How to Identify and Treat a Vitamin E Deficiency
Vitamin E offers the body a wide range of health benefits and its deficiency can be very detrimental. The fat-soluble vitamin is loaded with antioxidants that strengthen the immune system. Vitamin E occurs naturally and can be found in various foods and can be added to food products to maximize your intake.
Vitamin E deficiency is rare unless in people with underlying medical conditions. When taken in high doses, it can put you at a higher risk of bleeding.
You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience the following symptoms of vitamin E deficiency:
Difficulties in walking or coordination
Muscular pain or weakness
Dealing With Vitamin E Deficiency
You are only supposed to start dealing with vitamin E deficiency after consulting your healthcare provider. Use of supplements can trigger complications, thus, it is advisable to consume a healthy diet containing many foods that are rich in vitamin E.
The good news is that there are many types of foods that are rich in vitamin E. Example include:
Seeds and nuts, including almonds, peanuts, peanut butter, almonds, and sunflower seeds.
Vegetable-based oils, such as olive and sunflower
Vitamin E Supplementation
Although supplementation is a popular way used by people to add minerals and vitamins to their diet, you should be very cautious if you want to take vitamin E in form of a supplement.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulate the use of supplements. Thus, it can be difficult to determine the quality of vitamin E or any other ingredient used in the supplement.
Despite the fact that these supplements can be obtained from reputable outlets, there is a high probability that they can interfere with other prescribed medications that you may be taking.
Here are some medications that can be affected by vitamin E supplementation:
Stemming from the fact that they are not being regulated, it may be unclear about the quality and quantity of vitamin E your body is receiving. For instance, there are supplements that contain only one type of vitamin E. Your body requires other types of vitamin E that can only be obtained form different food sources. It is a better idea to ensure that you are receiving vitamin E from whole food sources rather than from supplements.
Other than multivitamins, concentrated supplements may have hire doses of vitamin E than your body requires. This can spark complications or side effects.
Vitamin E Requirement in the Body
Children aged 14 years and above and adults require 15 milligrams (mg) of vitamin E every day.
Children under this age require fewer doses of vitamin E as follows:
Ages 1 to 3: 3.6 mg per day
Ages 4 to 8: 8.7 mg per day
Ages 9 to 13: 11 mg per day
Related link: What You Should Know About Vitamin E Supplements
Breastfeeding women require 19 mg every day. To meet your vitamin E daily requirement if you are a woman, you can combine the following foods:
Two tablespoon of peanut butter which contain 2.9 mg of vitamin E.
An ounce of sunflower seeds which contains 7.4 mg of vitamin E.
½ cup of spinach which contains 1.9 mg of vitamin E.
Causes of Vitamin E Deficiency
Vitamin E deficiency can occur if you have an underlying medical condition. There are several conditions that can interfere with your body’s ability to effectively absorb vitamin E. They include:
Short bowel syndrome
Primary biliary cirrhosis
There are cases where vitamin E deficiency occurs from a rare genetic condition referred to as ataxia. This is a neurological condition that interferes with your body’s ability to coordinate and make muscular movements. It normally affects children aged between 5 and 15 years.
When to Contact your Doctor
You should contact your physician if you start noticing any symptoms associated with vitamin E deficiency or realizes that your body doesn’t have the ability to absorb fat.
After diagnosis, your doctor will evaluate the best course of action to deal with your vitamin E deficiency. Recommendations will mostly entail making dietary changes. S/he may also recommend vitamin E supplementation.
You will work hand-in-hand with your doctor after the diagnosis. This will help in coming up with the best treatment plan that suites your needs. This will assist in restoring your vitamin E levels and eliminate any symptoms associated with the deficiency.
If untreated, symptoms of vitamin E deficiency can worsen with time. This can trigger other complications and negatively impact the quality of your life.