Vitamin E Deficiency

Vitamin E Deficiency

Vitamin E deficiency is an uncommon but serious condition where the body is unable to absorb and use vitamin E. This can cause a number of health problems, ranging from impaired vision and nerve damage to muscle weakness and anemia. It is especially important for pregnant women and young children to get enough vitamin E to prevent serious complications.

Causes of Vitamin E Deficiency

Vitamin E deficiency can occur when your diet does not contain enough vitamin E, your body cannot absorb it properly, or when the body does not produce enough of it. In some cases, it can be caused by certain medical conditions or medications that affect absorption. Other causes may include:

  • Abetalipoproteinemia - a genetic disorder where fats and fat-soluble vitamins cannot be absorbed properly
  • Cystic fibrosis - a disease that affects the digestive system
  • Liver or gallbladder disease
  • Crohn’s disease - an autoimmune disorder that affects the digestive system
  • Gastrointestinal surgery
  • Malnutrition
  • Certain medications, such as anticonvulsants or cholesterol-lowering drugs

Symptoms of Vitamin E Deficiency

The symptoms of vitamin E deficiency may vary depending on the severity, but some common signs may include:

  • Impaired vision
  • Fatigue and muscle weakness
  • Difficulty walking
  • Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
  • Loss of balance and coordination
  • Loss of reflexes
  • Anemia
  • Lack of appetite
  • Liver and kidney problems

Treatment of Vitamin E Deficiency

The treatment for vitamin E deficiency will depend on the underlying cause. For those with dietary deficiencies, the goal will be to increase the vitamin E intake through food sources or supplements. For those with medical conditions causing malabsorption, the treatment will focus on controlling and managing the condition. Pregnant women and young children should consult a doctor before taking any supplements.