How Do You Know that you have vitamin C deficiency and when you need to seek professional advice?
The symptoms of vitamin C deficiency appear after one or more months of no vitamin C intake. Deficiency of vitamin C causes a specific condition called scurvy.
A) Early symptoms of scurvy:
○ Bleeding disorders
Such as bleeding gums, unexplained bruises, blood in urine and stool and heavy periods. This happens because vitamin C is responsible for collagen production, and its deficiency makes blood vessels more fragile and prone to bleeding.
○ Delayed wound healing
This is linked to decreasing collagen in the body as a part of vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C is responsible for collagen production and its distribution in the cells.
○ Gum diseases
Vitamin C keeps blood vessels healthy and helps with blood clotting. Thus, a deficiency of this vitamin contributes to inflammation and easily bleeding gums. If gum diseases are not treated that will affect the teeth health and eventually will fall.
Vitamin C is responsible for healthy cell growth and collagen production. Its deficiency appears on highly dividing cells like epithelial tissues in the skin and mucous membrane in lip and mouth. It also changes the moisture content of the skin and gives rise to wrinkles and premature aging.
○ Recurrent infection
Vitamin C is responsible for a healthy and robust immune system to fight against bacteria and viruses; it is also important for skin integrity, a natural defense mechanism against infection. In vitamin C deficiency, these mechanisms will be affected leading to frequent infections.
○ Weight gain
Increases in body fat percentage are linked to vitamin C deficiency. Treating patients with vitamin C deficiency may result in weight reduction as vitamin C levels increase.
○ Joint pain
Vitamin C is responsible for the formation of collagen, which is an essential component in joints. In vitamin C deficiency, the levels of collagen drop and affect joint stability, leading to joint pain.
This happened because vitamin C is responsible for the conversion of lysine to carnitine, which is a secondary source of energy in the cell. That is why patients with vitamin C suffer from low energy all the time.
○ Craving sweets
Studies show that vitamin C deficiency may increase the recurrence of cravings for sweets.
B) Late symptoms of scurvy:
Signs of a chronic vitamin C deficiency are the same but more severe because of the prolonged effect of vitamin C deficiency.