Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin A Deficiency

Vitamin A supports a number of body functions including proper vision, reproduction, skin health, and body immunity. There are two types that you can find in most foods: provitamin A and preformed vitamin A.  Preformed vitamin A, also called retinol, is common if foods like fish, eggs, meat and a number of dairy products.

The body also converts elements like carotenoid found in plants like green, orange, and yellow fruit to form vitamin A. although deficiency is not common in the west, most people in the developing world don’t have good access to vitamin A.

Those who are at a greater risk of deficiency include breastfeeding women, expectant mothers, children, and infants. Chronic diarrhea and cystic fibrosis can also raise your risk of becoming deficient. Here are some signs of deficiency.

Dry skin

Vitamin A helps your body create and repair the cells on your skin. it is also known to help the body fight inflammation resulting from skin problems. Therefore, when you do not get enough vitamin A, you may develop skin problems like eczema and many other skin conditions. Eczema is known to cause the skin to appear dry and inflamed. It also causes your skin to feel itchy and uncomfortable.

Studies have shown that alliteration, a medicationinfused with vitamin A, is actually effective against eczema. In a certain study, researchers gave subjects between 10 and 40 milligrams of the medication alliteration each day for the entire duration of the study. They found that it helps to lower their symptoms by up to 53 percent.

Note that dry skin can be an indication of other health issues. However, sever vitamin A deficiency may be one of the main reasons. 

Dry eyes

Eye issues are common in people who do not consume enough vitamin A. In severe cases, lack of enough vitamin A may cause the cornea to dry up or loss of vision. A dry eye arises due to insufficient production tears. This is often the first indicator that the body is not getting enough vitamin A.

Kids in Africa, Southeast Asia and India who consume foods that lack vitamin A are very likely to have tearless eyes. Supplementing every meal with the right amount of vitamin A can help prevent dry eyes. A certain study showed that kids who consume the right amount of vitamin A decreased their likelihood of developing dry eye by up to 63 percent.

Poor night vision

A severe case of deficiency often leads to night blindness. A number of studies have shown that developing countries have the highest cases of night blindness. As a result of the prevalence of night blindness, health practitioners have made it possible for people to access vitamin A to lower the risk of deficiency.

Infertility and trouble conceiving

Vitamin A is known to support reproduction in women and men. it also helps to support the development of babies. If a woman finds it difficult to conceive, chances are it is due to lack of vitamin A.  Deficiency in Vitamin A is responsible for most cases of infertility women and men.

Studies done on rats have shown that female rats that did not have access to vitamin A ended up not conceiving and most of their embryo had birth issues. Another study has shown that an infertile man needs a lot of antioxidants because most men experience a lot of oxidative stress. Vitamin A is an example of a nutrient that performs the role of an oxidant in your body.

Researchers have also found a strong link between miscarriages and vitamin A deficiency. A recent study looked at blood samples of women who had gone through a miscarriage and found that they had low levels of vitamin A.

Delayed growth

A child who is deficient in vitamin A is likely to become stunted. Vitamin A is responsible helps children to grow properly. A number of studies found that supplements with vitamin A, on their own or in combination with others, can support growth. These studies were done on children living in developing countries.

A study was done in Indonesia on 1000 vitamin A deficientkids showed that a high dose of vitamin A over a period of twelve weeks can help a child grow by up to 0.39 cm in height. Delayed growth can also be an indication of growth hormone deficiency.

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Final Word

Deficiency in vitamin A is quite common in the developing world. When your child does not get enough vitamin A, he or she might develop inflamed skin, respiratory issues, and delayed growth. Adults may experience infertility. Consume foods rich in vitamin A like dairy products, eggs, and meat. If you feel that you are deficient in vitamin A, speak to your doctor.