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Avitaminosis is a disease in which there is a complete lack or (according to some authors) a very severe deficiency of any of the vitamins. Vitamins are necessary for the proper functioning of our body, which is why avitaminosis can sometimes be very dangerous and is usually associated with the occurrence of symptoms characteristic of a given vitamin.

What is Avitaminosis?

Avitaminosismay occur as a primary or secondary disease.Primary avitaminosisis the one when there is a limited supply of a specific vitamin to the body.

Withsecondary avitaminosisoccurs when the supply of vitamins is correct, but as a result of various diseases or an incorrect lifestyle (e.g. drinking alcohol, smoking), there is a loss certain vitamins, or if they are not properly absorbed or absorbed by the body. Contrary to appearances, avitaminosis can sometimes cause problems in the diagnostic process. Often, in the presence of various clinical symptoms, the search for specific diseases begins, forgetting that they may be caused by a deficiency or lack of a certain vitamin.

Avitaminosis is diagnosed on the basis of the concentration of a given vitamin (or sometimes its metabolites) in the blood or urine.Treatment of avitaminosisis of course based on the supplementation of a specific vitamin or vitamin complex.

Sometimes oral supplementation is insufficient and the vitamin should be administered intramuscularly or intravenously. We must remember that our body cannot function properly without an adequate supply of vitamins, and an appropriate diet in most cases will protect us from avitaminosis and its negative effects.

What are the symptoms of a vitamin deficiency?

  • Vitamin A

Vitamin A is found mainly in animal products (milk, butter, liver, fish, eggs, cheese), and as a provitamin (carotenoids) it can also be found in some plants, such as carrots, pumpkins, tomatoes, apricots, spinach, parsley, dill or peas. By eliminating these foods from our diet, we are at risk of significantvitamin A deficiency , which can lead to avitaminosis.

Vitamin A is needed for the production of rhodopsin, the retinal pigment responsible for good vision in the dark. In avitaminosis, this vision will be disturbed and we will deal with the so-called night blindness or night blindness.Lack of vitamin Acan also manifest as xerophthalmia, a dry eye syndrome caused by excessive dryness of the conjunctiva, cornea or the entire eyeball.

Vitamin A plays an important role in building normal immunity, therefore, with avitaminosis, we may be exposed to more frequent and more severe infections. In addition, patients with vitamin A avitaminosis may complain of fatigue, dry and brittle hair and brittle nails.

  • Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiencyhas been very publicized in recent years. It is a substance that acts as both a vitamin supplied from the outside and a hormone whose synthesis begins in the skin under the influence of sunlight.

Vitamin D is assigned an increasingly important role in the proper functioning of our body. Initially, it was known only or primarily as an essential ingredient for he althy and strong bones. Over the years, as a result of numerous observations, it has been concluded that, apart from this very important role, it is also necessary for the proper development of our immunity, regulates blood pressure, has a beneficial effect on reproduction, and ensures the proper functioning of nerves and muscles.

Apart from skin synthesis, the source of vitamin D is mainly the meat of some fish, and also the liver, eggs and cheese. However, the vast majority of our population suffers from vitamin D deficiency. This is mainly due to the fact that the climate in which we live does not allow for sufficient skin synthesis of vitamin D, and it is practically impossible to provide it with an adequate amount only with the diet.

In addition, you should remember about various diseases that affect the reduced absorption of vitamin D and those that damage organs necessary for its proper distribution in the body, such as the liver and kidneys.Vitamin D avitaminosiscarries a number of disorders, and the most important of them include:

  • rickets in children and osteoporosis and osteomalacia in adults
  • fractures, curvatures, bad posture
  • muscle weakness and pains
  • inflammation of the skin and conjunctiva
  • weakening of the body, decreased immunity
  • weakness and diseases of the teeth and periodontium

A greater risk of developing an autoimmune disease, such as type 1 diabetes, Leśniowski's disease,Crohn's disease It is also believed that vitamin D avitaminosis may also play a role in the incidence of certain cancers. This includes, for example, bladder cancer, breast cancer and colorectal cancermce_temp_url .

  • Vitamin E

Vitamin E is considered to be one of the most important antioxidants in our cells. Antioxidants, or antioxidants, play an important role in preventing certain diseases, mainly cancer. Vitamin E, in addition to its protective role, also ensures the proper functioning of blood vessels and erythrocytes. The sources of vitamin E are, among others, milk, eggs, butter, as well as vegetable oils, which, when cold pressed, contain several times higher concentration of vitamin E than industrial processed fats. In addition, vitamin E is also found in wholemeal bread, nuts, almonds and leafy vegetables.

Due to the widespread presence of vitamin E in many foods in our diet, it is rarelydeficient . Smoking tobacco breaks down vitamin E, thereforesymptoms of avitaminosismay be seen in the first place in smokers. Avitaminosis in this case can manifest itself as irritability, decreased concentration and muscle weakness. Increased breakdown of red blood cells due to a lack of vitamin E leads to anemia. Other symptoms of vitamin E avitaminosis may also include faster skin aging, worse wound healing or deterioration of eyesight. Vitamin E deficiency can also have negative effects on fertility and contribute to miscarriage. Many scientific studies have searched for the relationship between vitamin E deficiency and the incidence of cardiovascular diseases, and it cannot be ruled out that in this case, avitaminosis may increase the risk of some diseases related to this background.

  • Vitamin K

Vitamin K plays a very important role in the clotting process by participating in the synthesis of factors necessary for this process. It is also an important element in the metabolism of the skeletal system. Its exogenous sources are mainly: liver, leafy green vegetables, legumes, tomatoes, avocados, potatoes, yoghurts, eggs and strawberries. In addition, vitamin K is synthesized by intestinal bacteria and is regenerated in the liver.

The consumption of antibiotics, painkillers and some preservatives can destroy the intestinal flora, which will disturb the intracorporeal production of vitamin K. Drugs from the group of vitamin K antagonists inhibit its hepatic regeneration, therefore, if they are improperly or excessively consumed, we will observe the effects of deficiency of this vitamin.vitamins in the form of prolonged bleeding.

Vitamin K avitaminosiswill manifest itself as coagulation disorders, a tendency to internal and external hemorrhages, prolonged wound healing and diarrhea. Due to its participation in bone metabolism, avitaminosis will contribute to the disturbance of bone mineralization and the formation of osteoporosis.

  • Vitamin B2

This vitamin ensures the proper functioning of the nervous, respiratory and visual systems. It also plays an important role in the construction and regeneration of the skin, mucous membranes and vascular endothelium. Therefore, its abnormal levels in the body will lead to diseases of the skin and mucous membranes, eyes, decreased concentration and dizziness.

Vitamin B2 avitaminosisoften causes seizures, i.e. painful cracking of the mouth corners and excessive hair loss. Avitaminosis can be avoided by consuming milk and dairy products, fish, meat, liver, green vegetables, yeast and mushrooms. Remember that vitamin B2 breaks down when exposed to light.

  • Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 is commonly found in both plant and animal products. An interesting fact is that this vitamin can be supplied with beer in small amounts. It is also produced by intestinal bacteria, and as in the case of vitamin B1, it is broken down by excessive sugar consumption. It helps in the metabolism of nutrients and in maintaining the proper level of cholesterol. Its appropriate level ensures the proper functioning of the skin, digestive and nervous systems. Therefore, in the case of avitaminosis, these very structures are damaged.

Vitamin B3 avitaminosiscan be caused, among others, by by Hartnup's disease (impaired absorption of tryptophan, an amino acid needed for the endogenous synthesis of vitamin B3), the use of isoniazids (anti-tuberculosis drugs), diseases causing impaired absorption of substances from the gastrointestinal tract and carcinoid syndrome (which involves the use of tryptophan to produce serotonin).

Vitamin B3 avitaminosis is mainly known as pellagra, the so-called "4d syndrome", because its characteristic symptoms in English begin with this letter, and include: dermatitis, manifested primarily as rough skin , diarrhea, dementia and eventually death. In the avitaminosis of this vitamin, inflammation of the tongue, depression and gastrointestinal disorders are also observed.

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  • Vitamin B5

We consume vitamin B5 with milk, eggs, meat, fish, many vegetables, seeds, grains, fruits and bread. It is needed for the proper functioning of the nervous system, skin, growth and the production of glucocorticosteroids. Vitamin B5 also prevents early aging and graying of the hair.

Vitamin B5 avitaminosis , which is found very rarely, mainly affects people who eat fast food and overuse sugar. In these people, avitaminosis will manifest itself primarily with skin changes, premature aging and graying, growth, sleep and concentration disorders. There may also be problems caused by damage to the adrenal glands.

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  • Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 avitaminosisis rare because it is present in many common foods. Avitaminosis is most often found in patients taking isoniazid and using contraceptives and restrictive diets. It is difficult to overestimate the role of this vitamin in our lives, because it has a beneficial effect on almost every system of our body. Its main role is attributed to maintaining the proper function of the nervous, hematopoietic, osteoarticular and immune systems, therefore its deficiency is the first to be observed in these systems.

Avitaminosis in this case manifests itself mainly as convulsions, depression, sleep disorders, anemia, general deterioration of well-being, frequent infections, kidney stones or skin inflammations. A very important effect of vitamin B6 avitaminosis is the increased risk of ischemic heart disease and strokes, as it protects our vessels against atherosclerosis.

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  • Vitamin B7

Vitamin B7 is present in, among others, liver, fish, tomatoes, eggs, nuts, spinach and mushrooms. It is produced by intestinal bacteria, which means that its deficiency is rarely observed, usually after intensive antibiotic therapy.Vitamin B7 avitaminosiswill cause diseases such as seborrheic and inflammatory skin changes, hair weakness and loss, split nails, muscle pain and an increase in cholesterol levels.

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  • Vitamin B11 (also known as vitamin B9 or folic acid)

This vitamin occurs almost exclusively in the presence of vitamin B12. It is essential for the proper functioning of the marrow and the development of the nervous system in the fetus. It also plays an important role in the body's immunity and protection of the gastrointestinal tract. Its protective role is also distinguished in the prevention of certain cancers. It is mainly found in leafy vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, eggs, lentils, bananas, and avocados. Smokers, alcoholics and pregnant women are particularly exposed to avitaminosis.

Vitamin B11 avitaminosiswill cause weakness, constant fatigue, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, megaloblastic anemia, growth retardation, gastrointestinal disorders, weight loss. Avitaminosis in pregnant women is very dangerous, as it contributes to the development of neural tube defects in the fetus. That is why all women in the reproductive period, especially those planning a pregnancy and those who are pregnant, are advised to take folic acid prophylactically, even in the absence of symptoms of its deficiency.

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  • Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is found only in meat and animal products, it is not found in plants, which is why almost all vegetarians and vegans suffer from its deficiency.Vitamin B12 avitaminosisalso occurs in people with gastrointestinal diseases that prevent the absorption of this vitamin in the gastrointestinal tract, as well as in alcoholics and people on restrictive diets.

This vitamin is needed for the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and for the proper functioning of the bone marrow and the nervous system.

Vitamin B12 avitaminosis manifests itself as a complex disease including anemia (it results, among others, from weakness, headaches and dizziness, pale skin, tachycardia), loss of appetite, loss of taste, weight loss, sensory disturbances and paresthesia , visual disturbances, and a variety of psychiatric symptoms ranging from confusion, dementia and depression. Vitamin B12 avitaminosis is very often a life-threatening condition, so you should diagnose it as early as possible and implement appropriate treatment.

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  • Vitamin C

Vitamin C is known to everyone mainly as a supporting substance in colds. In addition to strengthening our immunity, it is also very important in the synthesis of glucocorticosteroids, collagen and in the absorption of iron by the body. In addition, it also strengthens the connective tissue, teeth as wellgums and promotes wound healing. It is the most sensitive vitamin to external factors, because it breaks down quickly under the influence of high temperature or even oxygen.

Vitamin C deficiencyis often found in smokers, which is why they develop wrinkles relatively quickly due to reduced collagen synthesis. Vitamin C is found in the highest concentrations in leafy vegetables, parsley, citrus, silage, tomatoes, peppers, kiwi, blackcurrant and strawberries.

Vitamin C avitaminosisis known mainly as scurvy, i.e. gum weakness and bleeding and loss of teeth, as well as fragility and breaking of vessels, weakened immunity, impaired wound healing and joint pain .

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