Vitamin K deficiency symptoms

Youthful Essential's Sun Country Vitamin K Creme 2oz
As a rule, Vitamin K deficiency is rare—almost everyone gets more than enough from their own bacteria and from their food. Sometimes newborn babies don’t have enough Vitamin K because they don’t yet have any bacteria to make it in their intestines. To make up for that, most newborns are given an injection of a tiny amount of Vitamin K soon after birth.

When adults get Vitamin K deficiency, it’s generally because they eat very few green vegetables or because they have been taking oral antibiotics for a long time. The antibiotics kill off the intestinal bacteria that make Vitamin K. Sometimes Vitamin K deficiency is caused by liver disease or a problem digesting fat. You might be deficient if:

You have serious liver disease. You can’t use Vitamin K properly. Your doctor will probably recommend Vitamin K shots.

You have Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or some other serious intestinal problem. You can’t absorb fats well, so you don’t absorb much Vitamin K from your food. Talk to your doctor about supplements.

You’ve been taking antibiotic pills for a long time (at least several weeks). Tetracy-cline, neomycin, and cephalosporin kill the bad bacteria—but they also kill the friendly bacteria that make Vitamin K in your intestines. Eating more Vitamin K foods should help, but talk to your doctor first.

You take drugs such as cholestyramine or colestipol to lower your cholesterol. These drugs block your absorption of Vitamin K and other fat-soluble vitamins. Talk to your doctor about supplements.

The major symptom of Vitamin K deficiency is that your blood clots very slowly, so you bleed for a long time even from minor injuries. Vitamin K deficiency causes big black-and-blue marks from very slight bruises or even for no reason, nosebleeds, blood in your urine, and intestinal bleeding.
If you have Vitamin K deficiency symptoms, see your doctor at once. You’ll need blood tests to check your clotting time and your prothrombin level (we’ll explain about prothrombin a little later in this chapter). If the results show a deficiency, you may need more tests to figure out why. In the meantime, your doctor will probably give you Vitamin K shots. These can take a while to kick in, though, so you may also have to take Vitamin K supplements.


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