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There are some risks if you do not have enough vitamin A, which may impact your skin and hair. Vitamin A deficiency may be caused by prolonged inadequate intake of vitamin A, though it may also occur when your body is unable to make use of the vitamin A in your diet. This can happen in a variety of illnesses. So, what signs should you look out for?
If your doctor suspects you may have vitamin A deficiency then you will need to have blood tests.
Nonetheless, if you take a supplement that contains vitamin A, do not take too much because this could be harmful.
Vitamin A deficiency signs can include skin and hair problems.
The Mayo Clinic says that these include dry skin, dry hair and itching, known as pruritus.
Mild forms of vitamin A deficiency may cause no symptoms. However, vitamin A deficiency may cause tiredness, the site adds.
The Mayo Clinic says mild and severe forms of vitamin A may cause an increased risk of infections, including throat and chest infections, and gastroenteritis.
Similarly, it may increase the risk of delayed growth and bone development in children and teenagers.
Unfortunately, it can also increase the risk of infertility and miscarriage.
There are also some more severe forms of vitamin A deficiency, which may also cause vision problems.
This includes poor vision in the dark and dryness of the conjunctiva and cornea on the surface of the eye.
In severe cases some people also experience severe sight impairment due to damage to the retina at the back of the eye.
The Mayo Clinic says: “The treatment for mild forms of vitamin A deficiency includes eating vitamin A-rich foods – eg, liver, beef, oily fish, chicken, eggs, fortified milk, carrots, mangoes, sweet potatoes and leafy green vegetables.”
For more severe forms of vitamin A deficiency causing symptoms, treatment includes taking daily oral vitamin A supplements.
Having an average of 1.5mg a day or less of vitamin A from diet and supplements combined is unlikely to cause any harm.
Many multivitamins contain vitamin A. Other supplements, such as fish liver oil, are also high in vitamin A, according to the NHS.
The NHS says: “Some research suggests that having more than an average of 1.5 mg a day of vitamin A over many years may affect your bones, making them more likely to fracture when you’re older.”
The Mayo Clinic says: “Vitamin A deficiency is unusual in high income countries.
“However, it is very common in low income countries where it often develops because of intestinal infections and worms, and protein-energy malnutrition.”
Nonetheless, the health site says the outcome is very good if you have a mild form of vitamin A deficiency without any symptoms.
Any excess vitamin A can be stored by the body. Therefore, you don’t need to eat the recommended amount of vitamin A every single day.
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