Ten Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency

Ten Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency

Jan 07, 2023 Alex Brecher

Vitamin C was the first vitamin to be linked to a deficiency disease. We know a lot more today about the vitamin, but many Americans are still deficient. The CDC reports that 6% of Americans over 6 years old are deficient, and others may be low. 

Here is a background on vitamin C deficiency, 10 signs and symptoms, and how vitamin C-rich foods and the Vitamin C Plus Patch by PatchAid can help you get more vitamin C.* Talk to a healthcare provider if you are concerned about a vitamin C deficiency and before taking any dietary supplements. 

Discovery of Vitamin C Deficiency

As early as the 1500’s, British sailors were noted to have signs of scurvy, which developed weeks or months into a voyage at sea. After the discovery that citrus fruits could prevent it, British sailors were asked to suck on limes to prevent scurvy. Eventually, scientists isolated vitamin C and were certain of its role in preventing scurvy.

Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency

We’ve come a long way in our knowledge of vitamin C, but not everyone gets optimal amounts. People at greatest risk for vitamin C deficiency include people who smoke, people whose diet does not include a lot of unprocessed fruits and vegetables, and people whose diet is very restricted. 

Might you have a deficiency? These are some signs and symptoms of a vitamin C deficiency.

  • Wounds that are slower to heal.
  • Among the many roles of vitamin C in the body is helping in the production of collagen. Collagen is a type of connective tissue in many places in the body, including blood vessels, skin, and bones. It is also necessary when healing wounds. Too little vitamin C could cause wounds to heal more slowly due to low amounts of collagen production.

  • Joint pain.
  • Collagen is part of the cushioning tissue in your joints, and a vitamin C deficiency can lead to lower amounts of collagen. That means you can feel joint pain, such as in the knees or fingers. In addition, vitamin C is an anti-inflammatory nutrient. You might notice swelling in your joints if you have a vitamin C deficiency. 

  • Increased infections.
  • Another role of vitamin C is to support a healthy immune system. It turns out that vitamin C tends to cluster in cells that fight infections. A lack of vitamin C could increase your risk for infections. If you seem to be catching every cold that goes around, it is possible that a vitamin C deficiency is to blame.

  • Poor bone health.
  • You may think of bones as being made up of minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, but there is more to bone health than minerals. Bones are dynamic tissues, and they have collagen in them to strengthen their structures. Low vitamin C can increase your risk for bone fractures and osteoporosis.

  • Loss of teeth or bleeding gums.
  • Remember that collagen that we were talking about? It shows up in the mouth, too. Without adequate vitamin C and healthy collagen, gums can become weaker and allow teeth to fall out more easily. Plus, bleeding gums may be noticeable due to unhealthy or inflamed blood vessels in the mouth.

  • Iron-deficiency anemia
  • Some forms of iron require vitamin C for normal absorption in your body. This applies to iron from plant-based foods, or non-heme iron. Sources can include spinach, beans, potatoes, lentils, and some nuts. If you have anemia despite eating an iron-rich diet, you may have a vitamin C deficiency. You’re at higher risk if you are a vegetarian or strict vegan, since some iron in animal-based foods is in the heme form and does not require vitamin C.

  • Easy bruising.
  • Don’t automatically chalk it up to age or clumsiness if you notice a lot of bruises. Instead, consider vitamin C as a possible cause. Blood vessels that burst may have trouble healing if you do not have adequate vitamin C.

  • Changes in hair, skin, or nails.
  • Hair on your body may develop more of a corkscrew appearance if you are low in vitamin C, due to proteins not being made properly. In addition, tiny ruptures in blood vessels can give follicles a red appearance if you look closely.  When it comes to skin, vitamin C deficiency can cause keratosis pilaris, which may present with roughness or bumps. And nails may become spoon-shaped without enough vitamin C.

  • Increased inflammation or weight gain.
  • Vitamin C is an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory nutrient. Both of these are important in weight control and chronic disease prevention. Without sufficient vitamin C, you might be at higher risk for heart disease and other conditions linked to chronic inflammation, such as diabetes. In addition, low vitamin C intake may be related to weight gain.

  • Poor mood.
  • How is your mood when you are tired? Vitamin C deficiency can make you feel tired, and that can quickly turn your mood sour. 

    Vitamin C Plus Patch for Additional Vitamin C

    If you are low in vitamin C, you can increase your intake of it, with fruits and vegetables being the best sources. These are some examples.

    • Strawberries, raspberries, and other berries.
    • Oranges and other citrus fruit.
    • Tomatoes.
    • Pineapple, mango, kiwi, and guava.
    • Onions.
    • Potatoes.
    • Spinach, kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.
    • Bell peppers.

    The Vitamin C Plus Patch by PatchAid likely has more vitamin C than you can get from foods alone. Each patch has 2500 mg of vitamin C, or more than 10 times the amount in a bell pepper. And, you do not need to eat anything to get that vitamin C. It is absorbed through the skin.

    The Vitamin C Plus Patch by PatchAid also has supporting, plant-based nutritional compounds. It has acerola, rutin, and barley grass powder, as well as a citrus bioflavonoid complex. Talk to your healthcare provider about any health concerns or whether the Vitamin C Plus Patch by PatchAid might be right for you.

    *The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. PatchAid patches are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone with a medical condition should seek the advice of a licensed medical practitioner. Individual results may vary.

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