Vitamin A Deficiency

What are Vitamins?

Vitamins are essential organic compounds which are required for normal growth and maintenance of our body. Both human and animals require vitamins for proper growth and development. They play a vital role in boosting and strengthening the metabolism of living organisms. Vitamins are also responsible for the breakdown of food molecules during digestion, for the formation of bones, blood cells, hormones, muscles, nerves and genetic materials of our living cells.

What is Vitamin A?

Vitamin A is very important for healthy eyesight and also protects from infections. Listed below are the good sources of Vitamin A that can be included in our daily diet.

  • Nuts.
  • Eggs.
  • Fish.
  • Liver.
  • Beet Greens.
  • Fortified Margarine.
  • Green leafy vegetables.
  • Dairy products (Cheese, milk, butter)
  • Green and ripe yellow colored fruits (mangoes, banana, watermelon, etc.)
  • Dark and yellow colored vegetables (Carrots, Pumpkin, Sweet Potatoes,etc.)

What is Vitamin A Deficiency?

Vitamin A deficiency

Vitamin A Deficiency, also referred as hypovitaminosis A. it is mainly caused due to the lack of vitamin A in blood and tissues of a person. It is usually found in poorer countries. The deficiency of Vitamin A can also increase the risk of death in infants. Night blindness is one the major signs of this deficiency. More than 250,000 to 500,000 malnourished children go blind every year due to the deficiency of vitamin A and approx half of them dies within a year of becoming blind. It causes night blindness mostly women who are pregnant and also increases the chance of maternal mortality.

Night blindness is one the major signs of this deficiency diseases. More than 250,000 to 500,000 malnourished children go blind every year due to the deficiency of vitamin A and few of them die with the increased risk of infections. Night blindness syndrome is mostly seen in pregnant women which also increases the chance of maternal mortality.

There is a huge nutritional demand in the third trimester for both the pregnant women and unborn child. If they don’t include enough Vitamin A in their diet their body suffers from deficiency and can face severe risk of night blindness. Therefore Vitamin A is very much important to maintain the proper functioning of normal vision.

Vitamin A Deficiency also results in growing inability of a body and to fight against different types of infections. This results in different illness and diseases. All those children who suffer from this deficiency can die from extreme diarrhea, respiratory infection, and measles. Just a single deficiency can severely affect the growth of their bones and sometimes to their overall body growth.

Causes of Vitamin A Deficiency

  • Less intake of animal food products and vegetables can cause malnutrition.
  • Deficiency of Vitamin A causes over excretion of urine.
  • Mothers who do not breastfeed their infants put them at greater risk of Vitamin A deficiency as breast milk consists of a good amount of Vitamin A for a newborn baby.

Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin A Deficiency

  • Dry and rough skin.
  • Growth and development can be halted in children.
  • Eye inflammation affects the eyelids, surrounding tissues, and even eyes.
  • Respiratory infection and urinary infection occurs in children as well as in adults.
  • Dry Eyes results in xerophthalmia, which is a risky form of night blindness where the eye’s outer membrane, conjunctiva leaves it’s goblet cells that help in performing the release of mucus in the eye by keeping it lubricated.
  • Reduced or less vision in the dim light at the night. Patients with Vitamin A deficiency will not be able to differentiate the outlines of images available in reduced illumination. They have good vision at day time till the night blindness reaches to high form.
  • The loss of goblet cells can seriously lead to xerophthalmia where the eye stops developing tears as they become dead cells. These can be collected from the outer layer of the eye and it seems like a form of debris which leads to blindness and other infections.

Stay tuned with Byju’s to learn more about Vitamin A Deficiency.

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