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9 Signs of a Vitamin C Deficiency to Watch Out For!

Ms. Ayesha Nasir

3 min read

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Vitamin C is one of the most crucial vitamins for health. It is both an antioxidant and an essential nutrient and its deficiency have serious negative impacts on your health. Vitamin C has many health benefits such as boosting the immune function, improving skin health and even protects from cardiovascular disease. A few servings of vitamin C foods are enough to fulfill your daily requirements of the vitamin. Risk factors such as poor diet, smoking, severe mental illness, anorexia, and dialysis can lead to vitamin C deficiency. Developing a vitamin C deficiency is easy as your body doesn’t store it and you must replenish your vitamin C levels daily through diet or supplements. Here are some signs of vitamin C deficiency:

1- Your Skin feels constantly dry:

Collagen keeps your skin firm and supple. It keeps fine line and wrinkles away. That’s why a lack of vitamin C is linked to wrinkled skin. Intake of vitamin C can keep your skin youthful. Since vitamin C is an antioxidant, it also fights free radical damage and also reduces damage caused by sunlight to the skin.

2- Your Nose Bleeds Often:

When the blood vessels in your nose bleed, it leads to a nosebleed. Frequent nosebleeds are often a symptom of weak blood vessels in the nose. Collagen strengthens blood vessels and a vitamin C deficiency can weaken them. This causes them to burst and bleed.

3-  Your Gums Are Swollen:

Since your gums are partially made up of collagen, a vitamin C deficiency can have an impact. They may bleed more and they will take longer to heal as vitamin C helps with healing. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and prevents inflammation so a deficiency may cause your gums to swell. Studies have likened adequate vitamin C intake to better gum health and a reduction in gum inflammation.

4- Your hair feel extra dry:

The hair of your health reflects your overall health. When your hair is dry and you have split ends, it may signal a vitamin C deficiency. Your hair needs collagen to remain healthy and strong. When your vitamin C levels are down, your collagen levels also deplete, leading to dry, weak hair that falls out easily.

5- Your Wounds Take Time To Heal:

Vitamin C plays a huge role in your body’s healing mechanism. Your immune system, which fights infection and heals wounds, relies on vitamin C to work optimally. Vitamin C boosts collagen production and a deficiency can impact the formation of collagen. Collagen strengthens the scar tissues and accelerates the healing of wounds. When your vitamin C levels are low, this process is affected. This slows down wound healing.

6- Spoon-Shaped Fingernails With Red Spots or Lines

Spoon-shaped nails are characterized by their concave shape and often thin and brittle.

They are more commonly associated with iron deficiency anemia but have also been linked to vitamin C deficiency.

Red spots or vertical lines in the nail bed, known as splinter hemorrhage, may also appear during vitamin C deficiency due to weakened blood vessels that rupture easily.

While the visual appearance of fingernails and toenails may help determine the likelihood of vitamin C deficiency, note that it’s not considered diagnostic.

7- Painful, Swollen Joints

Since joints contain a lot of collagen-rich connective tissue, they can also be affected by vitamin C deficiency.

There have been many reported cases of joint pain associated with vitamin C deficiency, often severe enough to cause limping or difficulty walking.

Bleeding within the joints can also occur in people who are deficient in vitamin C, causing swelling and additional pain.

Yet, both of these symptoms can be treated with vitamin C supplements and commonly resolve within one week.

8- Unexplained Weight Gain

Vitamin C may help protect against obesity by regulating the release of fat from fat cells, reducing stress hormones and decreasing inflammation.

Research has found a consistent link between low intake of vitamin C and excess body fat, but it’s not clear whether it is a cause and effect relationship.

Interestingly, low blood levels of vitamin C have been linked to higher amounts of belly fat, even in normal-weight individuals.

While excess body fat alone is not enough to indicate a vitamin C deficiency, it may be worth examining after other factors have been ruled out.

9- Poor Immunity

Studies show that vitamin C accumulates inside various types of immune cells to help them combat infection and destroy disease-causing pathogens.

Vitamin C deficiency is associated with poor immunity and a higher risk of infection, including serious illnesses like pneumonia.

In fact, many people with scurvy, a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency, eventually die of infection due to their poorly functioning immune systems.

If you feel that your vitamin C  levels are low, consult a doctor right away. You can find and book an appointment with a top Nutritionist in Karachi, Multan and Islamabad through oladoc.com. You can also call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your health concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Ms. Ayesha Nasir - Author Ms. Ayesha Nasir is a Dietitian practicing in Lahore. Ms. Ayesha Nasir has the following degrees: M.Phil Food and Nutrition, B.S Home Economics and has 5 years of experience. You can book an appointment with Ms. Ayesha Nasir by calling us or using the 'book appointment' button. Ms. Ayesha believes that a healthy diet is more than half of what constitutes good physical health. She thus tries to make the public aware about some basic healthy diet principles. You can look at some of her advice through these links:How Water-Wise Is Your Diet?,Less than 10 Percent of Kids in Pakistan Have Balanced Diet.

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