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Vitamin K Deficiency

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Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms associated with vitamin K deficiency may include:

  • Easy bruising
  • Oozing from nose or gums
  • Excessive bleeding from wounds, punctures, and injection or surgical sites
  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • Bleeding from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract
  • Blood in the urine and/or stool
  • Increased prothrombin time (PT)

In hemorrhagic disease of the newborn, signs and symptoms may be similar to those listed above but, in more serious cases, may also involve bleeding within the skull (intracranial).

A deficiency of vitamin K may be suspected when symptoms listed above appear in someone who is at an increased risk, such as:

  • Those who have a chronic condition associated with malnutrition or malabsorption
  • Those who have been on long-term treatment with antibiotics; the antibiotics can kill the bacteria that aid in the production of vitamin K2 in the small intestine.
  • Seriously ill patients such as cancer or dialysis patients or those in intensive care units

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