Vitamin A is an essential substance for the body and excess quantities of this vitamin can be retained and stored by the body, for future use. This is possible because vitamin A is only soluble in fat, so, the body can keep reserves of this compound and use it only when required. This very benefit can turn into a danger when excess quantities of vitamin A that are stored in the body start affecting the body adversely. This is called vitamin A overdose or otherwise called as ‘Hypervitaminosis A’. This overdose can prove life threatening, if it remains undetected or treated.
Vitamin A is stored in the liver. When the stored quantities exceed the accepted levels, the vitamin A in its unabsorbed form is released into the blood stream. These solid molecules hinder the functioning of the blood, especially blocking the nervous system and brain functions. The most common symptoms of this are: Irritability, lack of sensation in a few parts of the body, lethargy and fogginess of brain. Immediate attention and treatment can reduce the levels of vitamin A in the blood and gradually normalize other body functions. Overdose of this vitamin causes even more complications than vitamin A deficiency, so, intake must be regulated properly.
The other vitamin A overdose symptoms include blurred vision, headache and nausea. This is similar to symptoms of vitamin A deficiency but it can be differentiated because the bouts of blurred vision problems are not constant. Other symptoms like splotchy and dry skin, sudden and heavy hair loss are typical of vitamin A overdose. This is also accompanied by weight loss and loss of appetite. It is very difficult to diagnose and determine this overdose and is therefore advisable to avoid it by regulating the vitamin A intake into the body.
Advanced stages of vitamin A overdose can cause enlargement of the liver and spleen, which causes extreme pain and trauma. If the overdose gets to this stage, it is very difficult to treat the people and will invariably lead to life threatening consequences. Vitamin A overdose is primarily caused by vitamin supplement intake. It is very rate for the people to overdose on natural food because the excesses through foods are invariably passed off as waste. It is important to understand and regulate the supplement intake of vitamin A becausein this case, the overdose situation is far worse than vitamin A deficiency.