Can Vitamin Deficiency Cause Dizziness?

Dizziness is something that most people never experience but you are here because you must have experienced an episode of dizziness and you are wondering what may be responsible for that. Not to worry, we will explore some reasons why you may be feeling dizzy and the possible remedies.  

Understanding vitamin deficiency

Vitamins and minerals belong to a class of nutrients that are referred to as Micronutrients.1 They are called “micro” because this group of nutrients is required by the body in very small amounts but they do a lot of good for the body - so they may be thought of as super-nutrients. Micronutrients help the body to perform many functions that are essential for normal functioning and growth. 

Vitamins are very important to the body but unfortunately, the body either does not produce them in adequate amounts or does not produce them at all. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your body is getting an adequate supply of vitamins by eating a balanced diet. 

Vitamin A, Thiamin (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Niacin (Vitamin B3), Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B4), Pyridoxin (Vitamin B6), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Folate/Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Cobalamins (Vitamin B12) C, D, E, and K are the common vitamins used by the body. They are commonly found in foods like herbs, fruits, milk, cereals, eggs, fish, liver, etc. There are several vitamin supplements available that provide these vitamins in the recommended daily amount (RDA), but you may not have to use one of these unless you have a specific concern. 

What are the common causes of vitamin deficiency?

As we have established, the body produces only a few out of the many vitamins that it needs to function properly. However, it can also store some of these vitamins and use them over time. Vitamin deficiency occurs when the body’s stores of vitamins become depleted over a period of time, and may not become immediately evident. There are two classifications of vitamin deficiency:2

  • Primary deficiency: this occurs when your body does not get the required amount of vitamins from the food you eat over a long period of time
  • Secondary deficiency: this occurs when the body is unable to use the vitamins that are supplied through food because of an underlying condition or behaviour such as the use of alcohol or smoking

When the body is suffering from vitamin deficiency, it is sometimes evident through changes in physical appearance. By the time it begins to show, it often means that the deficiency has progressed to an advanced stage and can be fatal if it is not treated immediately. For example, scurvy is a sign of vitamin C deficiency, pellagra is a sign of vitamin B3 deficiency, anaemia is a sign of iron, vitamin A, vitamin B9, vitamin B12 deficiency,3 and so on. Some of these effects may be more serious like blindness, which is caused by extreme cases of vitamin A deficiency1. The World Health Organization (WHO) notes that vitamin A deficiency affects at least 190 million preschool children globally.4

What are the symptoms of vitamin deficiency?

Here are some ways your body may be telling you that it is lacking some essential vitamins: 

  • Extreme Tiredness: this could be a sign of low levels of vitamins B1, B12, and vitamin C
  • Paleness: this could be a sign of haemoglobin depletion which is common in anaemia, caused by low levels of iron, vitamin B9, and vitamin B12
  • Excessive bruising and slow healing of wounds 5: this is a common sign of vitamin C deficiency
  • Unusual irritability: this is often linked to personality traits but it could be a telltale sign of folate/vitamin B9 deficiency5
  • Cracking and peeling of the skin on the lips: this is common with vitamin Bdeficiency
  • Pain when walking and shoulder weakness: bone weakness generally is a sign of vitamin D deficiency5

Understanding dizziness

Dizziness means something slightly different to many people. It is often used to refer to any feeling of lightheadedness, feeling faint, feeling woozy , or feeling that you or the things around you are spinning (vertigo).6 It may occur when you are moving or in one position i.e sitting or lying down, and for some people, dizziness comes with episodes of fainting. 

Common causes of dizziness 

Dizziness is a fairly common feeling and most people may report feeling dizzy at least once in their lives. Here are some reasons why you may be  feeling dizzy: 

  1. Labyrinthitis: this looks like such a complex word but it simply refers to an inflammation of the Labyrinth, which is a part of the inner ear. When the labyrinth is inflamed due to infection , it can affect hearing and balance leading to dizziness. Labyrinthitis can be caused by either a viral or bacterial infection
  2. Migraines: people who have migraines may report feeling dizzy before or during the episodes
  3. Anaemia: this is a condition wherein the body does not have enough red blood cells that are required for moving oxygen around the cells and tissues in the body. Anaemia is usually accompanied by dizziness, weakness, and tiredness
  4. Hypoglycemia: this refers to low levels of sugar in the blood. When the blood sugar levels drop below the normal level, this also reduces the supply of glucose - which is the primary source of energy in the body - to the brain. The accompanying dizziness is the body’s way of telling you that you need to refuel on sugar. If you are diabetic and using Insulin or any other medications to control your blood sugar levels, you may experience hypoglycemia and the accompanying dizziness. However, this can be easily remedied by taking a cookie or a drink to give you a quick burst of energy
  5. Dehydration: this commonly occurs when the weather is really hot and you are not taking enough fluids or eating enough. The Mayo Clinic informs us that water makes up 50 - 70% of the body’s total weight. Therefore, when your body is losing more water than it is taking in, this can cause a disruption in the balance of the body’s fluids, which can be evident in feeling dizzy
  6. Postural hypotension: this is a sudden drop in the body’s blood pressure, which some people experience when they get up from a sitting position7 

These are some common causes of dizziness but you may find other causes here

Symptoms of dizziness

If you are dizzy, you may experience one or more of these sensations - feeling lightheaded, unsteady on your feet, feeling woozy, weak, or like you are going to faint.  

Can vitamin deficiency cause dizziness?

Yes, vitamin deficiency can cause dizziness. All vitamins are important but some of them play a vital role in ensuring that blood is produced and circulates properly throughout the body, 

Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium but it also plays a very important role in regulating the blood pressure and ensuring that all fluids in the body are balanced. When you do not have sufficient levels of vitamin D in your body, it may cause dizziness and fatigue, along with lower calcium levels

Deficiencies  in vitamins  B3, B6, and B12 have also been linked to dizziness because they play a role in red blood cell formation and blood circulation.  

How can I know if my dizziness is caused by a vitamin deficiency?

The most effective way to confirm what is causing your dizziness is by visiting your general practitioner (GP) and having a confirmatory test done. This will help the GP identify what exactly is causing the dizziness and treat you accordingly. 

How to overcome vitamin deficiency


Supplements are available now for almost all vitamins and many of these provide these nutrients in the recommended daily amounts (RDA). However, as the NHS confirms, you may not need to take vitamin supplements except when recommended by your GP, to avoid over-supplying your body with vitamins. Remember that vitamins are only needed in small amounts by the body.  

Foods to eat

The best way to overcome vitamin deficiency is by preventing it. Preventing vitamin deficiency can be achieved by ensuring that you eat a balanced diet. Fruits, vegetables, and nuts should be included in the diet because they are rich in vitamins. You can find more information on vitamin-rich foods here

Complications of vitamin deficiency

Unchecked and untreated vitamin deficiencies can cause a variety of issues. For instance, vitamin A deficiency is a leading cause of blindness in children and it increases the chances that they will get infected with measles or diarrheal diseases, which are equally life-threatening.3  Vitamin D deficiency can also lead to brittle bones and osteoporosis, which are more common in older persons. The effects of vitamin deficiency can range from mild to severe, depending on how long they are had for.  

When to seek medical attention

If you notice one or more of the following, it may be a sign that you are suffering from a vitamin deficiency:8 

  • Frequent tiredness 
  • Dry and dull skin 
  • Irritability and depression 
  • Slow healing of wounds 
  • Frequent colds and infections 


Dizziness is usually a symptom of something else that is going on in the body, which affects the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, and balance. When you begin to experience frequent bouts of dizziness, it may be that your body is trying to tell you something about your body’s vitamin levels or something else.


  1. CDC. Micronutrient facts [Internet]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2022 [cited 2022 Oct 3]. Available from:
  2. Godswill AG, Somtochukwu IV, Ikechukwu AO, Kate EC. Health benefits of micronutrients (Vitamins and minerals) and their associated deficiency diseases: a systematic review. International Journal of Food Sciences [Internet]. 2020 Jan 7 [cited 2022 Oct 3];3(1):1–32. Available from: 
  3. Micronutrients [Internet]. [cited 2022 Oct 3]. Available from: 
  4. Guideline: vitamin A supplementation in infants and children 6-59 months of age [Internet]. [cited 2022 Oct 3]. Available from: 
  5. Deficiency symptoms and signs [Internet]. [cited 2022 Oct 3]. Available from: 
  6. Muncie HL, Sirmans SM, James E. Dizziness: approach to evaluation and management. afp [Internet]. 2017 Feb 1 [cited 2022 Oct 3];95(3):154–62. Available from:
  7. Low blood pressure (Hypotension) | nidirect [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2022 Oct 5]. Available from: 
  8. Doctors VBSH. Vitamin deficiency – symptoms, side effects & treatments - star health [Internet]. 2022 [cited 2022 Oct 5]. Available from: 
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Toluwanimi Ojeniyi

Master of Science - MS, Global Health, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Toluwanimi is a Public Health specialist with experience in programs administration and health insurance. She is currently undertaking a Masters in Global Health at the University of Ibadan.
She is a skilled health educator and health writer. In her free time, she reads and volunteers.

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