Vitamin E Deficiency Can Cause Nerve Damage, Beware Of The Symptoms!

In the book 'The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vitamins and Minerals', deficiency of vitamin E in the long run can bring nerve damage, especially in the spinal nerves. Sometimes there is damage in the retina of the eye. Lack of vitamin E should be rare. This is because of the daily diet of most people, getting intake of 7-11 mg of vitamin E. However, it appears that in the U.S. there were mild deficiency of vitamin E.

Vitamin E (Tocopherol) is an antioxidant that protects body cells against damage by reactive chemical compounds known as free radicals. Vitamin E, like vitamins A, D, and K, a fat-soluble vitamin and is best absorbed when taken together with the amount of fat.

A very low-fat diets deficient in vitamin E, because vitamin E is best absorbed when eaten with some fat. Abnormalities that interfere with fat absorption, such as impaired liver or gallbladder disorders, pancreatitis, or cystic fibrosis, may also decrease the absorption of vitamin E and increases the risk for a deficiency of vitamin E. Newborns have a reserve of vitamin E is relatively low because only a small amount of vitamin E, which can cross the placenta. Thus, wind born babies, especially premature babies, high risk for deficiency of vitamin E. However, with the passage of age, the risk decreases because the baby usually get enough vitamin E from breast milk or infant formula.

Symptoms of vitamin E deficiency can occur include declining reflexes, difficulty in walking, loss of coordination, loss of position sense (knowing the position of the body without looking at him), and muscle weakness. In children, the eyelids can be down and they may have difficulty moving the eyes. 

Vitamin E deficiency can cause anemia due to the rupture of red blood cells (hemolytic anemia). Premature babies who are at risk for vitamin E deficiency affected by this disorder. In premature babies, can also occur in the brain hemorrhage, and impaired blood vessel growth in the eye (Retinopathy of Prematurity-ROP). Problems of the eyes (retinopathy) and brain hemorrhage in premature infants can also be caused by exposure to high levels of oxygen in the incubator. Newborn babies who are deficient in vitamin E also has a weakness in the muscles.

The diagnosis is made based on the symptoms that occur, the presence of risk conditions for the occurrence of vitamin E deficiency, and physical examination. Diagnosis can be confirmed by blood tests that showed low levels of vitamin E in the blood. Treatment includes supplementation of vitamin E. Premature babies can be given extra vitamin E to prevent interference. Most newborns at term does not need additional vitamin E, because they get enough vitamin E from breast milk or formula.
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Writen by: Mr Soed - Friday, April 25, 2014