Avitaminosis in children: from symptoms to treatment


All parents know that the child's body is in dire need of vitamins. In case of violation of the norm of consumption of these substances, a condition develops, which in medicine is called hypovitaminosis, and with the progression of the deficient state, the lack of certain vitamins - vitamin deficiency. Vitamin deficiency in children is quite common, and a deficiency of a certain vitamin usually develops. When the children's body for normal growth and development lacks the most important several substances at once, they are talking about polyhypovitaminosis.

What it is?

It so happened that people call avitaminosis all the conditions associated with a lack of vitamins. The child began to peel off the skin on her hands - avitaminosis, he began to get sick more often - avitaminosis. This is a big mistake, and let's immediately distinguish between the concepts: what causes skin scaling and other symptoms of vitamin deficiency is called hypovitaminosis, that is, partial deficiency, and real vitamin deficiency is a complete and total absence of a certain vitamin in the body.

Doctors around the world consider vitamin deficiency a very dangerous condition. If time does not reveal the lack of necessary vitamins in a child and does not eliminate it, then the lack of a specific necessary substance can lead not only to disability, but also to the death of the child.

Another myth that also needs to be dispelled immediately, speaking of children's avitaminosis and hypovitaminosis, is a widespread opinion that it is enough to drink “vitaminchiki”. Whatever you promised from the screens, the manufacturers of children's multivitamins, juices and baby food, You cannot treat vitamin deficiency yourself. It's life threatening. Only a doctor can tell what vitamins and how much is not enough and where to get them.

Attempts to feed a child with “vitamins” on their own can end in tears, because with an excess of certain vitamins (hypervitaminosis), the consequences for life and health can be devastating.

Causes of Vitamin Deficiency

Now, when we distinguish hypovitaminosis, widespread among children and adults, from vitamin deficiency, which occurs less frequently, it becomes clear that its main cause is neglected vitamin deficiency. If we talk about why the child initially appeared to have vitamin deficiency, then the list of reasons will be solid.

It all depends on the lack of a vitamin in the baby is observed, although it is impossible not to name the common universal reasons:

  • eating disorders, lack of certain foods, vegetarianism;
  • frequent use in food carbohydrates, grits, past grinding;
  • improper cooking, food storage, in which substances that are valuable to the child’s body are destroyed before they enter the body (some foods cannot be frozen, and some can be boiled);
  • stress, heavy physical exertion, illness, living in cold regions increase the need for vitamins by about 50-60%, and if this is not taken into account, the deficit is bound to appear;
  • violation of the absorption of vitamins as a result of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, as well as on the background of taking antibacterial drugs.

Each type of vitamin deficiency has its own specific causes.

  • Lack of vitamin a - the child has little protein and carotene in the diet, he consumes little animal fat, is physically exhausted or is in a state of extreme emotional exhaustion for a long time.Lack of this vitamin may be the result of infections, and may also be accompanied by enteritis and colitis in the chronic form, pathologies of the liver and thyroid gland.
  • Vitamin C deficiency - the child eats little fresh greens, vegetables, fruits, food for him carefully and for a long time subjected to heat treatment. This form of vitamin deficiency develops with the abuse of pastries, bread, as well as significant mental and intellectual stress.
  • Lack of vitamin b1 - in the diet there is no meal, the child is only polished grits. This form of hypovitaminosis occurs in northern peoples because of the long eating of raw fish, as well as in all other peoples, if the child is given too much protein foods. Such a deficiency often accompanies thyroid disease and diabetes.
  • B2 deficiency - in the diet of the child absent or present, but in a very small amount of dairy products, protein. Often develops in diseases of the pancreas, intestines, liver.
  • B3 deficiency - The child is too often and is in the sun for a long time, eats a lot of corn, little protein. Also, this form of hypovitaminosis is characteristic of children taking drugs for the treatment of tuberculosis.
  • B6 shortage - a characteristic condition for children with intestinal and stomach diseases.
  • B9 shortage - develops on the background of long-term antibiotics, after operations on the intestines, as well as in children who eat foods that have been exposed to high temperatures for too long
  • Shortage of B12 - baby vegan, vegetarian. Often this form of deficiency occurs in chronic infection with worms and chronic lesions of the organs of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Deficiency D - lack of sunlight, a rare presence in the open air, low consumption of animal fat, lack of calcium salts, phosphorus.
  • K deficiency - A small amount of fat, eating low-fat food, diseases of the blood, intestines, long-term use of antibacterial agents and anticoagulants.

The essence of therapy is to introduce the required substance into the body. Better with food, sometimes locally, in the form of an ointment, sometimes in pills or injections. Food is the preferred method, because it is in the intestines that vitamins are absorbed. Preparations prescribed by a doctor. Self-medication is unacceptable.

Signs of

Regardless of which vitamin is missing, children begin to feel and look worse - they get tired faster, they are drowsy, irritable, they have a poor appetite. It should be understood that Symptoms appear when the lack of vitamin is significant, and if it is not equal to beriberi, then it is at the level of severe hypovitaminosis.

Mild forms of lack of vitamins are rarely seen, they can be detected by laboratory examination of the blood of a small patient.

  • If a child does not have enough vitamin A, then his eyesight usually suffers, so-called twilight blindness is observed, there are flaws in color perception. Hair becomes brittle, can fall out, the skin is dry. On the nail plates may appear bright stripes and irregularities.
  • With a shortage of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) gums bleed, molars can fall out, bruises easily remain on the body, even with slight pressure or light touch.
  • With a lack of vitamin B1 dry skin develops, neuritis, the baby’s feet begin to perceive heat and cold worse, the sensitivity of the skin on the legs decreases, and the calf cramps develop. Sometimes the so-called edematous form develops, in which the heartbeat is disturbed, shortness of breath appears, there is visible swelling.
  • With a shortage of vitamin B3 the skin becomes darker and flakes off strongly; it feels rough to the touch. On the hands of the baby red spots are formed. The tongue is hypertrophied, its color is saturated crimson. There are neurological disorders and loose stools.
  • In children with vitamin B6 deficiency conjunctivitis often develops, the lips are dry and flaky, cracks appear in the corners of the mouth (angulite). Reduced visual acuity. And kids who are acutely deficient in vitamin B12 often suffer from B12-folic acid deficiency anemia - hemoglobin in the blood falls, there are signs of gastritis with low acidity of gastric juice.

Reliably find out by appearance nothing. The child must be examined by a gastroenterologist; he must be given laboratory blood and urine tests.


Treatment of vitamin deficiencies in the hospital will only be in the case of beriberi (complete absence of one or several vitamins), with hypovitaminosis enough outpatient treatment. The smaller the shortage, the easier the correction. If the child has already reached the stage of avitaminosis, sometimes it is impossible to help him even in the hospital, medicine can be powerless.

The state of vitamin deficiency is easier to prevent than to cure; for this, parents of infants, preschool children, schoolchildren and adolescents should pay close attention to the diet of the child. Prevent seasonal (eg, spring) avitaminosis will help preventive intake of vitamins.

About what vitamins are best given to a child and how to choose them, see the next video.

Information provided for reference purposes. Do not self-medicate. At the first symptoms of the disease, consult a doctor.