A lack of vitamin A is common in poorer countries as compared to the developed countries. One of the first signs of vitamin A deficiency in humans is nyctalopia (night blindness). Numerous causes and effects of vitamin A deficiency are discussed in this blog.
Detailing vitamin A deficiency:
Vitamins play a significant role in the development of various tissues and functions in the body. These can be found in foods like green leafy vegetables, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, eggs, and whole milk. In case you fell short of getting enough vitamin A, you may suffer from vitamin A deficiency that can lead to vision problems like blindness and also increase the chances of viral infection.
Loss of vision happens when the eyes stop producing certain pigments to see the full spectrum of light. It has been stated in the studies that vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of preventable blindness in children worldwide. Around 250,000 to 500,000 children lose their eyesight every year due to Vitamin-A deficiency and half of these die within a year of losing their sight.
However, only a shortfall in the consumption of vitamin A doesn’t lead to complications. But over-consumption of this vitamin makes a person susceptible to numerous issues, including jaundice, loss of appetite, nausea, irritability, and vomiting. That is why, it is highly recommended to have vitamin A in necessary amounts.
Symptoms of Vitamin A deficiency:
To detect the low levels of vitamin A in the body below are numerous symptoms that reflect the condition. These are as follows:
- Irregular heartbeats
- Shortness of breath
- Weight loss
- Pale or yellowish skin
- Tingling sensation in the hands and feet
- Mental confusion or forgetfulness
- Weakness in the muscles
- Unsteady movements
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A lot has been said about vitamin deficiencies, but the fact is that vitamin A deficiency usually develops slowly over months to years. However, vitamin A deficiency symptoms may be subtle initially, but they increase as the deficiency worsens.
Causes of Vitamin A deficiency:
There are a plenty of causes of Vitamin A deficiency. These are as follows:
- It has been found that people who have a low intake of animal based foods are at increased risk of vitamin A deficiency.
- Researchers have suggested breast milk as an excellent source of vitamin A for newborns. But, children are at high risk of the same if their mothers don’t breastfeed them.
- Studies have shown if a pregnant or lactating mother lacks vitamin A, and then the newborn will surely be a vitamin A deficient.
- Excess passing of urine from the body can cause vitamin A deficiency. The condition may happen due to tuberculosis, cancer, pneumonia, and nephritis.
- It has also been found that the lack of storage ability of vitamin A by the body resulting from hepatic disease also causes vitamin A deficiency.
Vitamin A deficiency effects:
Vitamin-A is very crucial for the body functioning, and you can find it in citrus fruits, vegetables like carrots and broccoli, meat, poultry and seafood. It is advised for most adults to take 600 to 900 micrograms of vitamin A daily to avoid further complications. However, the deficiency of vitamin A can have permanent effects on the body, especially in children. As per the report published by the World Health Organization that vitamin A deficiency can have some adverse effects like rough skin, increased susceptibility to infections, blindness, and growth retardation.
Treatment of vitamin A deficiency:
Early detection of the condition can help treat a vitamin deficiency. It has been stated in numerous studies that eating vitamin A-rich foods are the best treatment option for lack of Vitamin-A condition. Below are some of the options you can follow to lift the vitamin A state:
- It is advised to eat vitamin A rich foods like kidney, milk, cheese, cream, butter, and liver to treat a lack of vitamin A condition.
- You can also fulfill the needs of vitamin A by eating dark green veggies, as these have carotene that can be absorbed in the body.
- Vitamin A can also be taken from fruits that are yellow and orange in color
- You can also take vitamin A through medications in oral and injectable forms