How to Treat Vitamin K Deficiency


If you suffer from cystic fibrosis, ulcerative colitis, or chronic liver disease, or have had bowel surgery, you may have a vitamin K deficiency. Eating right or taking a vitamin supplement should be all you need to correct the unusual bleeding and bruising. In the meantime, you can help your body recover more quickly by treating it gently.

  • Prevent unexpected bleeding. Be especially careful during your daily activities to protect yourself from bumps and scrapes. Until a long-term reme­dy for the vitamin K deficiency kicks in, your body is still open to bruising and bleeding. You should take extra care when brushing your teeth, as your gums may be tender and easily irritated.

Vitamin

  • Review your medication. If you are on medications such as anticoagulants or antibiotics, you cannot make enough vitamin K. Anticoagulants are drugs that prevent or delay blood clotting. Common examples are dicumarol, enoxaparin, heparin, and warfarin. Make sure you take only the required dose of any of these drugs. Notify your doctor immediately if you have any unusual bleeding.

Antibiotics taken over a long period may destroy the good bacteria in your intestines. Discuss other possible treatments with your doctor.

The long-range plan for vitamin K deficiency

  • Eat green. If you have been diagnosed with a vita­min K deficiency, you should make a special effort to eat more vitamin-rich foods. Your doctor or a nutritionist can work with you on setting up a diet plan. Foods especially high in vitamin K are green leafy vegetables, especially lettuce, spinach, kale, broccoli, turnip greens, and cabbage; cauli­flower; tomatoes; egg yolks; liver; pork; cereal grain products; fruits; dairy products, especially cheese; and vegetable oils such as rapeseed and soybean.
  • Supplement. Although it is best to get your vita­mins and minerals from the foods you eat some­times supplements are required, especially if you have a serious deficiency. But remember, vit­amin K supplements should only be taken under a doctor’s care. He may give you something by mouth or as an injection, depending on your con­dition. Just to be safe, remind your doctor of any other medications you are taking.

It can be frightening to experience sudden bleeding and bruising, especially when you can’t figure out what’s causing it. But with proper treatment, you have a good chance for recovery. Sometimes, as with vitamin K defi­ciency, relief may be as close as the nearest grocery store.

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About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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