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10 Signs of Vitamin A Deficiency

Vitamins are extremely important for our body’s performance of its daily functions. For example, vitamin A is essential as it promotes good vision, healthy skin, and an effective reproductive system.  While vitamin A is present in all kinds of foods, there still remains the possibility of having a deficiency of it. People who mainly suffer from vitamin A deficiency are pregnant mothers, children, and babies in their early stages of growth.

There are many physical signs that your body gives you to indicate that you are lacking in this essential nutrient.

1.Dry eyes

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The inability to produce tears and moisturize the eyeball is one of the most important signs of this deficiency. This can be really problematic if it continues to persist because it can lead to the weakening of the corneas which will make you gradually lose sight.

2. Dry skin

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One of the main elements which are required by the body for repairing skin tissue and keeping the body hydrated is vitamin A. If you don’t get your daily dosage of vitamin A you can suffer from vitamin A deficiency. When you notice that your skin is becoming so dry that it starts getting reddish in color as if you have been bruised or injured, it means that you have eczema. Eczema is a very common symptom of vitamin A deficiency. The reddish skin also becomes very itchy.

3. Night blindness

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One of the most frequent signs of a deficiency is night blindness which is also known as nyctalopia. This is an eye problem that makes it difficult for you to see in the dark. The acuity of the eye system gets weakened in dimly lit environments thereby making it impossible to process dark images.

4. Wounds and injuries take long to heal

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Collagen is the main component which is produced by our body to heal wounds in a short period of time. It is because of collagen that the skin and blood can remain healthy. Collagen is a protein usually found in healthy organisms and vitamin A helps in its production. So, when you see that your wounds and injuries are taking a fairly long time to heal, you should check what you’re eating to find out if you are consuming enough vitamin A or not.

To ensure that you are getting adequate amounts of vitamin A always includes foods such as red meat, milk, carrots, and oranges in your diet.

5. Acne

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As we know that vitamin A just happens to be very important for repairing skin tissue, its absence can cause the face to become dry. This forces the skin on your face to produce extra oil which can lead to you getting pimples and acne. Now you know why vitamin A is used for treating acne problems.

6. Slow growth

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Slow growth is a common sign which occurs mostly in children and babies. From the 3rd month of pregnancy it is essential that you consume vitamin A. Even after the baby is born, you should continue giving this vital vitamin to your child for the first few years of their life. Vitamin A helps in developing your child’s eyesight and immune system in addition to helping your child’s body grow. It even helps in the development of physical changes in the mother.

7. Conception problems

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The reproductive systems in both men and women can work a lot better if there is no lack of vitamin A in their bodies. However, if you are having problems with conception, then it could be due to a lack of this vital element.

The only way to promote and boost fertility would be to get your daily requirements of vitamin A fulfilled by eating foods that are rich in it. Moreover, vitamin A is must for pregnant women and should always be included in their diets. Sometimes, pregnancy loss has also been linked to a vitamin A deficiency.

8. Weak immunity

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Without enough vitamin A your immune system can weaken. In fact, people who have a vitamin A deficiency are at risk of contracting frequent throat and chest infections. Vitamin A produces retinoids which have a significant role to play in keeping the eyes and skin healthy. These also help in the production of T-cells and lymphocytes which are cells that crucial to maintaining a strong immune system.

9. Chest and throat infections

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We already know that a vitamin A deficiency can be the reason behind frequent infections of the chest and throat. So how can you treat this? While research results may vary, most of them suggest that taking vitamin A supplements can help with respiratory tract infections.

In Ecuador, a study conducted on children showed that underweight children who consumed 10,000 IU of vitamin A per week had very less respiratory infections in contrast to those who were given a placebo. Although a review of studies on children showed that vitamin A supplements increased the risk of them developing the infections by up to 8%. Researches then suggested that the vitamin A supplement should only be given to people and children with confirmed vitamin A deficiency.

10. Dry hair

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A subtle clue of low levels of vitamin A in your body is dry hair. The top layer of skin cells and those in your mucus membranes on your scalp get replaced every two weeks. A lack of vitamin A will have a negative effect on this process which can lead to dandruff.

How to resolve this problem

The problem of vitamin A deficiency is more prevalent in developing nations in comparison to the USA and other developed nations which have very few cases of it. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to all sorts of health issues like night blindness, inflamed skin, infertility, respiratory infections, and delayed growth.

People who have sustained wounds and injuries and are having skin problems like acne may be having lower vitamin A levels in their blood. These people would surely benefit from a higher dosage of this essential vitamin.

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Many foods do contain a high amount of vitamin A- dairy, eggs, and meat, including yellow, orange, red, and some green vegetables. Try including a variety of these foods into your diet to ensure that you get your daily requirement of vitamin A.

If you think you do have vitamin A deficiency then consult your doctor or healthcare provider as soon as possible. However, you needn’t worry too much because the right foods and some vitamin A supplements can fix this deficiency very easily.

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