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Vitamin A Deficiency

     Depletion of the body's vitamin A stores is brought about by a prolonged intake of diet lacking in vitamin A.
     Aside from promoting good night vision,vitamin A plays a host of other important roles.  It plays a part in:
• promoting health of mucus membranes and skin
• bone growth
• reproduction
• maintenance of cell membrane stability
• helping the adrenal glands to synthesized a hormone
• helping to ensure a normal output of thyroxin from the thyroid gland
• helping to maintain nerve cell coverings
• assisting in immune reactions
• helping to manufacture red blood cells

     With all these and other functions, you can just imagine the terrible problems that rise when vitamin A is lacking or absent in the body.
     The body can store up to one year's supply of vitamin A,keeping 90% in the liver.  Deficiency symptoms will only start to appear after your stores are depleted.  Appearance of symptoms suggests that you have stopped eating good food sources of vitamin a for quite sometime.

Probable Causes
• Prolonged starvation
• Too little food intake
• Anorexia
• Zinc deficiency (plays a major role in vitamin A bioavailability)
• Poor food choices (lack of variety)
• Refusal to eat vegetables

Probable Symptoms on:
• RETINA - Night Blindness
• MEMBRANES - Failure to secret mucopolysaccharide causes change in epithelial tissue (Technical Name for Symptom: Hyperkeratinization)
• GENERAL DRYING (mildnest form) 
     - Triangular gray spots on eye 
     - Irreversible drying and degeneration of the cornea causes blindness (most severe) 
     - The eye's symptoms of vitamin A deficiency (Technical Name for Symptom: Xerophthalmia)
: more on Eyes click here

Hair follicles plug with keratin, forming white lumps (Technical Name for Symptom: Hyperkeratosis)
: more on skin click here

GI tract
Changes in lining; diarrhea

Respiratory tract
Changes in lining; infections

Urogenital tract
- Changes in lining favor calcium deposition, resulting in kidney stones, bladder disorders
- Infection of the bladder and kidney
- Infections of vagina

Bone growth ceases; shaped of bones change; joints are painful

Enamel-forming cells malfunction; teeth develop cracks and tend to decay; dentin-forming cells atrophy
: more on teeth and gums click here

Nervous System
Brain and spinal cord grow too fast for stunted skull and spine; Injury to brain and nerves causes paralysis

Immune System
Depression of Immune reactions

Anemia, often masked by dehydration
: more on Blood click here

Helpful Dietary Management
• Eat a balanced diet including dark green leafy and yellow vegetables.

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