1. Primary - occurs when a person fails to secure enough of a particular nutrient in the diet.
2. Secondary - occurs when the body fails to properly absorb or utilize the nutrient.
So even if you're taking good quality dietary supplements, it's important to monitor your body's ability to use it. Absorption issues could be an indicator of toxicity or a sluggish system.
There are 5 stages of progression in a nutrient deficiency:
1. Nutrient reserves in the body are depleted.
2. Body's tissues are depleted.
3. Depletion causes biochemical changes which can be detected in blood or urine.
4. Depletion causes functional changes which manifest as symptoms (fatigue, etc.)
5. Depletion causes anatomical changes (skin, bones, tongue, etc)
We heal in the reverse order of these stages.
So don't let yourself go! If you find you are nutrient deficient, know that you didn't get there overnight. Be patient and give your body what it needs to heal itself.