You’re in a hurry before leaving for work, so instead of eating a full breakfast, you grab a few sips of orange juice. Of course, you’re busy the rest of the day, so lunch and dinner turn into fast food. This pattern repeats for a week or so, and you notice you’re tired, and have headaches and cold symptoms every day. How come? It’s possible you have vitamin C deficiency, but there may be a way to replenish it to fit your busy lifestyle – IV therapy.
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, a nutrient that all humans need to survive. Unlike animals, we don’t produce it naturally, so we need to acquire and replenish a stock of it through fruits and vegetables and, in some cases, vitamin C IV therapy.
Vitamin C IV therapy is a process that’s much faster than getting vitamins by eating fruits and vegetables. When you eat, food is digested and eventually converted to energy, which is then distributed throughout your body. But this takes time, sometimes as much as several hours. But with IV therapy, you bypass that process, and instead, liquid vitamin C and other nutrients are dispensed via a needle in your arm, with the needle attached to a flexible hose and a drip bag.
Signs of Vitamin C Deficiency
If you’ve ever heard your healthcare provider mention scurvy, they’re talking about one of the worst-case scenarios you can face due to low vitamin C levels. Scurvy, which primarily affects older adults, is rare in the United States but manifests itself as anemia, general weakness, gum disease, and skin hemorrhages. But there are other warning signs of vitamin C deficiency.
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of weight
- Mysterious muscle and joint pain
- Loose teeth
- Hair that’s dry, fragile, and corkscrew-shaped
- Your skin may become dry, rough, and scaly
- Fluid in the legs
- Infections that don’t heal
- Potential bone growth impairment in infants
Some of these can be treated with supplements, better eating habits, or even ketamine therapy.
According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, anyone can get vitamin C deficiency. Males more so than women, 14% compared to 10%. Men 25 to 64 years old have the highest rate of 17%, males 12 to 17 years old the lowest, 6%. Women 25 to 44 years old have the highest rate for their gender, 12%, and females 12 to 17 the lowest, 5%.
As mentioned before, vitamin C doesn’t happen naturally in people, so we need to acquire it. To help maintain overall health, the recommended amounts are:
- RDA, or Recommended Dietary Allowance. For adults 19 years old and older, the daily amount is 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women. For pregnancy and lactation, it’s 85 mg and 120 mg daily, respectively. If you use nicotine, you need even higher levels and should add 35 mg past the RDA to be safe.
- UL, or the Tolerable Upper Intake Level. You shouldn’t get more than 2000 mg daily of vitamin C; anything beyond that amount could trigger gastrointestinal distress and diarrhea. In some cases, higher doses may be required for medical purposes as determined by your healthcare provider.
The Benefits of Vitamin C
There’s a good reason for needing vitamin C, whether you get it by eating healthy foods and vegetables, or more quickly through vitamin C IV therapy. This vitamin plays a critical part in controlling infections and healing wounds, and acts as a powerful antioxidant to neutralize harmful free radicals. “Free radicals and oxidants play a dual role as both toxic and beneficial compounds since they can be either harmful or helpful to the body.”
We need vitamin C to make collagen, a fibrous protein in connective tissue throughout the body – it powers the critical systems: blood, bone, cartilage, immune, nervous, and others. Without collagen, for instance, your skin becomes brittle, and you could lose muscle mass. The vitamin also helps make numerous hormones and chemical messengers used to transmit signals from the brain to nerves throughout your body. If these neurotransmitters are weak or damaged, there could be problems with how you perceive pain, leading to a whole range of mental and physical conditions. Sometimes, ketamine therapy can help repair damaged neurotransmitters.
If you’re feeling tired, irritable, or have problems fighting off cold symptoms, you may be experiencing vitamin C deficiency. Your healthcare provider may recommend different treatment options, including IV therapy.