vitamin A deficiency-vitamin A deficiency treatment
Vitamin A deficiency is quite common and can cause serious complications if untreated, Find out about vitamin A deficiency treatment for you and your family.
Vitamins are a collection of elements required in slight amounts by the body to preserve health. Vitamins cannot be prepared by the human body and so they are a vital part of your nutrition.
Vitamin A is significant for healthy eyes and to help you fight contaminations. Vitamin A is occasionally also called retinol. Decent sources of vitamin A include:
- Milk, yoghurt and cheese.
- Oily fish.
- Fortified low-fat spreads.
Liver is a appropriate good source of vitamin A. Though, you will be at risk of consuming too much vitamin A if you eat liver more than on one occasion a week.
One more substance called beta-carotene can also be converted by your body to vitamin A. Decent food sources of beta-carotene in your diet include:
- Vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes and red peppers, and green leafy vegetables such as spinach.
- Orange/yellow-coloured fruit – mango, papaya and apricots.
How much vitamin A do I need?
The suggested daily quantity of vitamin A an adult needs is 0.7 mg for men and 0.6 mg for women. A everyday diet that contains some of the foods listed above is adequate for healthy adults. Therefore healthy adults may not need to take vitamin A supplements.
Any surplus vitamin A is kept by the body. Thus, you don’t need the suggested amount of vitamin A every day.
Can I consume too much vitamin A?
A large intake of vitamin A can create problems such as coarse skin, dry hair and an enlarged liver.
Great levels of vitamin A in expectant women may also cause the unborn baby to develop birth defects. Hence, women who are “or may become” pregnant are recommended not to take any vitamin A complements. Women who are “or may become” pregnant should not eat liver or foods comprising liver, such as liver pâté or liver sausage.
What is vitamin A deficiency?
Deficiency, or a absence, of vitamin A in your body occurs because of a lack of adequate quantities of vitamin A in your diet. Over a period of time, a absence of vitamin A means that you may develop difficulties with vision and be less able to fight infections.
Is vitamin A deficiency common place?
Vitamin A deficiency is unusual in Western countries but very common in developing countries.
An increased danger of vitamin A deficiency occurs in:
- Persons with illnesses affecting the way food is absorbed from the gut into the body, for example:
- Coeliac disease.
- Crohn’s disease.
- Cystic fibrosis.
- Certain diseases affecting the liver or pancreas.
- Individuals who have a strict vegan diet.
- Lengthy excessive alcohol consumption.
- Tots and preschool kids living in poverty.
What can cause vitamin A deficiency?
Vitamin A deficiency might be caused by continued insufficient consumption of vitamin A. This is particularly so when rice is the chief food in your diet, the reason being: (rice doesn’t contain any carotene).
Vitamin A deficiency might also happen when your body is incapable to make use of the vitamin A in your diet. This might happen in a variation of illnesses, comprising:
- Coeliac disease.
- Crohn’s disease.
- Giardiasis – an infection of the gut.
- Cystic fibrosis.
- Diseases affecting the pancreas.
- Liver cirrhosis.
- Obstruction of the flow of bile from your liver and gallbladder into your gut.
What indications are caused by vitamin A deficiency?
Minor forms of vitamin A deficiency might cause no symptoms. Though, mild forms of vitamin A deficiency may cause weariness.
Both mild and severe forms of vitamin A may cause an bigger risk of:
- Infections, including throat and chest infections, and gastroenteritis.
- Delayed growth and bone development in children and teenagers.
More severe forms of vitamin A deficiency may also cause:
Eye and vision complications
- Poor vision in the dark.
- Weakening and ulceration of the cornea on the surface of the eyes (keratomalacia).
- Dryness of the conjunctiva and cornea on the surface of the eye (xerophthalmia).
- Oval, triangular or irregular foamy patches on the white of the eyes, sometimes called: Bitot’s spots.
- Perforation of the cornea.
- Severe sight impairment (due to damage to the retina) at the back of the eye.
Skin and hair
Dry skin, dry hair, and itching (pruritus).
If your GP thinks you may have vitamin A deficiency, you will need to have blood tests to:
- Confirm whether you do have vitamin A deficiency.
- Check whether you have any other conditions, such as anaemia.
Other examinations will include tests of vision, particularly how your vision adjusts to the dark.
What is the treatment for vitamin A deficiency?
The treatment for minor forms of vitamin A deficiency comprises of eating vitamin A-rich foods such as the following: liver, beef, chicken, eggs, fortified milk, carrots, mangoes, sweet potatoes and leafy green vegetables.
For more severe forms of vitamin A deficiency causing symptoms, treatment comprises of taking daily, orally vitamin A supplements.
The conclusion is very good if you have a minor form of vitamin A deficiency without any indications. However, more severe forms may cause everlasting loss of vision if treatment with vitamin A supplements is not taken at an early stage. If you have early mild eye difficulties, treatment can result in full recovery without any long-lasting loss of vision.
Can vitamin A deficiency be prevented?
A regular intake of vitamin A-rich foods will regularly avoid vitamin A deficiency as long as you do not have any long-term complaint stopping your body from using the vitamin A in your diet. Liver, beef, chicken, eggs, whole milk, fortified milk, carrots, mangoes, orange fruits, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale and other green vegetables are among foods rich in vitamin A.
Eating at least five portions of fruits and vegetables per day is suggested.
Different foods, such as breakfast cereals, pastries, breads, crackers and cereal grain bars, are often fortified with vitamin A.
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