Vitamin K Deficiency – Symptoms and Treatment

Vitamin K Deficiency

Vitamin K is essential for bone health & blood clotting. Heavy bleeding is the primary sign of a vitamin K deficiency. Cystic fibrosis and celiac disease are two diseases that might cause deficiencies.

Vitamin K Deficiency

For your body to make the proteins involved in clotting, vitamin K is necessary. Your body lacks sufficient amounts of these proteins if you have a vitamin K deficiency. Excessive bleeding is a clear indicator of vitamin K insufficiency.

Adults rarely suffer from a vitamin K shortage because most meals provide enough K1. And the body naturally produces K2. Moreover, in newborns, it occurs far more frequently. The disorder is known as vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB) in babies.


The primary sign of an inadequate amount of vitamin K is uncontrollable bleeding. A few more mild symptoms:

  • Sleepiness.
  • Vomiting
  • Also, seizures.
  • Bruising, particularly to the head.
  • Petechiae are little red patches.
  • Nose bleed.
  • Jaundice
  • Also, pale skin tone.
  • Red, black, and sticky poop.

Vitamin K deficiency-related bleeding is a medical emergency that has the potential to be fatal. Thus, visit the emergency department right away and get in touch with your healthcare provider if you see any indications that their bleeding is out of control.

Causes of Vitamin K Deficiency

Vitamin K insufficiency is the result of low vitamin K levels in your baby’s body. Deficiency in vitamin K can be caused by:

  • Vitamin K was not getting enough to your unborn child while it was still developing.
  • The bacteria in the intestines of your infant are not able to produce vitamin K.
  • Also, exposure in the uterus to medicines.
  • Liver illness may result in the ineffectiveness of vitamin K.
  • Inadequate vitamin absorption as a result of cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, or diarrhea.


A doctor will inquire about a patient’s medical history to determine if there are any risk factors before making a diagnosis of vitamin K insufficiency. The prothrombin time, or PT test, is a coagulation test that the physician could employ.

A small blood sample is taken, and chemicals are added to see how long it takes for the blood to clot. A blood clot usually takes 11–13.5 seconds. Also, this might be a sign of a vitamin K deficit if it takes longer. Prior to undergoing this blood test, individuals may need to refrain from high-vitamin K diets.


Phytonadione, or vitamin K1, is the medication utilized to treat vitamin K. Doctors typically recommend it as an oral treatment. It is also possible for a physician or nurse to inject it subcutaneously (instead of into a vein or muscle).

Adult dosages range from one to twenty-five milligrams (mg). Physicians will give a lower dosage of phytonadione to patients who are on anticoagulants. This dose ranges from 1 to 10 mg on average. This is to prevent a problem that might arise from anticoagulants interfering with the body’s ability to produce vitamin K.

The American Academy of Paediatrics advises that babies get 0.5–1 mg of vitamin K1 as a single injection at delivery. In the event that the mother has used anticoagulants or anti-seizure medications, a greater dose can be needed.


Adults rarely experience a vitamin K deficit since most individuals obtain enough vitamin K from their diet. If a deficit does occur and is not getting treatment, it might lead to severe bleeding. Vitamin K given to newborns can stop the development of several issues, such as excessive bleeding. Furthermore, avoid vitamin K deficiencies with a diet rich in foods containing the vitamin.