DOC I HAVE VITAMIN C DEFICIENCYVitamin C Deficiency is a medical condition caused by the deficiency of the human body of Vitamin C as a result of inadequate dietary intake or impaired absorption.Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is present in all living human tissues as an important antioxidant compound of cell metabolism.It is unfortunately rapidly destroyed by heating in the presence of air.Vitamin C is found primarily in 1.animal sources - animal organs such as liver and adrenals.2.vegetable and fruit sources: Vitamin C is found in fresh green and yellow vegetables and fruits such as tomatoes, papaya, oranges, blackberries etc.Optimal requirements of Vitamin C are:1.adults and children above puberty: 70 mg daily2.Infants and children before puberty: 30 mg dailyFunctions of Vitamin C:1.Vitamin C together is essential for the formation and maintenance of intercellular substances such as connective tissue, bones and cartilage.2.Vitamin C is involved in the hydroxylation of proline to hydroxyproline which helps in wound healing.3.Vitamin C stimulates defenses of the body to form antibodies and activates reticuloendothelial system.(walls of the blood vessels)It is therefore useful in the prevention of people with low immunity to illnesses.4.Vitamin C also strengthen the walls of the capillaries and blood vessels preventing bleeding. 5.Vitamin C transport iron from transfer into ferritin a precursor of hemoglobin.6.Vitamin C also interacts with folic acid, iron, Vitamin B12 and protein and other minerals to form the red blood cells.Causes of Vitamin C Deficiency :Vitamin C Deficiency occurs 1.when there is Vitamin C deficiencies due to a.diet - lactating mothers should take more Vitamin Cb.malabsorption as in celiac syndrome, sprue or hepatic cirrhosisc.rapid loss of Vitamin C from the body2.Severity of Vitamin C deficiency is inversely related to age.It is more common in elderly people.Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency :1.Vitamin C Deficiency is a silent disease. People with Vitamin C Deficiency often do not know that they have the condition. 2.Mucous membrane-swelling and bleeding of gums a condition called scurvy.3.Skin- hyperkeratosis and metaplasia of skin and mucous membrane may occur and lead to increased susceptibility to infection.4.Body function-weakness and fatigue5.Mental-Brain dysfunction may occur in children with Vitamin C deficiency.Diagnosis of Vitamin C Deficiency :1.Blood Vitamin C levels are lowTreatment of Vitamin C Deficiency :The goal of Vitamin C Deficiency treatment is the prevention of bleeding mucosa,gum and skin problems, and general immunity to illnesses.Therefore, prevention of Vitamin C Deficiency is as important as treatment. Vitamin C Deficiency treatment and prevention measures are: Medications:Vitamin C supplementsVitamin C is given at 50 mg to 100 mg per day orally until the response is adequate.In fact the Chemistry nobel laureate Linus Pauling has advocated the daily dosage of Vitamin C of 1000mg to 5000mg daily as a prevention to colds and influenza.However such high dosage treatment has been known to have strong side effects and is still controversial.Side effects are:1.Vitamin C is only excreted in the urine and such high dosage of Vitamin C being acidic can damage the kidneys. 2.Precipitation of uric acid stones can also occur3.Gastric problem may occur as Vitamin C is a strong acidPrognosis of Vitamin C Deficiency :1.good response to treatment in vitamin C deficiency.2.treat underlying cause such as malabsorption to get a good response in the treatment of Vitamin C Deficiency.Prevention of Vitamin C Deficiency :take more fresh fruits and vegetables.