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Vitamin B6 Deficiency
One among the important B group of vitamins, vitamin B6 also known as pyridoxine is needed to combat various physical and psychological disorders. Vitamin B6 is found in the body either as pyridoxal or pyridoxamine.
Needed by the body to carry out various chemical reactions, vitamin B6 aids in the formation of ‘heme’ which helps to carry oxygen in the blood. To lower cholesterol levels of the body, prevent the formation of dental caries and to reduce stress and tension vitamin B6 is needed by the body.
There are several reasons why a person may develop vitamin B6 deficiency. This article explores the causes and symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency and the various treatment methods which are adopted to combat this problem.
The main reasons why a person may develop this vitamin deficiency is because of malnutrition, persistent diarrhea, alcoholism, liver disease or genetic disorders. Women on contraceptive pills are also likely to suffer from vitamin B6 deficiency. People taking medications like hydralazine, isoniazid and penicillin are also likely to exhibit vitamin B6 deficiency symptoms.
While vitamin B6 deficiency symptoms varies from person to person, some of the common symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency include excessively dry skin, fatigue, weakness, appearance of sores and rashes, cracks on the lips and along the corners of the mouth, excessive water retention leading to weight gain, reduced sex drive, paranoia, depression, insomnia, anemia, seizures, fibrillation, indigestion, irritability, body soreness and a general feeling of uneasiness.
In women this vitamin B deficiency is exhibited through excessive hair loss, anemia, dry skin, frequent migraine attacks, weakness, mood swings, loss of appetite and general irritability.
The best way to combat vitamin B6 deficiency is to eat foods that are rich in this vitamin. Some of the good food sources of vitamin B6 include wheat germ, brewers yeast, carrots, spinach, eggs, fish, meat, walnuts and sunflower seeds. Bananas, whole grain cereals, soybeans and liver are also rich sources of vitamin B6.
Smoking and alcohol consumption can aggravate the problem of vitamin b6 deficiency. So it is extremely important to abstain from drinking alcohol or from smoking to prevent this deficiency problem from spiraling out of control.
A normal adult can take up to 200mg of vitamin B6 per day in the form of supplements. Anything over and above this amount can lead to neurological problems.