Vitamin C – we all know it as one of the main compounds in citrus fruits and also as a protector of our health. Vitamin C is actually a crucial nutrient for our immune system – our body needs it on a regular basis in order to prevent numerous health problems. Unfortunately, almost no one gets enough vitamin C, and when the body develops vitamin C deficiency, the symptoms manifest in many unusual ways.
Here are the most common early signs of vitamin C deficiency you weren’t aware of:
Nosebleeds can be caused by a variety of problems, and they’re also a sign of a lack of vitamin C. The nose is full of tiny blood capillaries which are very sensitive. Nosebleeds are a common symptom of scurvy, a condition that occurs due to a lack of ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C.
Bleeding and Swelling Gums
If your gums are swollen and bleeding frequently, it’s probably due to the lack of vitamin C in your system. Vitamin C is quite important for our oral health – it reinforces the epithelium which shields us from bacteria and prevents a variety of diseases and conditions. When the body lacks vitamin C, this barrier will be broken, leading to bacteria attacking the gums and making them bleed profusely. Studies have also linked vitamin C deficiency to periodontitis, so make sure you’re getting enough of this important nutrient if you want to keep your gums healthy.
Dry Hair and Split Ends
Surprisingly, low levels of vitamin C in your body can make your hair dry and brittle and are also one of the most common culprits for split ends. Vitamin C deficiency will also make your hair grow at a much slower rate, possibly leading to hair loss.
Another surprising symptom of vitamin C deficiency, bruising has been known to be triggered by a lack of this important nutrient. When your body lacks vitamin C, even a small bump can leave a big ugly bruise on your skin. Of course, bruising can come as a result of injuries, but if it occurs frequently for apparently no reason at all, you’re probably vitamin C deficient.
Dry, Rough, and Red Skin
The lack of ascorbic acid in your body can make your skin red, rough, and dry, as the body needs vitamin C to synthesize collagen. According to studies, lack of vitamin C can also trigger a rare skin condition known as keratosis pilaris, which manifests through rough and red bumps and patches that usually appear on the cheeks, upper arms, buttocks, and thighs. These patches are often itchy and while not a serious problem, they can be quite uncomfortable.
Swollen and Painful Joints
Joint swelling can be caused by a variety of problems, including vitamin C deficiency. People with low vitamin C levels are far more prone to rheumatoid arthritis which causes joints to swell, which is why you need to make sure you’re getting plenty of vitamin C every day.
Slow Healing Cuts and Bruises
Vitamin C helps our connective tissues bind together in order to close a wound. When the body lacks it, it wouldn’t be able to heal quickly nor properly. If you have small cuts and wounds that haven’t healed for weeks, you might be lacking this important nutrient.
Now you’re probably wondering what vitamin C has to do with anxiety. Well, according to a recent research, low vitamin C levels can cause anxiety and even lead to depression if left untreated. The 34 patients suffering from anxiety examined in the study became much more positive after taking vitamin C supplements, which shows that a lack of the vitamin affects our psychological health as well.
Frequent Colds and the Flu
Vitamin C is an important cog in the immune system ‘wheel’ – it helps the body produce white blood cells and fight intruders. It’s also an antioxidant that prevents infections, so when the body lacks it, you’re going to be far more prone to colds and the flu.
The best way to get more vitamin C in your system is by eating fruits and veggies. Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits and apples, as well as peppers, capsicum, broccoli, spinach, and kale – only a bit of these fruits and veggies will provide the body with enough vitamin C for the day and prevent all the aforementioned problems.