Vitamins and Mineral Deficiencies for Nursing Exams

vitamins and mineral deficiencyVitamins and Mineral Deficiency Symptoms – This is another area of choice for question paper makers.Its important that we should learn the at-least the minimum deficiency symptoms because you will not want to lose even a single mark. This is because that single score may determine outcome of your exam.
Note – It is like remembering syndromes – The more you revise, more you will remember.

Vitamins and Mineral Deficiency Symptoms

So lets start learning, this first table is the minimum no of vitamins and minerals deficiency symptoms that you should not miss to learn at any cost.



Bitots Spots – Foamy patches on conjunctiva Vitamin A – Retinol
Colour Blindness Vitamin A
Xerophthalmia – Dry, Hard Eye Balls Vitamin A
Night Blindness Vitamin A
Red blood vessels in Sclera Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin
Beriberi Vitamin B1 – Thiamine
Pellagra Niacin
Rickets in Children Vitamin D – Calciferol
Osteomalacia in Adults Vitamin D
Sterility Vitamin E – Tocopherol
Hemorrhagic Diseases Vitamin K – Menadione
Scurvy Vitamin C – Ascorbic Acid
Pernicious Anemia Vitamin B12 – Cyanocobalmin
Tetany – Decrease in ionized calcium Calcium
Dental Health Issues Fluorine

We agree that symptoms of vitamins and minerals deficiency are voluminous. But how can you remember those while preparing for your staff nurse exam? The answer is you have to create a note of the selected important symptoms and have to revise it thoroughly.
Learning vitamins and mineral deficiency symptoms also help you to identify what is happening to yourself. You might be noticing some changes in body. The following information helps us to identify the possible cause


Symptoms and their corresponding deficiency/treatment/cause

Bloodshot eyes – boric acid for fungus infection, blue light

Blurred vision – vitamins B2, B6, pantothenic acid

Bulging eyes – vitamin E, nicotinamide, iodine

Cataracts (lens becomes opaque) – vitamins B2, C, E, antioxidants (avoid lactose)

Conjunctivitis – vitamins A, B2, C (B6, zinc)

Cross-eyes – vitamins E, C, B1, (allergy testing)

Dark spots in front of the eyes – vitamins B6, C, zinc (liver problems)

Dim vision (amblyopia) – vitamins B1, B2, C, B12 (allergy testing)

Dry, hard eyeballs (xerophthalmia) – vitamin A

Farsightedness (hyperopia) – magnesium, potassium, MSM

Glaucoma – magnesium, vitamin C (B2, B1,salt)

Hemorrhaging in the back of the eye (retinitis) -vitamin B6, zinc, bioflavonoids (also magnesium, vitamins C,B2, B12, E, pantothenate)

Infected, ulcerating eyes (keratomalacia) – vitamin A (vitamins C, B2, B6, zinc, blue light, boric acid)

Itching, burning, watery, sandy eyes – vitamin B2

Macular degeneration – vitamins A, B2, B6, magnesium, zinc, antioxidants,
bioflavonoids, esp. lutein & zeaxanthin, ginkgo biloba, bilberry, eyebright, MSM, EFA

Near-sightedness (myopia) – chromium, vitamins C, E, D, calcium (proteins, avoid sugars)

Retinal detachment – zinc, vitamins B6, B2, C, E, A
Sensitive eyes, fear of strong light (photophobia) – vitamins B2, A

Tics of eyelids – magnesium, vitamins B2, B6, zinc


Symptom and their Corresponding Deficiency / Treatment / Cause

Acne – vitamins A, E, B2, B6, C, niacin, biotin, zinc, EFA*, lecithin, MSM, retinoic acid topically (minimize sweet food & fats)

Addison’s disease – adrenal exhaustion: increased tanning, especially on skin-folds, scars, elbows, knees; black freckles all B vitamins, especially pantothenic acid; vitamin C; all minerals, digestive enzymes, allergy testing, avoid sweet food

Arterial spiders (fine branching arteries on face, neck, chest) – antioxidants, bioflavonoids, glucosamine, cartilage, calcium

Bedsores – vitamins C, E

Blisters – vitamin E

Brown discoloration around small joints – vitamin B12

Brown skin spots – antioxidants (weak liver)

Dry skin – vitamins A, C, EFA

Eczema, skin ulcers – vitamin C, B2, B6, zinc, magnesium, EFA, allergy test, cleanse

Eczema, infantile – EPA, zinc, vitamin B6

Edema – vitamin B6, zinc (also vitamin C, magnesium, avoid salt)

Fingers white, numb, stiff, swellings (Raynaud’s disease) – vitamins B6, B1, antioxidants, niacin, magnesium/calcium, EFA

Fungus infections (e.g. athlete’s foot, ringworm) – B vitamins, (external tea tree oil, intestinal sanitation)
Gangrene – vitamins C, E, B1 , magnesium chloride, (urine packs)

Greasy dermatitis around eyes, nose – vitamin B6, zinc

Greasy skin eruptions (seborrhea) – vitamin B2

Horny red skin on pressure areas (e.g. knees, elbows) – zinc (vitamin B6)

Hot flushes – vitamin E, boron, magnesium, calcium (Wild Yam cream)

Ichthyosis (fish-like scales) – vitamin A, retinoic acid topically, MSM

Infant dermatitis with inflamed pustules around body openings – vitamin B6, zinc

Infections of the skin (boils, cold sores, impetigo, and so on) – vitamins C, A, B6, zinc, magnesium chloride (hot Epsom-salt packs, tea tree oil or propolis rubs)

Itching – vitamins B, C, EFA, alkalizer, bicarbonate rubs, (allergy tests)

Jaundice – vitamins C, E, A, B12, B6, lecithin, magnesium, zinc (blue light therapy, treat gall bladder & liver)

Keratosis, horny, goose-pimple-like skin – vitamin A internally & externally

Lemon-yellow skin – vitamin B12

Oily skin, white-heads – vitamin B2

Over-sensitivity to sunlight – vitamin B6, zinc, PABA, beta-carotene, antioxidants,
bioflavonoids, alkalizers

Pale skin – biotin, folic acid, vitamin B6, , iron (anemia)

Prickly-heat rash – vitamin C

Psoriasis – as for acne; blue light, sunlight; avoid gluten

Purplish or blue-black skin areas – vitamin C, B2, bioflavonoids

Rash – allergy test, alkalizers, vitamin C, calcium
Red-brown, often symmetrical discoloration of skin exposed to the sun, later ulceration – niacin or nicotinamide (folic acid)

Red-brown or dark-red spots – manganese

Rosacea (redness of part of face) – vitamin B2

Scaly dermatitis – biotin

Scaly eczema around nose, ears, scrotum, vulva – vitamin B2

Scar tissue – vitamin E, MSM externally & internally, camphorated oil rub

Scleroderma (hardening and swelling of skin) – vitamin E, C, A, PABA, MSM, magnesium chloride (zapper, pulser and parasite therapy, tea tree oil packs)

Sensitivity to insect bites- vitamin C, B1, calcium, alkalizers, bicarbonate rub/bath

Shingles – vitamins B12, C, A, B, E, zinc, lysine, zinc oxide lotion, zapper

Skin cancer – vitamins A, B6, PABA, antioxidants, bioflavonoids, carotenes,
chlorophyll, propolis, zinc (blue light, escharotics)

Skin-folds red, infected – niacin

Stretch-marks – vitamins E, B6, zinc

Subcutaneous bleeding (red or purplish spots under the skin, bruises easily) – vitamin C, bioflavonoids and rutin, grape seed extract, glucosamine, alkalizer

Swellings (for example, face) – zinc, magnesium, vitamins B6, B12

Vaginal itching – vitamins B2, E, C (avoid synthetic underwear, treat Candida)

Warts, moles – vitamins C, A, E

Weals on the skin (urticaria) – vitamin B6, zinc, vitamin C, (alkalizer, allergy test)

White skin patches (vitiligo) – PABA, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, zinc

Wrinkles or aging skin – vitamins C, E, A, EFA, bioflavonoids (too much sun)


Symptoms and their Corresponding Deficiency/treatment/cause

Coarse, brittle hair – zinc

Dandruff – vitamins B2, B6, zinc, magnesium, biotin

Dry hair – vitamin A, zinc

Graying hair – folic acid, pantothenic acid, PABA, biotin, minerals (weak
adrenals, avoid sweet food)

Hangnails – vitamin C, folic acid, proteins

Hair loss – copper/lead contamination: use zinc, vitamin B6, sulfur (MSM), selenium, biotin

Nails opaque, white spots/bands – zinc, vitamin B6

Oily hair – vitamin B2

Peeling nails – vitamins A, C, calcium

Ridges on nails, longitudinal – vitamin A, protein, calcium (anemia, poor circulation, thyroid/parathyroid glands)

Ridges on nails, transverse – fever, infection, inflammation, menstrual problems, period of protein deficiency

Scaling of cuticle or lips – biotin


Symptom and their corresponding Deficiency/treatment/cause

Beefy, enlarged tongue – pantothenic acid

Burning, sore tongue – vitamins B2, B6, B12, niacin

Cracked lips & corners of the mouth (cheilosis) – vitamins B2, B6, folic acid

Distended, purplish-blue veins under the tongue – vitamin B2 (circulation poor, congested)

Edema or tooth-marks on tongue – niacin/nicotinamide

Furrowed tongue – vitamin B1, pantothenic acid

Gums receding, bleeding (gingivitis) – vitamin C, bioflavonoids, calcium, alkalizers

Halitosis (bad breath) – vitamin B6, zinc, magnesium, propolis, chlorophyll (cleansing, intestinal sanitation)

Mouth ulcers, canker – folic acid, vitamin B6, zinc (alkalize, allergy test)

Papillae prominent or erased – niacin/nicotinamide

Purplish or magenta tongue or lips, also veins under the tongue – vitamin B2

Tongue red at tip or edges; severe deficiency: whole tongue scarlet red, sore – niacin (vitamin B6)

Tongue shiny, smooth, beefy; early sign: strawberry-red tip/sides – vitamin B12, folic acid

Tongue too small or too large – niacin, pantothenic acid

White-coated tongue – intestinal putrefaction, cleansing

White patches on tongue – vitamin B2 and other B vitamins (allergy)

Yellowish-brown-coated tongue – liver or gall bladder problems


Hopes detailed list given above helps you identify the problems regarding Vitamins and Mineral deficiency you are having. We are sharing this detailed list because we found it very useful. But there is no need to study these fully. For competitive staff nurse exams, the first table will help you answer questions.

Detailed list is for self reference only. No need to study in depth.

Learning Resources

Healthline –

Holistic Guide –

Wikipedia –

Straussheartdrops –

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