It can also occur when the intestine cannot absorb the nutrient.
Vitamin Adeficiency can cause blindness. It can also increase the risk of serious, sometimes fatal infections. Symptoms include night blindness, dry skin, and frequent infections.
Treatments may include supplements and dietary changes. Vitamin A deficiency is due to a dietary intake of vitamin A that is inadequate to meet physiological needs. It can be worsened by high rates of infection, especially diarrhea and measles. It is common in developing countries, but is rarely seen in developed countries.
Vitamin A deficiency is a public health problem in more than half of the countries, especially those in Africa and Southeast Asia. The most serious effects of this deficiency are seen in young children and pregnant women in low-income countries. Vitamin A deficiency occurs when the body lacks the amount of vitamin A it needs to function properly. Vitamin A deficiency can cause vision loss and blindness.
It can also cause skin, heart, lung, tissue and immune system complications. Every year, between 250,000 and 500,000 children around the world become blind due to vitamin A deficiency. Complementary treatment for night blindness includes massive doses of vitamin A (200,000 IU) in the form of oral retinyl palmitate, which are given two to four times a year. The increase in awareness of the role of vitamin A in human health has led to an international effort to eliminate vitamin A deficiency and its consequences as a public health problem by the year 2000.
Your healthcare provider will treat your vitamin A deficiency with high doses of a vitamin A supplement for several days. After several days, you'll be asked to take lower doses of vitamin A until your vision and skin problems begin to resolve. Vitamin A also keeps the skin and the lining of the lungs, intestines and urinary tract in optimal condition. Your healthcare provider can also help you plan a healthy, balanced diet that includes foods that contain vitamin A.
It is important to eat a diet that includes foods that contain vitamin A, such as meat, dairy products, dark leafy vegetables, and yellow or orange fruits and vegetables. In general, people should also consult a doctor before taking vitamin A supplements if they have any conditions related to fat malabsorption, such as pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis, tropical sprue, and biliary obstruction. Blood concentrations of retinol in plasma or serum are used to assess subclinical vitamin A deficiency. It is estimated that between 250,000 and 500,000 children with vitamin A deficiency become blind each year, and half of them die within 12 months of losing their sight.
If you increase your vitamin A intake, some of the effects of vitamin A deficiency should start to reverse. Night blindness (in which it is difficult or impossible to see in low light) is one of the clinical signs of vitamin A deficiency and is common during pregnancy in developing countries. Vitamin A deficiency can be confirmed if symptoms start to improve after taking a vitamin A supplement. While rare in the United States, vitamin A deficiency occurs frequently in developing countries around the world.