Important Symptoms of Vitamin A Deficiency

Apr 30, 2014 by

Vitamin A deficiency can be present in cases of inadequate dietary vitamin A intake or malabsorption.

Vitamin A is one of four fat soluble vitamins and one of 13 essential vitamins your system needs for health. It is an important nutrient necessary for a number of retinal functions including color vision and scotopic (low light) vision. Vitamin A also plays an important role in protecting immune function and promoting cell regeneration. It’s found in plant and animal food sources within the form of retinol and carotenes. The recommended combined daily intake of vitamin A from food sources and supplementation is between 600 and 1700 micrograms each day for adults. Consistent vitamin A intake of under this lower limit can result in a host of vitamin A deficiency symptoms. Regular intake of amounts greater than the upper limit may lead to toxicity.

Important Symptoms of Vitamin A Deficiency

Important Symptoms of Vitamin A Deficiency

Vitamin A deficiency symptoms could cause a variety of health issues. Increased dental and eye troubles are common. Symptoms such as dry eyes, difficulty seeing (particularly during the night), rough, dry or scaly skin and an increase in susceptibility to colds and infections like sinusitis, bladder or bladder infections, ear problems, rapid weight loss and loss of smell, taste or appetite can all be signs of a Vitamin A deficiency. Needless to say, these are important health issues, and aren’t to be ignored.

Some of the most important symptoms of vitamin A deficiency are:

Are you currently deficient in vitamin A Your body gives you signals when it lacks essential nutrients. In the case of vitamin A deficiency, these signals can be very clear.

Night Blindness

The primary indication that the body is low in vitamin A is night blindness or poor low light vision. Since your eyes use vitamin A to form a specific light absorbing molecule called retinal, it’s important for both color vision and night or low light vision. Night blindness, also referred to as nyctalopia, is characterized by the inability to make out the print in low light conditions. People with night blindness cannot distinguish objects within the presence of inadequate light, but make out the print under normal light conditions. Vitamin A deficiency isn’t only cause of this condition, but it’s usually the primary suspect in the onset of nyctalopia that hasn’t been present since birth.

Epithelial Changes

Deficiency of Vitamin A results in atrophy (degeneration) and keratinization (hardening) of epithelium. These cells get flattened and collect one upon another in a heap. There is increased susceptibility to severe infection of eye, nasal passages, sinuses, middle ear (incus), pharynx, mouth, respiratory tract, lungs and the urinogenital tract. The epithelium of the attention gets so severely damaged the condition is incurable.

Dry Eye

Another eye-related symptom of vitamin A deficiency is chronic dry eye. Dry eye is seen as a a lack of tear production, a gritty perspective of eyes and eye irritation. The eyeballs might also feel hard. There are a number of causes with this symptom besides vitamin A deficiency, however in many cases of dry eye, oral vitamin A supplementation might help to alleviate the condition.

Vitamin A Deficiency

Vitamin A Deficiency

Cornea Disorders and Blindness

In the event of severe, chronic vitamin A deficiency, whitening of the corneas (the clear part of the attention) and blindness may result. This extreme symptom typically only presents after many years of vitamin A deficiencies caused by lack of adequate diet or undetected malabsorption disorders.

Skin Changes

Deficiency of Vitamin A can lead to Xerod­erma (dry and scaly skin with itching) and follicular hyperkeratosis (dry, rough, scaly skin). Thickening of the keratin layers of the skin around the palms and soles occurs. Follicle like goose pimples appear first on upper arm and thighs, then across the shoulders, back abdomen and buttocks. This problem is phrynoderma or Toad skin. The sweat glands of the skin become blocked with horny plugs of keratin to ensure that their secretion diminishes.

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