The body converts beta carotene to vitamin A, therefore, deficiency symptoms are the same as those of vitamin A. The earliest symptom is night blindness. Prolonged deficiency leads to more advanced changes in eye tissue. Other potential signs of mild to moderate deficiency include rough, dry skin, loss of appetite, loss of hair luster, brittle nails, joint pain, and increased susceptibility to infection.
Vitamin A (Retinol)
The earliest symptom of deficiency of this nutrient is night blindness. Prolonged deficiency leads to more advanced changes in eye tissue. Other potential signs of mild to moderate deficiency include rough, dry skin, loss of appetite, loss of hair luster, brittle nails, joint pain, and possibly increased susceptibility to infection.
Vitamin D deficiency leads to abnormal bone formation (rickets) in children and softening of the bones (osteomalacia) in adults. Vitamin D deficiency interferes with calcium absorption, leading to deficiency of that nutrient, as well as all of the associated symptoms, such as increased risk of fractures, osteoporosis (bone loss), and muscle weakness. More recently, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to compromised immunity, cancer, and other chronic conditions. Because this nutrient is fat-soluble, prolonged periods of deficiency are required to produce these symptoms.
Vitamin E deficiency is uncommon. When it does occur, it negatively affects muscle tissue, red blood cells, nervous, and reproductive systems. Over the long term, depleted levels of this nutrient may also be associated with cancer, heart disease, and altered immune function.
The major symptom of vitamin K deficiency is an inability of the blood to clot properly, which may lead to excessive bleeding and a tendency to bruise easily.
The information presented here covers some of the nutrients that may be lowered when you take certain medications. The signs and symptoms listed can be caused by other conditions. If you have these signs and symptoms, it doesn't always mean you have low levels of these nutrients. Many things affect the level of nutrients, including your medical history, diet, and lifestyle, as well as how long you have been taking the medication. Please talk with your health care provider. He or she can best address your health care needs and see if you are at risk for low levels of any nutrients.
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