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Vitamin A Toxicity/Hypervitaminosis A

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Old 06-17-2008, 09:59 PM   #1
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Vitamin A Toxicity/Hypervitaminosis A

I also posted this in the vitamin forum, but realized maybe this is the more appropriate place for it...:

So, about a week ago I self diagnosed myself with Vitamin A toxicity. I had noticed in the past few months that I had exhibited a lot of the symptoms. For instance, my skin is naturally oily, but it suddenly became so dry that when I would run, I would hardly sweat. My hair became very coarse and would fall out. My lips became cracked. My vision was kind of blurry.

I have taken multivitamins for years, but back in December, I decided that I should try and eat better, as well. I started implementing a lot of fruit and vegetables in my diet. The irony is that part of the reason I did this was to improve my skin. In the end, I was taking a Centrum, plus eating broccoli, carrots, cheese, milk and eggs (foods high in Vitamin A) on a daily basis. I should add that I eat a lot, because I'm tall and built.

So, a week ago, after giving myself this diagnosis I dropped the multivitamin. So far, I'm seeing a little bit of a result, but it's not been great. My hair is still dry and my skin is still tight and rough, though oily.

My questions are: When can I expect to see serious results? and... Should I refrain from consuming foods with vitamin A in them for a while?

I realize I should probably see a doctor for the most accurate information, but also realize that it will be weeks before a doctor in NYC can see me. Plus, I can't afford it financially.

I'm hoping I have not done serious damage to myself.

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Old 06-19-2008, 01:26 AM   #2
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Re: Vitamin A Toxicity/Hypervitaminosis A


Go ahead and make that doctor appointment, because it's always appropriate to ask for a checkup when we have questions about our health.

My understanding is that symptoms of Vitamin A toxicity start showing up after a long time of taking in more than 25,000 IU per day, and in cases where the liver is not functioning well. I understand that the symptoms should start to subside when Vitamin A is reduced.

If you are eating lots of colored fruits and veggies, you are getting lots of the carotinoids that the body can convert into Vitamin A. These do not appear to have a toxic effect when consumed in large amounts, although if your skin turns yellow, it's a sure sign that it's time to cut back!

It seems to me that it would be a good idea to cut back on the animal-based foods that are high in Vitamin A for a while, as this is the form that can cause the most problems in high doses.

When you do get in to see a doctor, you can have liver tests as well as whatever tests they give you for Vitamin A levels.

Another thought is that you might want to pay a visit to a nutritionist to see if they can evaluate your diet for a balance of nutrients.


Old 08-27-2008, 10:58 PM   #3
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Re: Vitamin A Toxicity/Hypervitaminosis A

I agree with rheanna. On the other hand, just because you are eating well and taking supplements does not mean your body is getting the nutrients.

I ate healthy and took supplements and was amazed to find out i was actually low in a number of things and also my ferretin (iron stores) was very low. In the end i'm a bit on the gluten intolerant side and this stops the body from absorbing valuable nutrients. I also have a digestive problem where my pancreas is not producing sufficient enzymes to digest protein, so i was lacking in protein and whatever else is in protein rich foods. This naturally has a flow on effect.

The symptoms you gave "could" related to too much Vit A, but it can also relate to other things. A lot of symptoms tend to overlap and it's hard to pick which illness they actually belong to. You could actually be deficient in something and not necessarily suffering from Vit A overload.

I've read of all of your symptoms on various thyroid listings of symptoms and symptoms people have mentioned having over on the thyroid board. Then again i know that cracked lips can be a zinc deficiency. There are many different hormones within our bodies, ranging from the normal ones like estrogen, testosterone to cortisol for your adrenals and T4 and T3 for your thyroid. If an imabalance occurs somewhere it can lead to skin and hair drying and to hair falling out.

Might be an idea to get a full blood work for everything and talk to a doctor. Hair falling out is a definite sign that something somewhere is not right and i don't think eating the healthy diet you have been eating and taking a centrum multivitamin is going to give you the symptoms you have got, unless your body already holds unaturally high stores of vitamin A, which is very rare. I'd say it's something else entirely.

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