A vegetarian diet is a healthy choice if you pay attention to your nutritional requirements and follow a balanced eating plan. However, being a pure vegetarian has some side effects that could in the end lead to serious medical risks.
A pure vegetarian does not enjoy a variety of foods which provide calcium in the body. In this case, they may suffer from calcium deficiency and bone loss. Calcium is obtained from diary products like meat, milk and butter.
Pure vegetarians may also suffer from zinc deficiency. Zinc contributes to the process of carbohydrate break down and helps wounds to heal. Zinc is found in high protein products like milk. Lack of zinc could lead to loss of appetite, hair loss and frequent infections to vegetarians.
They also may lack vitamin B12, which is important in metabolism, and formation of the red blood cells according to doctors from the University of Maryland Medical Center. Lack of vitamin B 12 causes anemia, general weakness, poor balance and tingling of the arms and the legs. Doctors advice vegetarians to eat fortified grains and nutritional yeasts plus vitamin supplements.
Vegetarians can lack iron which is found in red meat, fish and poultry. Lack of iron causes anemia, and its symptoms include exhaustion and weakness in the body. For expectant women, anemia can lead to premature or low birth weight children.