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Do you need a Vitamin A blood test?

Vitamin A levels are also known as retinol levels. They can be high or low due to intake, interference in absorption, or medical conditions.

A lower than normal value means you do not have enough vitamin A in your blood. This may cause:

  • Bone or teeth problems in young children

  • Dry or inflamed eyes

  • Night blindness

  • Recurring infections

  • Skin rashes

  • Reduced growth

  • Dry skin

A higher than normal value means you have excess vitamin A in your blood (toxic levels). This may cause:

  • Hair loss

  • Loss of appetite

  • Bone and muscle pain

  • Increased pressure in the brain (pseudotumor cerebri)

  • Anemia

  • Double vision

  • Liver and spleen enlargement

  • Nausea

  • Diarrhea

  • Lack of muscle coordination (ataxia)

Vitamin A deficiency may occur if your body has trouble absorbing fats through the digestive tract. This may occur if you have:

  • Chronic lung disease called cystic fibrosis

  • Pancreas problems, such as swelling and inflammation (pancreatitis) or the organ not producing enough enzymes (pancreatic insufficiency)

  • Small intestine disorder called celiac disease

There is little risk involved with having your blood taken. Veins and arteries vary in size from one person to another and from one side of the body to the other. Taking blood from some people may be more difficult than from others.Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight but may include:

  • Excessive bleeding

  • Multiple punctures to locate veins

  • Fainting or feeling lightheaded

  • Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)

  • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)


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