What is it?

Vitamin K has two main kinds. K1 is found mostly in leafy green vegetables while K2 is created in the intestinal tract. Both share the same role in blood clotting- which is the process that prevents excessive bleeding. The liver makes a few proteins which make up clotting factors from vitamin K. The most common sign for vitamin K deficiency is bleeding.Vitamin K deficiency is rare in adults, but can be caused due to drug use (warfarin, antibiotics), fat malabsorption conditions such as celiac disease, biliary tract disorders or cystic fibrosis, and by eating a diet that is very low on vitamin K. In children the condition is more common, as breast milk is low in vitamin K, their liver does not produce enough on its own and it does not pass through the placenta.

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Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of vitamin K deficiency include easy bruising, small blood clots under the nails, bleeding in mucous membranes such as the mouth, and dark black stool. Babies who have it may bleed from the area where the umbilical cord was removed, membranes, gastrointestinal tract, penis after circumcision, and brain.


Diagnosing vitamin K deficiency starts with medical history and a physical examination. Then, a coagulation test called prothrombin time may be performed, to measure the time it takes for blood to clot.


Treatment for vitamin K deficiency is by a drug called phytonadione, which is vitamin K1.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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