15 Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency

Here are the 15 most common signs and symptoms of vitamin C deficiency.

1. Vitamin C deficiency can cause the formation of small acne-like bumps on the arms, thighs or buttocks. However, these bumps alone are not enough to diagnose a deficiency.

2. Abnormally bent, coiled or corkscrew-shaped body hairs are a hallmark sign of vitamin C deficiency, but they may be difficult to detect, as these hairs are more likely to fall out.

3. Hair follicles contain many tiny blood vessels that can rupture due to a vitamin C deficiency, causing bright red spots to appear around the follicles.

4. Vitamin C deficiency is associated with spoon-shaped fingernails and red lines or spots underneath the nail bed.

5. Low intakes of vitamin C are associated with dry, sun-damaged skin, but these symptoms can also be caused by other factors.

6. Vitamin C deficiency weakens blood vessels, causing easy bruising. It’s often one of the first obvious signs of vitamin C deficiency.

7. Vitamin C deficiency interferes with tissue formation, causing wounds to heal more slowly. This is considered an advanced sign of deficiency, so other signs and symptoms would likely appear first.

8. Vitamin C deficiency often causes severe joint pain. In severe cases, bleeding can occur within the joints, causing painful swelling.

9. Vitamin C is important for bone formation, and deficiency can increase the risk of developing weak and brittle bones.

10. Red, bleeding gums are a common sign of vitamin C deficiency, and severe deficiency can even lead to tooth loss.

11. Vitamin C is an important nutrient for the immune system. Low vitamin C levels are linked to an increased risk of infection, while severe deficiency can cause death from infectious diseases.

12. Vitamin C deficiency may increase the risk of iron deficiency anemia by reducing iron absorption and increasing the likelihood of bleeding.

13. Signs of fatigue and poor mood can appear even with low-to-normal levels of vitamin C, but they quickly turn around with adequate vitamin C intake.

14. Low vitamin C intake has been linked to increased body fat in humans, but other factors may be involved, such as diet quality.

15. Regular consumption of antioxidants like vitamin C is associated with health benefits, while low intakes may increase inflammation and oxidative stress.

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