Vitamin C deficiency: Six signs you're at risk of scurvy – what foods you should be eating

Posted on Mar 30 2018 - 5:47pm by admin

Vitamin C deficiency is known as scurvy and happens when a person does not have enough vitamin C in their diet for at least three months.

The vitamin is found in a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, especially oranges and other citrus fruits.

Although scurvy is rare, you may be more at risk if you are on an unusual or restricted fad diet, where there are very few or no sources of vitamin C.

Eating very little food at all, having a poor diet and smoking, and having a poor diet while being pregnant and breastfeeding can also increase your risk of scurvy.

So what are the symptoms of a vitamin C deficiency to look out for?

According to the NHS, feeling very tired and weak all the time can be a sign of you being at risk of scurvy.

Other symptoms include feeling irritable and sad all the time, having severe joint or leg pain, and having swollen, bleeding gums – sometimes teeth can fall out.

Developing red or blue spots on the skin, usually on the shins and having skin that bruises easily can also be indicators.

While vitamin C is best obtained from fruit and vegetables, even people who do not eat very healthily are not considered to be at risk of scurvy.

If you do get scurvy it is easily treatable. All you have to do is add some vitamin C to your diet by eating fresh fruit and vegetables. In some cases your GP may recommend you take vitamin C supplements.

Most people who are treated for scurvy feel between within 48 hours and make a full recovery within two weeks.

How can you prevent a vitamin C deficiency? The best way is to make sure you eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. The best way to get enough vitamins and minerals is to eat a health, balanced diet.

Calcium is another mineral vital in helping your body function properly.

A deficiency can increase your risk of teeth cavities, broken bones, osteoporosis and even heart failure.

It makes up to two per cent of an adult’s body weight, which means it’s one of the most important minerals in terms of health.

NHS guidelines state: “This is just like taking money out of the cash point without checking your account balance – you may not know until it is gone.” For this reason, the first sign of a lack of calcium could be the loss of a tooth or a broken bone.

One of the problems with a shortfall in calcium is that people often don’t realise they’re lacking in the mineral until they’ve got a full-blown deficiency, which is known as Hypocalcemia.

The best way to get calcium is from food we eat, such as dairy products, broccoli, poppy seeds, almonds, tofu, canned sardines, and fortified foods such as bread, breakfast cereals or juice.

So what are some of the symptoms of a calcium deficiency? 

Taking supplements can help keep your levels in vitamins and minerals topped up. But what happens to your body if you forget or stop taking them? 

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