25 Oct 2020: Vitamin C deficiency: Symptoms, causes, prevention, and treatment
Vitamin C is an extremely important nutrient for our body.
This active antioxidant helps in maintaining the immune system, absorbing iron from food, and amino acid formation. It is also responsible for the growth and repair of tissues all over the body.
Since this vitamin is so important, its deficiency can have numerous bad effects on your health.
Read on to know more.
Symptoms: Symptoms: Bones may become brittle, nail/hair deformities, easy bruising
Since vitamin C plays a crucial role in collagen production, lower levels of the vitamin can affect the skin, bones, and muscles.
The immune system also suffers because it is an important antioxidant.
Bones may become brittle, nail and hair deformities can develop, wounds may take longer to heal, and more.
Other signs of this deficiency include fatigue, red gums, easy bruising and bleeding.
Causes: Poor diet, illnesses, and other causes of this deficiency
Vitamin C can't be produced inside the human body.
Its only sources are the food items that are rich in this nutrient. Hence, if your diet doesn't contain enough vitamin C, you might witness the deficiency symptoms mentioned before.
Eating disorders like anorexia and health issues like the inability to ingest food, allergies, and more can also be the reason behind this deficiency.
Prevention: You can prevent this deficiency with vitamin C-rich food items
With a diet rich in vitamin C, you can easily stop this deficiency from happening.
Citrus fruits like lemon and oranges are the best sources of vitamin C.
Consume these on a daily basis along with other fresh fruits like strawberries, blackberries, guava, kiwi fruit, and papaya.
Also, include vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, potatoes, cabbage, and spinach in your diet.
Treatment: This deficiency can also be treated with vitamin C supplements
Whenever a severe deficiency of vitamin C is diagnosed, doctors usually begin with a course of its supplements, which can be both capsules/tablets and injection.
The dosage will depend on the level of deficiency.
Generally, this treatment starts showing improvement in symptoms like fatigue, lethargy, pain, anorexia, and confusion within 24 hours.
Other symptoms might take 2-3 weeks, or sometimes 2-3 months to resolve.