’t pay your heat bill, so you’re forced to turn down the thermostat in your house!
Low Pulse: A low pulse can sometimes indicate a chronic cellular energy deficit from not eating enough food and/or nutrients. Slowing the pulse allows your body to survive longer, by using less of your body’s energy. Ideal pulse rate for a high metabolic rate is 75-85 beats per minute.
Lactose Intolerance: Chances are if you are lactose intolerant, you also have a slowed metabolism and low body temperature. Slowed metabolism means less efficient digestion, indicating digestive juices have been dialed down to save bodily energy (hydrochloric acid, digestive enzymes- one being lactase).
Nails: If you have slow or no growth in your fingernails or they are thin/brittle you might have issues with malabsorption, low stomach acid, or have a low nutrient diet. If you have white spots on nails, this can mean you have low zinc status (and low stomach acid due to zinc as a precursor).
Skin: If you burn easily without sunscreen, you might have low essential fatty acids and calcium levels. You ould also be consuming adequate calcium, but be low in the co-factors needed for calcium uptake and absorption. If you have bumps on the back of the arms, you may have a vitamin A deficiency.
Body: If your legs are cramping at rest, it can suggest you have low calcium levels whereas if your legs cramp during exertion, it can be an indicator of low vitamin D. If you deal with tension headaches, you might have low fatty acids and omega 3 levels (a headache is not an aspirin deficiency).
Body Odor: If you have body odor, it can signal that you have a magnesium deficiency (you can learn how to reverse a magnesium deficiency here).
Stomach: Chronic bloating and digestive distress can signal low stomach acid levels whereas morning sickness can mean you have low B vitamin levels or poor fat digestion causing sluggish bile in the gallbladder.
Tongue: Tongue reading is diagnostic tool popular in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. It’s used as one of many simple diagnostic techniques to understand what is going on with one’s health without expensive medical testing. How does your tongue measure up? Find out below:
- Normal: light red/pinkish coloring with a thin white coating
- Puffy: spleen deficiency
- Ridged edge/teeth impressions around the edges: weak digestion, malabsorption
- Cracked tongue: excess heat
- Purple tongue: stagnant blood
- Red tip of tongue: stress
- Pale tongue: blood deficiency
- Thick coating: poor detoxification