8 Symptoms of a Vitamin C Deficiency

Ascorbic acid or vitamin C is a nutrient that participates in several processes, such as collagen production, for example. Hence, it's a nutrient beneficial to health.
8 Symptoms of a Vitamin C Deficiency
Maricela Jiménez López

Reviewed and approved by the doctor Maricela Jiménez López.

Last update: 30 May, 2022

A vitamin C deficiency can be a health problem for many reasons. It’s no secret to anyone that vitamins play a fundamental role in everything related to bodily health and proper functioning. Among them, vitamin C is one of the best known and most important.

This nutrient is essential for the health of all body systems. It’s proven that, in rodents, its regular consumption contributes to collagen production, iron absorption, and oxidative stress reduction, among other processes.

Symptoms of a vitamin C deficiency

For all of these reasons, a vitamin C deficiency can cause a series of negative reactions in your body.

At the beginning, it’s difficult to notice it. But, as time goes on, some symptoms start to appear. Keep them in mind to go to the doctor for a timely checkup if you start suffering from them.

1. Thinning hair and hair loss

A woman with hair loss.

Thinning hair and hair loss are usually associated with several factors. These factors can cause your scalp and hair to deteriorate.

Among these factors, a deficiency in vitamin C is a common cause. This is because it’s an essential nutrient for maintaining collagen and proteins that make it strong. Consequently, a diet that doesn’t include foods with this vitamin can cause hair dryness, hair loss, and susceptibility to baldness.

You should also read: Fight Hair Loss Naturally: 3 Fabulous Herbal Remedies!

2. Recurring infections

People with a vitamin C deficiency tend to develop more infections. You can counteract it by consuming more of it.

According to experts from the National Institutes of Health, this nutrient is essential for the body’s defense mechanisms. Therefore, a deficiency affects its ability to destroy pathogens that cause all kinds of diseases.

Continuous urinary infections or oral problems can be signs that indicate that you should increase your consumption of this vitamin.

3. Mood changes

A sad woman.

Even though most people don’t realize it, this vitamin is loosely tied to your emotional health.

According to different hypotheses, getting adequate amounts gives you mental stability, calmness, and hormonal control. The latter are responsible for moods.

On the other hand, low levels in your body can cause irritable moods, stress, and negative emotions that affect us.

4. Chronic fatigue, a symptom of vitamin C deficiency

Indirectly, chronic fatigue and a continued feeling of tiredness can be symptoms of scurvy, a serious health problem that’s related to vitamin C deficiency and requires immediate medical treatment.

On the other hand, a recent study suggests that perhaps oxidative stress is one of the causes involved in the development of mood disorders (such as depression and anxiety), chronic fatigue, among others. Therefore, vitamin C supplements (and other antioxidants) could contribute to the treatment of these types of problems.

Discover: Daily Stress Can Cause Depression

5. Wounds heal slower

This nutrient is necessary to get the right oxygenation and cellular repair. As a result, if you don’t get enough of it, then wounds won’t heal as quickly.

It’s common for superficial wounds to take more time to heal. In addition to that, bruises can appear overnight.

6. Body pain

A woman in pain.
Although the patient may take drugs to treat this condition, they also need to make lifestyle changes.

Frequently experiencing general pain throughout the body is a symptom that something needs to be evaluated and properly cared for by a doctor. Especially if it’s intense, it doesn’t allow people to lead normal lives and is accompanied by other symptoms.

Nutritional deficiencies can make a person feel pain throughout their body and directly influences your muscle and joint health.

For instance, a vitamin C deficiency can reduce your ability to correctly absorb some minerals. This, in turn, can cause muscular weakening. In addition to that, it can get in the way of a correct collagen production. The outcome of this will be a weakening in the cartilage that protects your joints.

7. Skin dryness

Getting enough vitamin C on a daily basis is one of the best habits you can acquire. It can greatly help you to have smooth, beautiful, disease-free skin.

This nutrient slows the early loss of collagen and elastin. These are two substances that are in charge of maintaining your skin’s firmness and elasticity.

8. Cardiovascular diseases

Cardiovascular diseases and heart problems can develop for many reasons. In this regard, there’s the hypothesis that its early appearance may be related to a lack of vitamin C in the diet.

According to a recent study, its antioxidant action helps maintain cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of developing diseases, as well as maintaining normal cholesterol and glucose levels. In addition, vitamin C is essential for tissues and blood vessels.

Do you think you have a vitamin C deficiency?

Do you suspect this nutritional deficiency? Discover the natural sources that contain it and try to improve your eating habits to get the correct dose.
And never forget to consult a medical professional to get the relevant tests. They can also offer the most appropriate treatment options for your case.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Manela-Azulay, M., Mandarim-de-Lacerda, C. A., Perez, M. de A., Filgueira, A. L., & Cuzzi, T. (2003). Vitamina C. Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0365-05962003000300002
    Oro, J. R. D. X., & Donnamaría, M. C. (2006). Acción farmacológica, biofisicoquímica y estructura dinámica de la vitamina C. Acta Farmaceutica Bonaerense.
    Tuero, B. (2000). Funciones de la vitamina C en el metabolismo del colágeno. Rev Cubana Aliment Nutr.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.