Regardless of what you are preparing for, and regardless of what stage you are at on the preparedness journey, something that will never change is that people get sick.
Although many people have a medical kit that an accident and emergency department would be proud to own, that alone will not be enough.
You need to have a basic working knowledge of the medical problems that can occur from nothing more complicated than everyday life, especially when that life is lived under conditions that are so very different from those we are used to.
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are not the most riveting subject but a working knowledge of the most common, and some of the most dangerous deficiency diseases is an absolute must for those trying to survive in a world without medical assistance.
Eating a restricted diet can induce all of them. The kind of diet many of us will be eating after a societal collapse.
Biotin is the scientific name for vitamin B7. Deficiency of this vitamin causes hair loss, rashes, anemia, drowsiness, depression and hallucinations. Although currently quite rare a reduction in the variety of foods people eat could cause an uptick of the condition.
Pregnant women are prone to biotin deficiency with about 50% of them suffering from it. This is due to their body using more vitamin B7 during their pregnancy. The World Heath Organization recommends supplements for pregnant women who do not have access to a varied diet that includes a mixture of different proteins.
Biotin deficiency made the news when fit healthy bodybuilders started to suffer from it. It was ‘fashionable’ at the time for bodybuilders to eat high quantities of raw eggs.
A protein in the egg white binds to vitamin B7 and prevents the body from using it, which leads to a deficiency. Cooking the eggs deactivates the protein.
B7 is also responsible for helping metabolize fats and keeps the body’s metabolic processes running smoothly and effectively.
B7 is present in the following foods:
· Sweet potatoes
· Nuts and grains
The biotin in these foods is depleted by cooking so if you are in a situation where you think your intake may be on the low side eating some of these foods raw will boost your levels of this essential vitamin.
Many deficiency diseases will be very difficult to avoid in a long-term collapse. Humans need a wide variety of foods, from all food groups in order to sustain themselves.
Great care should be taken now to plan and procure as wide a variety of foodstuffs as you can in order to avoid these debilitating and in some cases life limiting conditions.
Without exception the addition of fresh foods to our diet is the best way to ensure we are not deficient in vitamins and minerals in the long term.