5 Signs You Might Be Vitamin C DeficientJanuary 10, 2022
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that cannot be produced by the human body, thus, they must be consumed regularly in adequate amounts to prevent deficiency.
Ideally, daily consumption must be from fruits and vegetables but in some cases, supplementation is also advised and is generally safe for most people.
Nonetheless, while vitamin C deficiency is rare, the persistent lack of this nutrient can lead to a potentially fatal condition called scurvy, indicating how important it is for our health.
Risk factors include poor diet, alcoholism, tobacco use, eating disorders and other conditions like Type 1 diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease.
Symptoms of severe deficiency take months to develop but there are usually overlooked signals that may demonstrate that you are vitamin C deficient.
Here are 5 subtle signs of vitamin C deficiency that you should watch out for, according to experts.
- You bruise easily.
Bruising easily is one of the most obvious signs of vitamin C deficiency.
In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, they found that bruising rapidly improved after a patient took oral vitamin C supplements.
Bruises form when blood vessels near the skin’s surface ruptures, causing the blood to leak in the surrounding area. When you are vitamin C deficient, it affects collagen production which causes weak blood vessels that easily break from a blow or injury.
- Your wounds are slow to heal.
If you notice that your cuts and scratches are taking weeks to heal on their own, you may have a vitamin C deficiency. Low vitamin C levels reduce the body’s ability to produce collagen which interferes with tissue formation and slows the healing speed of wounds.
- Your hair grows in bent or coiled shapes.
“People with severe vitamin C deficiency grow hair that grows in a very peculiar corkscrew pattern,” said Alexander Michels, a research associate at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, in an interview with the Insider.
A corkscrew-shaped hair is a hallmark sign of vitamin C deficiency, but they may be difficult to detect, as these hairs are more fragile and more likely to fall out fast and easily.
- You frequently experience joint pain.
One of the most common initial signs of vitamin C deficiency is joint pain.
Vitamin C is a cofactor in the synthesis of collagen, the primary protein in both joint tissue and bone. It is also an antioxidant that fights inflammation that can result in joint pain and is highly recommended for people with compromised immune systems which can take a toll in our joints.
- You often feel tired and cranky.
If you feel more tired than normal, chances are you are not getting enough vitamin C in your diet.
Fatigue is a sign of vitamin C deficiency along with poor mood. A study published in the University of Arkansas revealed that adults feel tired, weak, and irritable if their diet is low in vitamin C.
A study in 2012 also established the link between vitamin C and fatigue after they analyzed the effects of intravenous vitamin C on fatigue in 141 office workers. They found that intravenous vitamin C reduced fatigue within two hours of treatment, with the effect lasting for one day.
If you experience any of the five signs above, it should be enough to warrant further investigations in your vitamin C levels. Vitamin C plays so many roles in the body and unmet recommended intake may lead to an overall compromised health.
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