Essential Fatty Acid Deficiency (EFAD)

Essential Fatty Acid Deficiency (EFAD)

Essential Fatty Acid Deficiency (EFAD) is a condition that occurs when your body does not receive enough essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are fatty acids that cannot be made within the body and must therefore be obtained through diet or supplements. Essential fatty acids are important for maintaining normal functioning of the body, including the production of hormones, protection of the cell membrane, and the regulation of inflammation.

Symptoms of EFAD may include dry and scaly skin, poor wound healing, brittle scalp hair, fatigue, and depression. EFAD can also lead to a weakened immune system and other medical conditions such as gastrointestinal problems, learning disabilities, and cardiovascular disease.

Causes of EFAD

EFAD is caused by a deficiency of essential fatty acids (EFAs) in the body. This can be due to inadequate intake of nutrition, as well as a variety of medical conditions or medications that interfere with the absorption of EFAs.

  • Inadequate dietary intake of EFAs
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Malabsorption disorders (i.e., an inability to absorb EFAs from the small intestine)
  • Drugs that can interfere with absorption of EFAs, such as anticonvulsants, contraceptives, laxatives, etc.
  • Abnormal metabolism of EFAs

Diagnosis of EFAD

EFAD can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms can be subtle and easily confused with other diseases. Your doctor may order a blood test to measure levels of EFAs in the blood. Other tests may include a skin biopsy to check for essential fatty acids and fatty acids.

Treatment of EFAD

Treatment for EFAD involves lifestyle changes, dietary changes, and possibly supplementation with EFAs. Your healthcare provider can recommend the best treatment option for you, based on your individual needs.

  • Increase intake of foods rich in EFAs, such as fish, nuts, and seeds.
  • Avoid or limit consumption of alcohol and foods or medications that can interfere with absorption of EFAs.
  • Supplement with essential fatty acids. You may need to take a combination of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
  • Maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, and get adequate rest.