Vitamin K deficiency is rare in adults. However, people with liver disease, pancreatic disease, celiac disease, bulimia, inflammatory bowel disease, people on strict diets, people with malabsorption, or people who have had abdominal surgeries are at a higher risk.
Vitamin K promotes healthy blood clotting, so many of the symptoms of vitamin K deficiency are related to poor blood clotting.
Certain drugs may also increase the risk of deficiency, such as certain antibiotics or anti-coagulant medications. People on anti-coagulant drugs should be careful about taking extra vitamin K since it can interfere with the important and potentially life-saving anti-blood clotting effects of these medications. In fact, if you are taking any type of medication, it is best to ask your doctor if it’s okay to supplement with vitamin K.
The following are some common symptoms and signs of vitamin K deficiency.
Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
In women, heavy menstrual bleeding is one potential sign of a vitamin K deficiency.
When the body is short on vitamin K, bleeding gums may result.
Nose bleeds are another sign of the body’s lowered blood clotting ability.
Easy bruising is a possible sign of vitamin K deficiency. In people with celiac disease, a condition that inhibits the absorption of vitamins, easy bruising may be the only sign of the disease. Once people with celiac disease go on a gluten-free diet and vitamin K is able to be absorbed by the body, the bruising usually stops.
Broken Blood Vessels
Broken blood vessels may also be a sign of a deficiency.
Blood in the Urine
The presence of blood in the urine may indicate poor blood clotting ability as a result of a vitamin K deficiency.
Oozing Blood in a Wound
If there is a vitamin K deficiency, blood will ooze from a puncture wound or surgical site because of the body’s decreased blood clotting ability.