Vitamin A Overdose

An overdose of vitamin A may result in toxicity and could cause serious problems. Some of the symptoms that have been reported with high doses of vitamin A include drowsiness, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, and fatigue. An overdose can be the result of a single, one-time massive overdose as well as from chronically taking a dose that is too high.

Can You Overdose on Vitamin A?

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and, as such, may result in toxicity in cases of overdose. This could cause serious problems. Therefore, if you happen to overdose on vitamin A, seek immediate medical attention.
 

Symptoms of an Overdose

As a fat-soluble vitamin, vitamin A can accumulate in the body, making it more dangerous than water-soluble vitamins in the case of overdose. High doses of vitamin A have been reported to cause some problems, such as:
 
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • Psychiatric problems that mimic severe depression
  • Psychiatric problems that mimic schizophrenia (such as hallucinations or paranoia)
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Delirium
  • Coma
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
  • Headaches
  • A spinning sensation (vertigo)
  • Blurred vision
  • Problems with muscle coordination
  • Bulging soft spot (fontanel) in babies
  • Bulging eyes
  • Skin redness, followed by significant peeling of the skin
  • Dry skin and lips
  • Signs of liver damage, such as yellow eyes or skin (jaundice) or elevated liver enzymes (found using a blood test)
  • Fever
  • Increased sweating
  • Brittle nails
  • Gingivitis
  • Hair loss
  • Decreased menstrual flow
  • Anemia
  • Slow growth in children
  • Early closure of the growth plates in children's bones
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Weight loss
  • Pneumonia
  • Osteoporosis.
     
An overdose can be the result of a single, one-time massive overdose as well as from chronically taking a dose that is too high. With vitamin A, more is certainly not better for most people. Also, an overdose with retinol (or other similar forms of vitamin A) is much more likely to cause overdose symptoms than with beta-carotene, since retinol is the active form of vitamin A. Although the body uses beta-carotene to make retinol, taking too much beta-carotene will not lead to toxic levels of retinol.
 
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Vitamin A Information

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