Healthy Living:Curbing Vitamin C deficiency

A few weeks ago I had been feeling very tired, so I was wondering whether I was overworking my body or its just age catching up with me.

A few weeks ago I had been feeling very tired, so I was wondering whether I was overworking my body or its just age catching up with me.

After much contemplation, I decided to go and see my doctor for checkup; maybe something is wrong with my high blood pressure or sugar levels in my body. After all the tests I was surprised to be told that I have a deficiency of vitamin C! Look who is being told this! I had to laugh at myself for sure.

I sat down and started checking out my diet for the past two months; with the hard economic times that most of us are facing, one can hardly afford some things that we are used to. I like calling my spade a shove-so in almost two months now I have not been eating lunch when at work because my pockets have been emptied by other responsibilities, so what my body was used to no longer gets it, so this has definitely affected my health in general; thank goodness nothing grave, just a deficiency of Vitamin C.

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin which is essential for normal functioning of the body. Unlike most mammals, humans don’t have the ability to make their own vitamin C. We must therefore obtain vitamin C through our diet.

I have always been a person who is very conscious about what goes down my mouth, choosing my foods very carefully trying to serve all the right portions, yet here I am walking around with vitamin C deficiency. What my doctor told me is that unfortunately first symptoms of early vitamin C deficiency are very general and if not taken of could also indicate other diseases. The symptoms include fatigue, lassitude, loss of appetite, drowsiness and insomnia, feeling run-down, irritability and low resistance to infections.

Severe vitamin C deficiency leads to scurvy, characterized by weakening of collagenous structures, resulting in widespread capillary bleeding. Infantile scurvy causes bone malformations. Bleeding gums and loosening of the teeth are usually the earliest signs of clinical deficiency. Hemorrhages under the skin cause extreme tenderness of extremities and pain during movement. If left untreated, gangrene and death may ensue.

Nowadays deficiency of Vitamin C can be prevented by a daily intake of about 10-15 mg of vitamin C supplements. However, for optimal physiological functioning much higher amounts are required. Currently I am taking my vitamin C supplements religiously.

For a long time, we were told that only citrus fruits are the best source of vitamin C. Well, not so true now, for it has been proven that other foods also do help in adding vitamin C. Vegetables like broccoli, raw tomatoes and some little amount of potatoes; fruits like paw paws, mangoes, and of course the much said oranges should be your best friend if you want to build a strong immune system.

It is common knowledge that we all need daily dosage of specific amount of vitamins and minerals for the normal functioning and the physical well-being of our bodies; but sometimes as human beings we do very little to help ourselves, If all our meals could be well-thought-out, then supplying our bodies with the needed vitamins and minerals wouldn’t be a problem.

The doctor also told me that the symptoms usually appear when vitamins deficiency has been going on for a while, so it is not something that happens overnight.  Mix the fruits and vegetables in your daily food intake and stay free of vitamin C deficiency.

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