Vitamin A: Deficiency Diseases, Causes and Symptoms

Vitamins are essential nutrients that help the body maintain a healthy lifestyle. They are found in many foods such as fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy products. A common misconception is that vitamins only come from food sources while they can also be taken as supplements to get the same benefits.

The word “vitamin” comes from the Latin word “vitamine,” which means “life force.” This term was first coined by biochemist Elmer McCollum in 1911 to describe substances that provide energy to living organisms.

Vitamins are nutrients responsible for breaking down the molecules of food, forming bones, blood cells, hormones and other healthy cells. But if these vitamins are missing or too few, health problems can occur. Vitamin deficiencies can lead to a wide range of health problems including mental illness, depression and fatigue.

This article tell you in detail about vitamin A, vitamin A deficiency diseases, causes, symptoms and treatment.

What is Vitamin A?

Vitamin A is a type of fat-soluble vitamin that is important for vision and reproduction. It is also essential for growth and development, as it is necessary for the synthesis of retinol, which helps maintain a healthy immune system.

Vitamin A deficiency can cause blindness, anemia, skin problems, and more. The World Health Organization has established a set of guidelines to ensure children receive adequate amounts of Vitamin a through their diet. Listed below some of the sources of Vitamin A that can be included in our daily diet:

What is Vitamin A Deficiency?

Vitamin A deficiency is a condition where the body does not have enough of the vitamin A. This can lead to blindness, anemia, stunted growth, weakened immune system and death.

Vitamin A deficiency is widespread in developing countries due to malnutrition and poor diet. Vitamin A deficiency is the most common cause of preventable childhood blindness worldwide. It is one of the major causes of night blindness in pregnant women. It also affects the immune system and results in deaths from malaria, diarrhoea and measles.

Vitamin A Deficiency also results in the growing inability of a body to fight against different types of infections. This results in various diseases. The deficiency of vitamin A severely affects the growth of their bones and also their overall body growth. It is found in animal products like dairy, eggs, meat, and fish.

Causes of Vitamin A Deficiency

Vitamin A is an important nutrient that helps the body fight infections, prevent cancer, and maintain healthy skin and mucous membranes. It also plays a role in maintaining the immune system. Vitamin A deficiency is one of the most common causes of blindness and other health problems.

Vitamin A deficiency can be caused by various factors including:

  • Lack of food sources (especially vegetables)
  • Lack of access to food
  • Deficiency in Vitamin A absorption
  • Chemical pollution
  • Mothers who do not breastfeed their infants put them at greater risk of Vitamin A deficiency as breast milk consists of a good amount of Vitamin A for a newborn baby.

Symptoms of Vitamin A

Vitamin A deficiency is also known as xerophthalmia. It is characterized by a lack of vitamin A in the body’s eyes or skin which can lead to blindness or permanent damage to the eye or skin.

Vitamin A is an essential nutrient that helps maintain healthy vision, skin, and mucous membranes. When it is not present in the body, this vitamin deficiency can cause a variety of symptoms including night blindness, dry eyes and mouth, rough skin and cracked lips.

The symptoms of vitamin A deficiency include:

  • Cracked lips
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry and rough skin.
  • Stunted growth and development in children.
  • Dry eyes and eye inflammation
  • Respiratory and urinary infection in children as well as in adults.
  • Night blindness

Deficiency Diseases of Vitamin A

Vitamin A deficiency is caused by a lack of fruit and vegetables in the diet. It can also be caused by certain diseases like malaria or HIV/AIDS that prevent the body from absorbing vitamin A efficiently.

Deficiency diseases are most common in developing countries where people consume less fruits and vegetables than what is recommended by World Health Organization (WHO).

Here are 8 signs and symptoms of vitamin A deficiency:

1. Dry Skin

Vitamin A is important for the creation and repair of skin cells. It also helps fight inflammation due to certain skin issues. Not getting enough vitamin A may be to blame for the development of eczema and other skin problems.

Eczema is a condition that causes dry, itchy and inflamed skin. Several clinical studies have shown alitretinoin, a prescription medication with vitamin A activity, to be effective in treating eczema.

Dry skin is a common problem that many people face. It can be caused by factors such as climate, age, and diet. Vitamin A deficiency is one of the most common causes of dry skin. The symptoms of dry skin are redness, scaling, itchiness, and peeling.

Also read: Nutrients That Enriches Glowing skin

2. Dry Eyes

Eye problems are some of the most well-known issues related to vitamin A deficiency.

Dry eyes are a common problem that many people suffer from. Dry eyes, or the inability to produce tears, is one of the first signs of vitamin A deficiency. Dry eyes can lead to a number of eye problems.

In extreme cases, not getting enough vitamin A can lead to complete blindness or dying corneas, which are characterized by marks called Bitot’s spots. Supplementing with vitamin A can improve this condition.

3. Night Blindness

Night blindness is a condition that causes reduced vision in darkness. Severe vitamin A deficiency can lead to night blindness. It is caused by the lack of light entering the eye, which prevents the formation of pupil constriction.

Supplementation of Vitamin A is important for healthy vision because it helps maintain the health of your eyes and prevents night blindness.

4. Infertility and Trouble Conceiving

Vitamin A is necessary for reproduction in both men and women, as well as proper development in babies. Vitamin A deficiency is a common problem among women who are trying to conceive. It also causes miscarriages.

Vitamin A deficiency is a condition in which the body’s stores of the vitamin are depleted. It can lead to problems with fertility, and for some people, it can be a cause of infertility. It is estimated that up to 40% of women are deficient in this vitamin due to their diets or lifestyle habits such as smoking.

5. Delayed Growth

Vitamin A deficiency is on the rise in developing countries. The reasons for this delayed growth are varied and complex.

Children who do not get enough vitamin A may experience stunted growth, which means children grow more slowly than expected . This is because vitamin A is necessary for the proper development of the human body. Supplementing with vitamin A in combination with other nutrients may improve growth more than supplementing with vitamin A alone.

6. Throat and Chest Infections

Vitamin A deficiency is a common cause of respiratory tract infections and pneumonia. It is also a risk factor for mortality. People who lack vitamin A are more prone to throat and chest infections. However, the supplements of vitamin A in children increase the risk of respiratory infections.

Vitamin A supplements may protect underweight children from infections but increase the risk of infection in other groups. Adults with high blood levels of vitamin A may experience fewer throat and chest infections.

7. Poor Wound Healing

Vitamin A deficiency has been linked to poor wound healing. Wounds that do not heal well after injury or surgery may be linked to low vitamin A levels. which can lead to infection, deformity, and death.

This is because vitamin A promotes the creation of collagen, an important component of healthy skin. Research suggests that both oral and topical vitamin A can strengthen skin.

8. Acne and Breakouts

Vitamin A deficiency is a very common condition in the world, which can cause acne-like breakouts on the face, chest and back.  vitamin A promotes skin development and fights inflammation.

Vitamin A plays a vital role in regulating sebum production, which is a natural oil found in our skin that protects our skin from bacteria and other harmful substances. When there is too little vitamin A in your body, you may experience dryness of the skin and it will be more prone to breaking out into pimples or boils.

Acne is caused by low levels of vitamin A and one of the most common ways to treat it is vitamin A supplementation. It usually works, although it might cause some side effects.


Vitamin A is a vitamin that helps maintain healthy skin and vision. It also plays a role in immune function and it can be found in the liver, kidneys, and lungs.

Vitamin A is an essential nutrient that helps with vision, immune function, and skin health. Vitamin A deficiency is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. The World Health Organization estimates that 250 million people suffer from VAD as well as 2 million children under 5 years old who are at risk for developing permanent eye damage if not treated with vitamin supplements.