6. Symptoms of Vitamin K Deficiency
In adults, symptoms of vitamin K deficiency may include excessive bleeding. Frequent bruising may occur as blood pools beneath the skin. In some cases, individuals deficient in vitamin K may vomit blood. Bloody urine or black, tarry stools can be an indication of vitamin K deficiency bleeding.
5. Newborns and Vitamin K Deficiency
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all newborn babies receive a vitamin K shot. Newborns are typically born with low levels of vitamin K. Babies may be at risk for vitamin K deficiency if they do not receive this shot, especially if they are breastfed. Mothers who take certain seizure medications or anticoagulants during pregnancy may give birth to babies deficient in this critical vitamin. Signs of vitamin K deficiency bleeding in newborns include blood in the infant’s stool or urine, bruising, and excessive fussiness.
4. Diagnosis of Vitamin K Deficiency
If your physician suspects a vitamin K deficiency, he or she may order a blood test to determine your blood’s ability to clot. This test, called a prothrombin time test (PT), measures the amount of time your blood requires for clotting. Prothrombin is a protein necessary for the coagulation of blood. A prolonged prothrombin time, greater than 13.5 seconds, may indicate a vitamin K deficiency. Other conditions that cause a prolonged PT include liver disease, low clotting factor VII, or the use of blood-thinning agents.Related: 12 Signs of Vitamin Deficiency and How to Combat Them