If you are a doctor, nurse, or any health care provider who has noticed that your patient with bleeding tendencies has a deficiency in which vitamin, this blog may be able to help you. This article discusses the symptoms of vitamin K deficiency and the different ways this vitamin can be administered.
1. A Client Who Has Bleeding Tendencies Has a Deficiency in Which Vitamin?
Vitamin K is fat-soluble and stored in high concentrations in the liver. It is needed for normal blood clotting, to prevent excessive bleeding or hemorrhage. It’s also important for bone metabolism and vascular integrity.
When vitamin K is deficient it can result in decreased blood clotting, degeneration of the gums, abnormal bleeding, and abnormal clotting of the blood. If a person with bleeding tendencies is lacking vitamin K it can be serious because it may increase the risk for thrombosis. In some situations this can lead to uncontrolled hemorrhaging.
2. What Happens if I Don’t Get Enough Vitamin K?
Vitamin K is necessary for normal bone formation and its levels are dependent on adequate dietary sources including leafy green vegetables (spinach, lettuce), liver, eggs and dairy products. Supplements need to be taken as early as possible after birth to prevent poor bone health later in life.
Excess vitamin K has been shown to be associated with increased risks of hip fractures and increased risk for hemorrhaging in 2,2 B9.
This form is found naturally in many leafy green vegetables such as spinach, Brussels sprouts, and lettuce. It will also be found in dairy products and is possible to get it from eggs or liver.
It’s been shown that elderly individuals who don’t get enough vitamin K may have a slightly higher risk for developing cancer as well as an elevated mortality rate from surgical procedures (1-3).
3. What are the Signs of Vitamin K Deficiency?
The following signs may indicate a vitamin K deficiency: (4)
a. Abnormal bleeding from anywhere in the body including nose, gums and bowels. Common examples of bleeding disorders include hemophilias A and B and Von Willebrand disease.
b. Bleeding into swelling especially in open wounds like bruises or any part of the body that is hit hard like a knee or elbow can indicate vitamin K deficiency. This may cause dark colored bruising as anti-coagulated blood collects under the skin.
c. Epistaxis – bleeding from the nose. It’s common in newborns and infants who don’t get enough vitamin K in their diet.
d. Delayed healing of cuts and wounds since vitamin K is necessary for the promotion of normal clotting processes, it can lead to prolonged healing times for cuts and wounds as well as poor bone healing.
It may take a few days longer to heal from cuts because tissue that is damaged, bruised or bleeding may not have enough vitamin K to facilitate the formation of new blood vessels which are needed for “scaffolding” new tissue growth in the wound margins during healing.
4. What are the Treatments for Vitamin K Deficiency?
Treatment options will depend on the type of bleeding disorder and its cause. Vitamin K, can be administered orally, by injection into a muscle or vein (intravenously), or by intramuscular injection in severe cases.
It is possible that a combination of these routes may be needed to provide enough vitamin K quickly to stop the bleeding. A deficiency in vitamin K can also be treated with prothrombin complex concentrates (PCC) which contain large amounts of clotting factors that are derived from plasma donations from many donors.
It is given intravenously (IV) and works faster than oral supplements, however it is more expensive. This is the only option available for the majority of the world’s population.
Other supplements that may be prescribed include vitamin K2 and phytonadione which are both found naturally in some foods and are not listed as vitamin K supplements.
Vitamin K2 is less effective than vitamin K1 in promoting normal, healthy blood clotting, however it has been shown to help prevent bleeding. It has also been shown to be effective in reducing gastrointestinal bleeding caused by H.
5. Is Vitamin K an Issue for Diabetics?
It’s been shown that vitamin K levels are lower in subjects with diabetes mellitus and that they have a higher incidence of vitamin K deficiency. When those with type II diabetes don’t receive enough vitamin K, they may experience bleeding due to abnormal clotting.
When this occurs over the course of time, it may cause damaged skin and ulcers. Vitamin K is also required for the development of a healthy cardiovascular system and can be deficient due to poor dietary intake or from liver disease or clogged arteries from atherosclerosis.