Every vitamin carries out a specific function in the body, and hence, is equally essential for overall growth and development. One of the most important functions of vitamin K is clotting of blood, which reduces and stops blood loss. Secondly, it is also essential for bone development and regulation of calcium absorption in the body. Pregnant women are advised to include foods high in vitamin K in their diet as it is also necessary for the development of the fetus. Due to its several benefits, it is essential to include this vitamin in the diet regularly. Failing to do so can lead to a deficiency.
Deficiency of vitamin K is quite rare. As mentioned above, not having a proper diet is one of its major causes. Most of the essential vitamins are found in foods obtained from plant and/or animal sources. Therefore, if a person has an improper diet for prolonged period, he/she may suffer from a deficiency. On the other hand, it is also found that prolong use of antibiotics can also lead to deficiency of vitamin K. Certain medications (usually those taken orally) tend to lower the amounts of vitamin K in the body, which can lead to a deficiency.
As vitamin K helps in normal clotting of blood, its absence can lead to bleeding. Secondly, disorders of the bones and bone development, anemia, etc., are the other symptoms. As vitamin K affects the functioning of blood cells, there are chances of developing anemia in case vitamin K is deficient. However, peculiarly, it is found that overdose of vitamin K in newborn babies can also lead to anemia. Therefore, it should be noted that vitamin K and anemia are related to each other. Following are the other signs and symptoms:
- Difficulty in blood clotting
- Bleeding in gums, nose
- Excessive bleeding during menstruation
- Internal bleeding in gastrointestinal tract
- Easy bruising
- High susceptibility to bone fractures
- Blood in urine
The treatment methods include having a diet inclusive of foods high in vitamin K like green leafy vegetables, sprouts, eggs, etc. Secondly, supplements can correct the vitamin deficiency. However, it should be noted that supplements are only used in case of severe deficiency and are to be taken strictly under the doctor's supervision. Vitamin K injections are taken in case of severe vitamin deficiency or for the prevention of this deficiency.
Lastly, one should remember that having a balanced and nutritious diet helps in gaining all the essential vitamins and preventing deficiency diseases to a great extent. Therefore, one should plan one's diet carefully and follow it regularly. Take care!
Disclaimer: This article is meant only to provide information. It is not to be used as a substitute for doctor's advice.