All You Need to Know About Avitaminosis
Despite the oversupply of food, the number of people suffering from vitamin deficiencies or even avitaminosis is steadily increasing. In Germany, the vitamin D deficiency is particularly pronounced. One of the main causes of avitaminosis or hypovitaminosis is malnutrition and an excessive amount of denatured foods.
What is Avitaminosis?
According to digopaul, Avitaminosis is the complete absence of one or more vitamins in the body. This distinguishes the deficiency disease from the so-called hypovitaminosis, in which the vitamin is still present in at least a small amount. Since the body can only produce vitamins to a very limited extent, it is dependent on daily intake from food.
The vitamin reserves last for different lengths of time depending on the vitamin. For example, if they don’t take vitamin C at all for 2 to 4 monthsto(the body cannot store the vital substance), consequential damage such as scurvy occurs . Vitamin B1 lasts for about one to two weeks.
Consequences of certain avitaminoses are, for example, anemia ( anemia ) with vitamin B2, B6 and B9 deficiency, beriberi (vitamin B1 deficiency), night blindness ( vitamin A deficiency ) and neural tube defects in the fetus (“open back”) caused by a Vitamin B9 deficiency.
Avitaminosis or hypovitaminosis can have many causes. In most cases, malnutrition (junk food, sachet soups) or malnutrition (mainly in third world countries) is to blame. A lasting antibiotics -Einnahme can lead to a vitamin deficiency, namely when it causes damage to the intestinal flora.
Chronic or acute illnesses or surgical interventions (bowel resection) can also lead to a reduced absorption of vitamins. Frequent infections , the use of some medications, and congenital defects are responsible for other avitaminoses. People who work hard physically, do competitive sports, pregnant and breastfeeding women generally need more vitamins and develop deficiency symptoms if the increased need is not adequately met.
The same goes for smokers and people with existing alcohol addiction . Old people who “forget” to take in enough vital substances and those who suffer from poor appetite are also particularly at risk of developing avitaminosis. Persistent diarrhea can sometimes lead to avitaminosis.
Symptoms, ailments & signs
In the case of avitaminoses / hypovitaminoses, unspecific symptoms such as a lack of concentration , nervous exhaustion and sleep disorders occur. In addition, the lack of vitamins can lead to hair loss , anemia, brittle bones and falling teeth.
Cardiovascular disorders and cracked fingernails can also be signs of prolonged extreme vitamin deficiency. In addition, there are the typical symptoms of the specific vitamin deficiency disease. In anemia, these are paleness of the face, light-colored mucous membranes and fatigue .
Diagnosis & course
The hair mineral analysis that is often offered is completely unsuitable for determining acute vitamin deficiency, as it only reflects the condition that prevailed two to three months previously. The complete blood count and the determination of all vitamin values provide a more precise picture. However, it is usually sufficient to check certain blood values.
These include vitamins B6, B9 and B12 (can be determined from the homocysteine content), C, D, E and the minerals selenium and zinc. Vegans and vegetarians particularly often suffer from B12 avitaminosis / hypovitaminosis. The content of this vital substance in the blood can be determined more precisely with the help of the Holo-TC method than with a conventional blood serum analysis.
See a doctor immediately if you experience visual disturbances , muscle cramps , prolonged diarrhea, confusion, and paralysis . With a specialist in orthomolecular medicine, the patient with their vitamin deficiency is in the best of hands.
If left untreated, avitaminosis inevitably leads to various complications. Typical complaints as a result of avitaminosis are visual disturbances, muscle cramps and long-lasting gastrointestinal complaints. In addition, there is confusion and paralysis, but also language and movement disorders . As a result of untreated avitaminosis, well-being also decreases significantly.
Those affected suffer from the various symptoms of a vitamin deficiency and are often mentally damaged as a result. Depending on the missing vitamin, the disease can trigger scurvy (C-avitaminosis), rickets or osteomalacia (D-avitaminosis). If the vitamin deficiency persists over a longer period of time, the development of the diseases mentioned at the beginning is favored.
As a result, avitaminosis can lead to hair loss, anemia and brittle bones. It can also lead to falling teeth, cracked fingernails and cardiovascular disorders. In addition, there are the complications typical for the respective secondary illness.
In an anemia it may be about to fatigue and pallor come as scurvy long term leads to various bone diseases. Treatment of avitaminosis is usually without complications. Only in the event of a misdiagnosis or an undetected underlying condition can further problems arise, which then have to be treated individually.
When should you go to the doctor?
Symptoms of malnutrition (fatigue, paleness, cracked fingernails, etc.) should be discussed with the family doctor . A visit to the doctor is recommended at the latest when physical or mental complaints increase.
If sleep disorders, hair loss, and cardiovascular disorders occur in connection with an unbalanced diet, it may be avitaminosis. The person affected can first try to remedy the deficiency symptoms through dietary measures. If this does not succeed, for example because the nutrient deficiency is due to illness, a doctor must be consulted.
If visual disturbances, muscle cramps, confusion or paralysis are added to the symptoms mentioned, an immediate doctor’s visit is required. In the event of a circulatory collapse or a heart attack, the emergency doctor must be called. If the disease remains untreated, it can lead to serious complications and secondary diseases such as scurvy, broken bones and depression.
If you notice wobbling teeth, brittle bones or depressive moods, go to a doctor immediately and have the cause determined. Children, pregnant women, the elderly and patients with a pre-existing cardiovascular system or digestive tract should see a doctor at the first signs of avitaminosis.
Treatment & Therapy
Avitaminoses / hypovitaminoses are usually treated successfully by supplying the appropriate amount of the missing vitamin. It is often enough to consume it in the form of fresh fruit and vegetables. Freshly squeezed juices are also suitable. Vegetables should not be heated for a long time so as not to destroy some vitamins.
A cure with the appropriate dietary supplement can also help to replenish the vitamin reserves. Vitamin C has to be taken in daily because the body cannot store it. Other vitamins are best absorbed together with other vital substances so that the body can use them better. Vitamins A, D, E and K must not be overdosed under any circumstances.
It is advisable to take them with fatty foods as they can then be better absorbed by the body. In the case of severe vitamin deficiency symptoms caused by chronic diseases ( cancer , HIV / AIDS ), the patient receives his multivitamin preparations on prescription from the doctor. Infants suffering from vitamin D avitaminosis are given vitamin D3 in the form of drops or tablets to prevent rickets from the second week of life until the end of the first year of life.
If the vitamin deficiency symptoms are caused by illnesses, the illnesses must of course also be treated by a doctor. If they do not go back despite the supply of the missing vitamin, the attending physician must look for malabsorption in his patient.
This is the case, for example, when the intestine cannot absorb certain vital substances well or pass them on to the bloodstream. If the patient with avitaminosis / hypovitaminosis takes food supplements, he should always bear in mind that they cannot be a substitute for a balanced diet rich in vitamins.
Outlook & forecast
The prognosis prospects for avitaminosis can be described as very good. As soon as the deficiency of the appropriate vitamins has been detected and measured, comprehensive treatment can begin. The success can usually be clearly felt within a few weeks. The patient is usually considered cured within a short time and his symptoms have disappeared.
The cooperation of the patient and a change in lifestyle are necessary in order to experience a permanent recovery. It is your own responsibility to adhere to and improve the analyzed points in the future so that your health is maintained in the long term. Alternatively, there is a risk of relapse and avitaminosis breaks out again.
For the fastest possible healing, it is helpful to have a blood test carried out by a doctor. The laboratory examination shows in detail which irregularities are present in the organism. This is helpful in order to be able to compensate for the shortage of supply in a targeted manner. Subsequent nutritional advice should be started immediately.
In order not to cause oversupply or other problems, it is advisable to discuss the consumption of additional vitamin supplements with a doctor. After a few weeks or months, a new control test should be carried out to document the results of the changes. If necessary, further adjustments can be made. It is advisable to carry out a control test after several months to document the long-term change.
In order to prevent avitaminosis or an undersupply of certain vitamins, the consumer should ensure a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Vegetables are best processed in a way that preserves vitamins. If you work a lot, ideally ensure that you have enough leisure time (sport, relaxation baths).
After a diagnosis of avitaminosis, it is up to the patient to prevent the disease from recurring. He didn’t build immunity. The complete absence of certain vitamins can recur. The best prevention is a balanced diet. Plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables should be on the menu.
If you have any nutritional questions, you can contact your family doctor. He is there to advise. He can also arrange for specialist instruction. Due to the oversupply of nutrients, avitaminosis rarely occurs in the western world. Mostly alcohol and nicotine addicts as well as seniors are affected. The doctor can investigate a suspicion by taking a blood sample.
If the unhealthy diet is continued, this behavior favors other diseases. The body is permanently weakened. A patient finds himself in a vicious cycle from which he can no longer get out. Long-term damage to different body organs is the result.
After an established avitaminosis, the patient has the main responsibility to prevent a recurrence of the disease. He should be careful with his food consumption behavior. The doctor can only order accompanying therapies, prevent further organ damage and document the current situation through blood tests. In contrast, fruit and vegetables are not available on prescription.
You can do that yourself
In the western world, when a vitamin is completely lacking, it is usually due to continued malnutrition , which can have various causes.
In the case of reduction diets, it is essential to ensure that the body is supplied with sufficient vitamins and micronutrients despite the reduced energy intake. Since fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and low in calories, these two goals do not conflict with each other.
However, caution is advised with one-sided diets in which only certain foods are allowed to be eaten. Such diets should never be carried out over a long period of time or at regular, short intervals.
In certain life situations, more vitamins are required than usual. This is particularly true during pregnancy and in the puerperium, during other major physical exertion and during a serious illness and the subsequent convalescence. In such situations, the use of dietary supplements can be useful, but this should only be done after consulting a doctor.
Vitamin D deficiency is particularly widespread in Germany . Since the body needs sunlight in order to produce it itself, a deficiency can be prevented by staying outdoors regularly. In the winter months, however, the intensity of solar radiation is usually not sufficient in our latitudes. Then an occasional visit to the solarium can be helpful.
Vegan people must not forget to substitute vitamin B12 , as this substance is not supplied through purely plant-based food.