What Are the Vitamin K Deficiency Symptoms?

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  • Written By: Helena Reimer
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2018
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Some of the vitamin K deficiency symptoms include excess bleeding and easy bruising. The excess bleeding can occur in the nose, in the gums and in wounds. Low levels of vitamin K can cause calcification of the heart and contribute to bone loss. A deficiency is often caused by malabsorption problems and certain medications. Vitamin K deficiency symptoms can often be helped with an adequate intake of vitamin K, which can be obtained from food sources or from vitamin K supplements.

Although it is rare, vitamin K deficiency symptoms are often brought on by not consuming enough of the vitamin. They can also be caused by certain medications, such as blood thinners and antibiotics. Antibiotics tend to destroy the bacteria in the stomach that helps with the production of vitamin K. Diseases such as candida not only destroy the good bacteria, they also give way for the increase of the harmful bacteria. Celiac disease and other conditions of the digestive tract that interfere with the absorption of vitamins also increase the risk of a vitamin K deficiency.


There are many functions of vitamin K, but one of the most known function is its responsibility for thickening blood. It encourages blood clotting in a wound in order to stop both internal and external bleeding. When not enough vitamin K is present it can cause wounds to bleed excessively. Blood can also appear in the urine and stool. In women, vitamin K deficiency symptoms include heavy menstrual cycles and hemorrhaging in the ovaries.

Vascular calcification is another symptom and should not be ignored. This is when the calcium builds up within the blood vessels and around the heart. If it is not stopped in time, it can lead to serious heart and circulatory problems. Vitamin K is also responsible for maintaining proper bone density. When levels run low, the density decreases and often results in weak bones, osteoporosis and an increased risk for hip fractures.

Infants are prone to a vitamin K deficiency because breast milk is low in the vitamin and their bodies have not yet developed the necessary bacteria to synthesize their own. If levels fall too low, it can cause bleeding in the skull, which is a very serious condition. A deficiency in pregnant women can result in birth defects, such as underdeveloped facial features.

Vitamin K is available from a variety of foods, especially dark green vegetables, such as broccoli, kale and other leafy greens. It also can be obtained from vitamin K supplements, which are often prescribed to treat various vitamin K deficiency symptoms. They are commonly prescribed after surgery to reduce the bleeding and speed up the healing process. In addition to the supplements, there are also topical vitamin K products that can help treat acne and other skin conditions.



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