Avitaminosis: symptoms, causes and treatment of vitamin deficiency

  • Avitaminosis: symptoms, causes and treatment of vitamin deficiency

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    Avitaminosis - a pathological condition, the emergence of which is the result of malnutrition with a complete deficit of vitamins for a long period.

    In life, classic avitaminosis is a rare event, and its external symptoms are associated with a vitamin that is not enough for the normal functioning of the body.

    Thus, in the absence of vitamin C in foodstuffs, scorbut( scurvy) progresses, and with a deficiency of vitamin B1, a pathology appears, bearing the exotic name of beriberi.

    Causes of avitaminosis

    In general, vitamin A causes the following reasons:

    1. 1) Improper nutrition when part of the vitamins in food is significantly below normal.
    2. 2) Unbalanced food. If the proportions between food substances in the menu are not maintained, avitaminosis may also develop. So, a decrease in the diet of high-grade proteins leads to a lack of B vitamins, the deficiency of retinol and vitamin C, folic and nicotinic acids is progressing. Excess carbohydrate food leads to a lack of thiamine( vitamin B1).
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    4. 3) Non-compliance with processing technology products. Part of the vitamins under the influence of temperature agents loses its biological qualities. This also applies to storage rules. For example, vitamin B2 breaks down under the influence of ultraviolet rays, and the greens through storage day has only 40% of the primary content of vitamin C.
    5. 4) Avitaminosis occurs when there is an urgent need for vitamins and it is irreplaceable. The need for taking an increased dose of vitamins appears with intense physical effort, hard work and emotional stress.
    6. 5) Digestive disorders. Diseases of a parasitic nature.
    7. 6) Prolonged intake of certain medications. Medications can act as antivitamins and inhibit the activity of vitamins.
    8. 7) Features of metabolic processes in persons of different age categories. In elderly people, avitaminosis often develops due to a decrease in the intensity of absorption processes, which is the result of atrophy of the intestinal mucosa, and also due to chronic processes. At risk are premature babies, as the storage of vitamins in the child's body falls on the last months of pregnancy.
    9. 8) Endocrine disorders( diabetes mellitus, myxedema).
    10. 9) Winter season.

    Symptoms of avitaminosis

    A distinctive feature of vitamin deficiency is a specific set of symptoms, depending on the vitamin deficient body. These manifestations have a sharp intensity and complex influence on the vital activity of the organism.

    The most frequently found deficiency of vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin( vitamin B2), nicotinic and ascorbic acids, as well as vitamin D( calciferol).

    1. Avitaminosis "A" - the visible symptoms of retinol insufficiency make itself felt by the changes in the skin, which becomes dry and flakes, as the functions of fat and perspiration are disturbed. Hair thinning, and nail plates undergo changes. Cracks and calluses form on the soles of the feet( see how to heal cracks on the heels).Violation of pigmentation is expressed in a change in skin color and mucous membranes.
    2. Avitaminosis B2 - with complete absence of vitamin B2 there are changes in the skin, eyes. The mucous membrane of the tongue and lips is involved in the process. Accordingly, there are cracks on the lips, on the skin of the face there is acne, there is a deterioration in the perception of colors, develop conjunctivitis, stomatitis and glossitis.
    3. Pellagra - this avitaminosis manifests itself in the absence of vitamin PP( nicotinic acid).The disease with a sudden onset and severe symptoms is violent and in very neglected cases it can cause a fatal outcome. Among the symptoms of the first there is diarrhea without veins of blood and mucus, as a result of the defeat of the digestive system. Followed by changes in the skin, which declare themselves dermatitis in open areas of the body. Disorder of the psyche( psychosis), the nervous system suffers.
    4. Avitaminosis "C" - more familiar synonym for the word "beriberi" - scurvy. Pathology is characterized by pain in the lower limbs and lower back, general malaise, rapid fatigue. But the leading symptom is hemorrhages on the skin, which are localized in most part in the organs of movement, but can arise in the conjunctiva of the eyes and manifest as uterine bleeding. The gums also bleed, swell and loosen, which entails the loss of teeth. Among the signs of avitaminosis is insomnia, a depressed state, poor concentration of attention.
    Symptoms of avitaminosis are so diverse that only an expert can understand them after carrying out appropriate tests, but there are some signs that allow one to suspect a lack of vitamins. Such signs include:

    • feeling of fatigue in the morning and a heavy awakening.
    • drowsiness and lethargy throughout the day.
    • absent-mindedness and inattention, a decrease in the ability to hold information in the head.
    • unreasonable irritability.
    • skin problems( cheilitis, dryness).
    • frequent colds.

    Treatment of vitamin deficiency

    In the case of vitamin deficiency, treatment should be carried out with synthetic vitamins. If vitamin A is absent, retinol comes to the rescue, the ointment containing the concentrate of this vitamin is shown locally. Food should be easily assimilated and rich in retinol and carotene.

    Vitamin B2 deficiency is treated with riboflavin injections, or the same substance, but in tablets in about 1.5 months. Simultaneously, prescribe nicotinic and ascorbic acid. It is also desirable to introduce meat and dairy products.

    Pelagra shows nicotinic acid or nicotinamide, along with retinol, vitamin B12, riboflavin. With severe depletion, a blood or plasma transfusion is practiced. Nervous and digestive systems are treated. The food is high-calorie and high-grade.
    Scurvy is treated with ascorbic acid and a routine. To eliminate bleeding intramuscularly administered vikasol, and intravenously - calcium chloride solution.


    The most important preventive tool for beriberi of different etiology is a balanced diet, which must receive the right amount of vitamins.

    For prevention purposes, a physician can prescribe multivitamin complexes in the prescribed dosage. In addition to this, you need to lead a healthy lifestyle.

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