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5 Signs of Vitamin K Deficiency

Monday, 31 Jan 2011 11:34 AM

Vitamin K is essential for healthy, dense bones. Its deficiency shows up as bone-related problems like loss of bone (osteopenia), decrease in bone mineral density (osteoporosis), and fractures including hip fractures.

The following are some of the signs of a deficiency of vitamin K:
 
1. Among the most common signs and symptoms of vitamin K deficiency are heavy menstrual bleeding, gum bleeding, nose bleeding, and easy bruising. Symptoms and signs of vitamin K deficiency further include bleeding within the digestive tract and blood in the urine.
 
2.  A deficiency of vitamin K can affect a new-born baby or fetus as well. Vitamin K deficiency may result in internal bleeding (in the skull), malformed fingers, and under-developed facial features like ears, nose, and chin. Vitamin K helps in the overall development of the fetus. This explains why a pregnant woman is usually given vitamin K in the form of food supplements.
 
3. Defective blood coagulation and hemorrhages are also among the signs and symptoms of a vitamin K deficiency. Deficiency of vitamin K leads to a reduction in the prothrobin content of blood. If you are deficient in vitamin K, you will suffer from blood clotting. Deficiency of vitamin K can also lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
 
4. Other prominent signs and symptoms of vitamin K deficiency are prolonged clotting times, hemorrhaging, and anemia.
 
5. Vitamin K deficiency-related symptoms lead to excessive deposition of calcium in soft tissues. Hardening of the arteries or calcium-related problems are the other common signs of vitamin K deficiency. So are biliary obstruction, malabsorption, cystic fibrosis, and resection of the small intestine.
 
Deficiency of vitamin K can be prevented by consuming an appropriate diet. A vitamin K-rich diet typically contains green leafy vegetables, eggs, and soybean. Those affected by vitamin K deficiency are prescribed oral medicines for a certain period of time. The prescription depends upon the individual concerned and the severity of the condition of the individual.

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