As a basic nutrient, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) protects the body from immune system deficiencies. The body needs regular doses of vitamin C to prevent the development of common diseases and serious health problems.
However, most people are deficient in this important nutrient. When the body has a low content of vitamin C, the symptoms can manifest in many ways. Take a look at some early symptoms that indicate that your body does not have enough vitamin C.
1. Your gums swell and bleed frequently
Red, swollen and bleeding gums are one of the most common signs of vitamin C deficiency. Your teeth and gums need adequate amounts of vitamin C to stay healthy. This nutrient strengthens the epithelial tissue, which is present throughout the body. In the gums, the epithelium acts as a protection against bacteria that can cause dental disease. If your body is deficient in vitamin C, your gums tend to swell and bleed easily. It is one of the most common symptoms of vitamin C deficiency.
Vitamin C deficiency is linked to periodontitis, according to a study by the American Society of Microbiology. This disease leads to gum infection and damage that could even lead to tooth loss.
2. Your hair is full of scissors
The vitamin C that your body gets goes first to the most important tissues and organs of the body and then to the less important parts like the hair. But if the levels of vitamin C are lower than what you need, then your hair roots will not be able to get the necessary amount of this vitamin. So you end up with dry hair with scissors.
In addition, vitamin C helps hair grow faster, as it helps the body absorb more iron. Therefore, deficiency does not only slow down hair growth. It could also lead to hair loss.
3. Your nose bleeds easily
Normal intake of vitamin C reduces the sensitivity of capillaries. Since the nose has many of these small blood vessels that are close to the surface of the skin, it is quite sensitive. If you experience frequent nosebleeds, you may have insufficient levels of vitamin C.
Frequent nosebleeds are one of the symptoms of scurvy that confirms the lack of vitamin C in your body. To avoid frequent bleeding, you need to provide your body with enough vitamin C.
4. Your skin is dry and red
Dry, rough and red skin are also some signs that there is not enough ascorbic acid in your body. Your body needs vitamin C to synthesize collagen, which keeps your skin in the right pink color.
Vitamin C deficiency can also lead to the development of a skin condition called keratosis pilaris. Although it is more common in young people, this condition can occur at any age.
It is characterized by small bumps that appear on the thighs, buttocks, arms and cheeks.
Keratosis pilaris can cause mild itching. While it does not hurt and is not a serious condition, the rough texture it causes can be unpleasant. Moisturizers and lotions with vitamin ingredients help heal dry skin and reduce wrinkles.
5. You get bruised easily
Because your capillaries are weaker without vitamin C, a single blow can immediately lead to bruising. Are there cases where you do not know how you got bruises on your thighs or hands? Now, you have an explanation for this – your body is likely to be deficient in vitamin C.
According to the University of Michigan Health System, bruises can also indicate poor health. Experts recommend that in addition to eating foods rich in vitamin C, you should take daily supplements of about 400 mg of this vitamin along with 400 mg of flavonoids.
6. Your wounds heal slowly
Do you have cuts or scratches that do not heal for weeks? Have you had any surgery and still feel some discomfort around the wound? It may not heal quickly because you do not have enough vitamin C to help connective tissue close the wound.
Vitamin C plays an important role in tissue regeneration, according to the journal Dental Research. Deficiency in this vitamin slows down the rate of collagen formation and causes slower wound healing. It can also prevent wound infection.
7. You have joint pain
The joints in which you ache may suffer from inflammation. This is common for people with rheumatoid arthritis. According to the Arthritis Foundation, people with low vitamin C levels are three times more likely to develop the disease.
Because joints contain a lot of collagen-rich connective tissue, they are affected by vitamin C deficiency. In contrast, people with normal vitamin C intake are less likely to develop this disease.
8. You get sick often
Studies show that vitamin C accumulates in various types of immune cells to help fight infections and destroy disease-causing pathogens. Vitamin C helps produce white blood cells that fight viruses and bacteria. It is also an antioxidant that protects your cells from infections.
Vitamin C deficiency is associated with poor immune status and an increased risk of disease, including serious illnesses such as pneumonia. If your body does not have enough vitamin C, you are probably vulnerable to the common cold and are weak against the flu virus or throat infection.
9. You are usually not in a good mood
Two of the first signs of vitamin C deficiency are fatigue and low mood. You always get tired easily, you are not in the mood and you can never explain why? Vitamin C deficiency has been shown to be directly linked to your mental health.
These symptoms can occur even before a complete deficiency of this vitamin develops. Separate studies in patients and high school students with anxiety showed that their mood became more positive by up to 34% after taking vitamin C supplements.
The best way to increase your vitamin C intake is to add these foods to your diet. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables – such as broccoli, spinach, berries and citrus fruits – to boost your body’s daily vitamin C intake.
You get more benefits from eating fresh fruit than from natural or standard juices. Studies have also shown that overcooked vegetables can lose their nutritional value. For this reason it is good to add vegetables to soups after the water has boiled and not before.