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Vitamin Deficiency Symptoms in Children

Vitamins are essential nutrients that the body needs in small amounts to sustain life. The body absorbs these very important organic compounds by our everyday food; however some foods are known to have more vitamins and minerals than others. 

Vitamins can be divided into two categories, fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins: 

  • Fat-soluble vitamins: can be stored in the body. These are vitamins A, D, E and K. 
  • Water-soluble vitamins: need to dissolve in water before the body can absorb it, because of which your body doesn’t store these vitamins. These are vitamins C and B complex. 

Vitamins are the building blocks and support system of the body, which a healthy and well-rounded diet can easily provide. Vitamin deficiency in children can lead to potential ailments and health conditions. 

Some symptoms of vitamin deficiency in children are the following:

  • Vitamin A deficiency: night blindness and eyesight related issues.
  • Vitamin B deficiency: infant development delays, movement disorders, anemia, and or nerve damage. Children should receive their daily intake of vitamins trough a well balanced and healthy diet which should include milk and other dairy products like yogurt and cheese, fresh fruits and vegetables (especially the leafy kinds), proteins such as chicken, fish, eggs and meat, and whole grains that include brown rice and oatmeal. Some children need vitamin supplements because, due to their parents busy lifestyle, home cooked meals might not be possible everyday or because kids can be picky eaters, or don’t eat enough. Children with medical conditions related to the digestive system as well as those with asthma, active children who play physically demanding sports, might also require vitamin supplements. Consult a pediatrician before giving your child any vitamin supplements.
  • Vitamin C deficiency: bleeding gums, easy bruising, reduced wound healing rate, decreased ability to ward off infections, anemia, dry and splitting hair, gingivitis, rough and scaly skin, nosebleeds, weakened tooth enamels or painful and swollen joints.
  • Vitamin D deficiency: muscle spasms, seizures, respiratory problems, soft skull or bones, poor growth (height), teeth formation, weakness of the heart muscles.
  • Vitamin E deficiency: chronic cholestatic hepatobiliary (liver disease), muscle weakness, Ptosis (drooping eyelid), dysarthia (motor speech disorder), ophthalmoplegia, loss of position and vibration senses, truncal, and limb ataxia, or spinocerebellar ataxia (gross lack of muscle movement coordination).

Vitamin Benefits

  • Vitamin A benefits: Promotes tissue and bone repair, development and normal growth, immune responses, and healthy eyes and skin. Some good sources of vitamin A include eggs, cheese, milk, sweet potatoes, carrots and squash.
  • Vitamin B benefits: Are vitamins B2, B3, B6 and B12, which help in production of energy, metabolism, healthy nervous and circulatory systems. Some good sources of vitamin B are meat, fish, chicken, milk, eggs, nuts, beans, cheese, and soya beans.
  • Vitamin C benefits: Encourages healthy connective tissue, muscles and skin. Some sources of vitamin C are strawberries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, kiwi, and green vegetables, like broccoli.
  • Vitamin D benefits: Aids in bone and formation of teeth, as also helps the body absorb calcium. Some healthy sources are yogurt, milk, cheese, tofu and calcium fortified orange drinks.

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