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Traveling Made Me Realize My Vitamin Levels Were Off

Written by Eliana Ferdman, Mechanical Engineering | Last updated:

Recently, I’ve been struggling with vitamin deficiencies and I have traveling to thank for that!

You may have seen on social media that I’m in Tel Aviv, Israel. And ever since I’ve been abroad, I’ve started noticing some symptoms that I wasn’t experiencing before.

First, I realized that my acne scars were taking a really long time to heal. Second, when I got new pimples during my menstrual cycle, it took a very long time for them to go away. If any of them started bleeding, they would bleed for an abnormally long time.

However, after my experience with fixing my hormone issues, I knew I could get to the bottom of these new issues too.

First, was I doing anything differently?

I couldn’t pinpoint any major changes in my diet, so I started to wonder if I could be deficient in a particular vitamin or mineral.

So, I started off with a simple search….

“What vitamins can heal acne scarring?”

Vitamin E and Vitamin K were the first to come up.

As I did some research on SelfHacked, I realized that Vitamin E deficiency was actually very common.

Over 90% of the US population doesn’t get enough vitamin E, which is essential for immunity, fertility, brain health, and more.

Vitamin E is also essential for skin health since it reduces inflammation, inhibits peroxidation, and combats photoaging and UV damage.

On the other hand, Vitamin K is not a common deficiency. Vitamin K helps to prevent bleeding, promotes clotting and speeds up skin healing.

If you have a varied diet you should be getting enough of this vitamin. But, I had been traveling, so maybe my diet wasn’t what it used to be after all.

Uncovering the Cause of My Vitamin Deficiencies

After some thinking, I realized that I was no longer having a kale smoothie every morning like I used to and kale is a great source of Vitamin K!

But, not everyone drinks kale smoothies, so why did eliminating that from my diet have such a major effect on me?

I decided to take a look at my genes to see how my genetics might affect my vitamin levels.

After downloading my Vitamins report on SelfDecode, I found out that I am actually at an increased risk for Vitamin E & K deficiencies, which both play a major role in skin health.

Going through this process made me think hard about any changes I had made since going abroad and I remembered that I had also stopped taking my multivitamins.

I guess I thought I didn’t need them anymore…Boy was I wrong…

Stopping those multivitamins in addition to changing my diet while traveling had caused all these symptoms that I’d never experienced before!

It is really important to stay in tune with your body, track changes and check your genes to get to the root cause of your issues.

Now, I’m back on a multivitamin and trying to add more nutrients in my diet. Thankfully, my symptoms have reduced significantly since doing so!

Are you at higher risk for vitamin or mineral deficiencies?

If you have genes like mine, you might just be one kale smoothie short of poor skin health! (Ok, I missed more than just one kale smoothie, but you get the idea!)

If you’ve been thinking about learning more about your genetics and working to optimize your vitamin levels, now is the time. SelfDecode’s Diet & Nutrition Reports will provide you with a personalized analysis of your genes and how they might affect your vitamin levels.

About the Author

Eliana Ferdman

Eliana Ferdman

Mechanical Engineering
Eliana studied Mechanical Engineering at McGill University.
Eliana is very passionate about creating software that allows people to take their health into their own hands. Her goal is to make sure that all health software created by Genius Labs is user friendly and valuable. She believes that everyone should be able to dive into their labs and genetics and gain instant tips on how to become optimally healthy. Eliana works directly with our software developers, scientists, marketers and designers to achieve this goal.


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