Hypervitaminosis A is having too much vitamin A in the body. The condition may be acute or chronic.

Symptoms of chronic Vitamin A toxicity

Acute toxicity occurs after taking large amounts of vitamin A in a short span of time. Chronic toxicity occurs when excess of vitamin gets accumulated in your body over long period.  

CAUSES

Excess Vitamin A is stored in the human liver. Most people develop Vitamin A toxicity when they take high-dose dietary supplements, as a result of megavitamin therapy and high doses of Vitamin A (Retinol) for acne treatments.

Acute Vitamin A toxicity in children is usually the result of accidental ingestion. How much Vitamin A do you need?
According to the recommended dietary allowances (RDA NIN) for vitamin A are:

AgeRetinolB-carotene
0-6 months350-
6-12 months4002800
1-3 years & 4-6years4002800/3200
7-9 years6004800
Boys 10-17 years6004800
Girls 10-17 years6004800
Man6004800
Woman6004800
Pregnant women8006400
Lactating9507600

 

SOURCES OF VITAMIN A

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Dark fruits
  • Leafy, green vegetables
  • Orange and yellow vegetables (sweet potatoes, carrots)
  • Tomato products
  • Some vegetable oils
  • Fortified foods (which have added vitamins) like cereal
  • Liver
  • Fish and fish oils

 

SYMPTOMS

  • Symptoms differ based on whether toxicity is acute or chronic. Headaches and rash are common in both forms of the illness.
  • Symptoms of acute Vitamin A toxicity include:
  • Drowsiness
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

  Symptoms of chronic Vitamin A toxicity include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Swelling of the bones
  • Poor appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea / Vomiting
  • Sensitivity to Sunlight
  • Itchy skin
  • Cracked fingernails
  • Hair Loss
  • Respiratory Infection
  • Confusion

 

COMPLICATIONS

  • Liver damage
  • Osteoporosis
  • Kidney damage due to excess calcium
  • In expecting or about to become pregnant woman, too much Vitamin A may result in defects in the foetus. The correct amount of Vitamin A is vital for the development of a fetus. However, excess Vitamin A consumption during pregnancy is known to cause birth defects that may affect a baby’s eyes, skull, lungs, and heart.

 

TREATMENT

The most effective way to treat this condition is to stop taking high-dose Vitamin A supplements. Most people make a full recovery within a few weeks.