Vitamin-A-Deficiencies
October 8, 2021

6 Sneaky Symptoms That Can Be a Sign of a Vitamin A Deficiency

Vitamin A is essential for maintaining good health and ensuring that our bodies function at their best. It is important for our eyes, vision, reproduction, metabolism, heart, lung, kidney, brain, and other functions. It’s role does not end there. Vitamin A has antioxidant properties that may protect cells against free radical damage.

They can be obtained from many food sources including milk, cheese and egg yolk, liver meats, fish, eggs, dairy, egg yolks, meats, livers, chicken livers, salmon, spinach, mangoes, cantaloupe and cantaloupe. Some breakfast cereals are also fortified with vitamins.

Adult women should consume 700 micrograms (mcg), of vitamin A daily, while men should consume 900 micrograms per day. The deficiency is very rare in the United States, however, it is more common in developing countries. Jeanette Kimszal is a registered dietitian at Root Nutrition.

MEET THE EXPERT

  • Morgyn Clair works as a registered dietitian for Sprint Kitchen.
  • Jeanette Kimszal, a registered dietitian with Root Nutrition.
  • Yuna Rapoport, a New York City-based Ophthalmologist at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital, is Yuna.

Are you unsure if vitamin A supplements are necessary? Morgyn Clair is a registered dietitian at Sprint Kitchen and says that food sources can provide sufficient vitamin A. She says that it can be dangerously overdosed and it is not recommended to take supplements with it. Their supplementation may be necessary for some people. However, too much of it can cause serious side effects. Their supplementation is likely to be beneficial for those suffering from malnutrition, measles, inflammatory diseases, and pancreatic disorders.

Supplements can cause nausea, vomiting, blurry eyes, vertigo, and other symptoms such as nausea. Too much of it can cause skin irritation, joint and bones pain, birth defects and bone thinning as well as liver damage.

Ask your doctor to run a blood test to check your levels of vitamin A and beta-carotene. Kimszal explains that vitamin A levels are controlled by the body because the nutrient is stored within the liver. Their levels will drop if the liver is damaged.

Although the deficiencies are rare in the United States of America, here are some symptoms that may indicate you might not be getting enough.

Dry Eyes – Vitamin A deficiency

Dry eyes may be a sign of vitamin A deficiency.4 The tear film is a protective layer that helps to protect the eyes and keeps the surface clear.

Yuna Rapoport is a New York City-based eye doctor at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital. She says that clear vision requires a healthy, regular tear film. The tear film scatters light when there is an irregular formation.

Dry eye symptoms can occur when tear film quality is poor. Rapoport states that Bitot’s spots are white, foamy lesions on your cornea and is one of the signs of vitamin A deficiency.

Night Blindness

Night blindness is an early sign of vitamin A deficiencies.5 Rapoport says that Vitamin A is a crucial component of rhodopsin which is a protein that absorbs light from the retina. Rhodopsin, the ‘rods’ part of ‘rods & cones, is essential for night vision.

Problems With Wound Healing

Vitamin A is essential for wound healing. It is important for wound healing because it helps control inflammation and modulates the body’s inflammatory response. Clair states that the body will not heal properly if it doesn’t have enough vitamin A.

An Increase in Chest, Throat, and Respiratory Infections

Vitamin A deficiencies can lead to chest, throat, and respiratory tract infections. However, there is a requirement of further research in this area. Supplementing with vitamin A can have serious side effects, even if you are not deficient.

Clair states that vitamin A may have a protective function against excessive inflammation caused by invasive pathogens such as colds and infections. “They might help protect by modulating inflammation.”

Dry Skin due to Vitamin A Deficiency

Vitamin A deficiency is not the only reason for dry skin, eczema and other skin problems. However, it is something that is often present in skincare products. Retinol, which is derived from vitamins, has many skin benefits including smoothening the skin and reducing wrinkles. It is clear that the deficiencies can lead to skin problems.

Kimszal states that the skin has retinoid receptors. Getting enough of it can help create new skin cells and reduce inflammation. It will also prevent dryness. Dry skin can result from not getting enough vitamin A.

Fertility Problems – Vitamin A Deficiency

Research on animals proves that vitamin A deficiencies may cause infertility.8 However, more research is needed to determine if the deficiency can be linked with fertility problems in men and women.

Their deficiencies are rare in the United States, unless you have very restricted diets or are under certain conditions. However, if you are concerned about vitamin A deficiency or other important nutrients, talk to your doctor to see if they can do some blood tests.

Remember, however, that signs and symptoms have many causes. You don’t have to suffer from dry skin or dry eyes if you take vitamin A.