Vitamin K Deficiency
Vitamin K is the parent substance from which the liver produces four of the thirteen known blood clotting factors. Vitamin K is found in leafy green vegetables, but most of the body's supply is made by bacteria in the bowel from other food material. Bile salts promote the absorption of vitamin K. Body stores of this vitamin are so small that deprivation may result in bleeding within a week or two. Bleeding may appear from the nose, gums, throat, kidneys, bladder, or bowel.
Numerous situations may cause vitamin K deficiency. When gallstones obstruct the bile duct, bile salts cannot get into the intestine and little absorption of vitamin K takes place. In prolonged diarrheas, changes in the intestinal lining and the rapid movement of the intestinal contents decreases the amount of absorption. When strong antibiotics are used for a week or more, enough of the bacteria in the intestine may be destroyed to retard formation of vitamin K.
Vitamin K Deficiency Treatment And Prevention
- A thorough medical examination should reveal the problem. Generous use of leafy green vegetables will help to correct vitamin k deficiency.
- Any serious bleeding condition should be referred to a physician immediately. The bleeding decreases if the afflicted person lies down and rests quietly until help arrives.