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Vitamin C Deficiency: Watch Out For These Early Signs And Symptoms

Vitamin C deficiency can lead to symptoms like swollen and painful gums, tender joints, and dark stools.

Vitamin C Deficiency: Watch Out For These Early Signs And Symptoms

Vitamin C boosts immunity and promotes absorption of iron from diet consumed

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that ensures smooth functioning of the body. A study by the Central European Journal of Medicine, confirmed that Vitamin C supplementation is beneficial in stimulating the immune system, preventing DNA damage which also decreases the risk of many diseases. Vitamin C is one of the most effective nutrients that protects an individual against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular diseases, eye diseases, skin wrinkling, and prenatal health problems. For several vital biological functions including the synthesis of collagen, the healing of wounds, and the repair and maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth among others, nutritionist's advice people with Vitamin C deficiency to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and take dietary supplements regularly.

Early signs and symptoms of vitamin C deficiency

Early signs of Vitamin C deficiency such as loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss and lethargy may start to appear after eight to 12 weeks. However, following symptoms may surface within one to three months.


Loose and bleeding gums, dark stool: One of the prominent signs of Vitamin C deficiency which are clear indications of a poor dietary lifestyle

Slow wound healing: One of the causes of slow wound healing can be Vitamin C deficiency. Poor wound healing is associated with decreased collagen formation and vitamin C helps in building collagen

Tired and Cranky: If tiredness, weakness, and crankiness come to you often, you may want to check your Vitamin C level

Weak Immunity: If you are falling sick frequently and having a hard time recovering, it could be due to the lack of adequate immunity. Proper intake of Vitamin C can help in boosting the immune system, thus protecting us from various infections and chronic diseases

Scurvy: Prolonged deficiency of Vitamin C can lead to Scurvy, a condition with symptoms such as loose teeth, cracked fingernails, joint pain, brittle bones, etc. Proper dosage can cure the disease within a couple of months

What should you do if you experience the above-mentioned symptoms?

To begin with, it is imperative to be vigilant of the signs your body gives, relook at your Vitamin C intake, and consult a doctor without delay.

Vitamin C is sufficiently available in citrus fruits, tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries, green and red bell peppers, broccoli, kiwi among others. However, many people are advised to consume this in a supplement form as prescribed by their doctors due to several medical conditions which require support for their immune system.

Take supplements if required only after consulting a doctor.

(Dr Sanchayan Roy is a Senior Consultant Internal Medicine and Critical Care at National Heart Institute, New Delhi)


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