Vitamin K is an essential constituent of the blood clotting process. Recent research into the vitamin has revealed that it works as an anti-cancer remedy, helps in bone formation and increases sensitivity to insulin. It is a fat-soluble vitamin and is formed of two components, vitamin K1 which can be obtained from vegetables and vitamin K2 which can be derived from animal products like cheese, meats, and eggs. It is mostly found in babies, especially newborns. Therefore, they are given a dose of vitamin K injection as a standard practice while leaving the hospital to avoid vitamin K deficiency.
The chances of adults developing deficiencies of this vitamin are quite rare. However, if they do it can have severe repercussions. This is because vitamin K deficiency disease list is a long one! Low levels of vitamin K can increase the risks of developing heart disease and stroke. Those who suffer from celiac or Crohn’s disease are at risk. Also, people who are severely malnourished or who are on medication that leads to insufficient absorption of the vitamin. Let us look at some of the signs of vitamin K deficiency.
- Easy Bruising
Those who suffer from vitamin K deficiency get easily bruised. Sometimes, a little bump can manifest as a large bruise that does not heal quickly.
- Excessive Bleeding
Low levels of vitamin K lead to excessive bleeding wounds, injections, and body parts, especially from the gums or nose.
- Heavy and Painful Menstruation
Women may suffer from heavy periods accompanied by pain. Known as Menorrhagia, the condition can afflict almost one-fifth of women in the reproductive age bracket. Pre Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) is also prevalent more in women with vitamin K deficiency.
- Risk to Gastrointestinal Tract
There are also risks of having gastrointestinal hemorrhaging and bleeding which might be visible as blood in the stools and urine.
- Risk to Skeletal Health
Deficiency of vitamin K leads to a loss of bone density. Frequent fractures, pain, and aches in the joints and the bones are signs of vitamin K deficiency. People with low levels of this vitamin leads are at risk of developing osteoporosis. Women who are past the menopausal age are more vulnerable than younger women.
- Risk to Cardiac Health
An optimum amount of vitamin K leads to efficient heart functioning. Deficiency leads to calcification of the arteries as this vitamin is responsible for leading calcium away from the arteries to prevent plaque formation. Check for vitamin K deficiency if you have heart problems.
- Bleeding Gums and Teeth
Another sure sign of vitamin K deficiency is excessive bleeding in gums and teeth.
- Danger to Newborns
Vitamin K deficiency in newborns causes them to be at risk of developing a hemorrhagic disease known as HDN.
Eating a balanced diet, rich in vegetables and other sources is a good way to ensure excellent supply of vitamin K in the body. Raw cheese, yogurt and green leafy vegetables are good choices. You can also opt for supplements if your doctor suggests so.