What is Vitamin E Deficiency?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 11 September 2019
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Vitamin E is an important nutrient that promotes healthy nervous, immune, and cardiovascular system functioning. An individual who experiences a vitamin E deficiency may suffer from several different symptoms, including weakened muscles, fatigue, and problems controlling motor movements. Left untreated, a vitamin E deficiency can lead to vision problems, dementia, or even death. Most individuals are able to recover from deficiencies by eating foods rich in the vitamin, taking supplements, and following guidelines set forth by a knowledgeable physician.

There are several possible conditions that can lead to a vitamin E deficiency. When the body does not absorb fat correctly, as occurs with gastrointestinal disorders like Crohn's disease, the intake of vitamin E is greatly decreased. People with cystic fibrosis and liver problems may also experience vitamin deficits. Most often, however, an individual with a deficiency simply lacks a healthy diet rich in vitamin E. Malnourished people may experience additional symptoms related to deficiencies in other important vitamins and minerals, such as iron, calcium, and vitamin C.

Symptoms of a vitamin E deficiency are often slight to mild at first, and may include feelings of fatigue and subtle muscle weakening. An individual with a progressing deficit of vitamin E might experience considerable muscle weakness, lowered immune system functioning, difficulty with motor movements, and problems seeing clearly. A severe or longstanding deficiency can lead to total blindness, dementia, irreparable nerve damage, and death.


An individual who believes that he or she might be experiencing a vitamin E deficiency should consult a doctor to determine the appropriate treatment plan. When the deficit is related to a poor diet, a doctor might suggest that a patient eat vitamin E rich foods such as green vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and eggs. Some patients benefit from taking oral supplements to help restore vitamin E levels in their bodies. When an underlying problem exists, such as cystic fibrosis, proper treatment of the initial disorder usually relieves vitamin E deficiency symptoms.

There is ongoing research that suggests that maintaining high levels of vitamin E can have several health benefits. The antioxidants present in vitamin E have been demonstrated in clinical trials to potentially lower the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Research also suggests that the vitamin is strongly linked with proper immune functioning and a healthy pancreas, liver, and kidneys. Individuals who are considering supplementing their diets with additional vitamin E should ask their doctors to help them determine proper dosages.


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Post 3

@StarJo – It is wonderful that we have the power to make ourselves so much healthier. While I was first recovering from my vitamin E deficiency, I relied on supplements as well as food sources, because my symptoms scared me to death.

I did feel tired, but what was really scary was that I couldn't seem to coordinate my movements anymore. Something as simple as lifting a glass to my face had become a chore. I had to labor to lift my arm that high, and when I did, I couldn't seem to get the glass to my face without a couple of tries!

My doctor told me I had a vitamin E deficiency, and all it would take

to fix it would be a change in diet. Since my symptoms were so severe, though, I started taking supplements right away. I also looked up a list of vitamin E food sources, and I went grocery shopping that day for them!
Post 2

It amazes me that something as simple as altering your diet can cause scary physical conditions to go away. I had a vitamin E deficiency that I was able to fix just by switching from fat, greasy food to vegetables, eggs, and nuts!

I had gotten to the point where I was tired all the time, even though I didn't do anything but work on my computer all day. Also, my vision was affected. I just couldn't see as well as I used to, and I felt as though I might be fading away slowly.

I made the decision to eat a healthier diet, and I started feeling better after the first healthy meal. Foods that contain vitamin E often are rich in other vitamins, as well, so I really improved my health by eating them!

Post 1

My ex-boyfriend suffered from Crohn's disease, and he had a vitamin E deficiency. The disease is terrible, because it can give you horrible cramps and diarrhea without warning.

He stayed sick most of the time we were together. Eventually, his fingers and toes went numb, so he went to the doctor, afraid that he might lose them.

The doctor told him that this was a symptom of a vitamin E deficiency. Since he was losing so much nutrition through the diarrhea, he needed to take a water-soluble version of the vitamin.

He regained feeling in his toes and fingers not long after starting to take the vitamin supplement. He will always have to deal with Crohn's disease, but at least he has this vitamin E supplement to help him with some of the symptoms.

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