What Are Symptoms of Collagen Deficiency?
What are common symptoms of collagen deficiency?
- Joint pain or stiffness
- Thin or flat-looking hair
- Slow recovery after exercise or injury
- Low blood pressure
- Wrinkles and fine lines
- Digestive issues
Collagen is one of the most abundant nutrients in our body. It’s well known for its role in building, repairing, and strengthening our muscles and connective tissue — but did you know it’s easy to lack collagen? And, because of its role in our body, it crops up as different issues everywhere?
Many lifestyle and dietary factors can contribute to a lack of collagen. Though there’s no way to test for it, there are many symptoms of collagen deficiency that you can keep an eye out for.
What can damage collagen?
Our body can produce collagen, plus you can get them from a variety of foods — but collagen can become damaged, and production can be affected by several things:
- Eating too much sugar — sugar intake can trigger insulin production. This can create an inflammatory response that results in a breakdown of collagen in your cells.
- Smoking — tobacco is loaded with chemicals that damage collagen in your cells. Even secondhand smoke can affect the collagen on your skin, leading to wrinkles and blemishes.
- UV exposure — too much exposure to sunlight can cause collagen deterioration. UVA rays in particular are known for triggering enzymes that target and break down collagen.
Limiting or avoiding these sources of collagen damage should prevent a deficiency. But, if you’re worried about your collagen levels, here are the symptoms you should look for:
Joint pain or stiffness
Joint pain and stiffness can be caused by several conditions — like osteoarthritis — but is also common with collagen deficiency. Collagen is an important building block of many structural parts of your body, your joints and cartilage included.
Even if you’re not particularly active, our connective tissues and cartilage get worn down daily. This is because they cushion your bones, which are constantly put under pressure and friction. If collagen production is slow or too little, your joints will begin to suffer.
Collagen is needed to rebuild and repair joints, so as your body slows down collagen production, it lacks the material it needs. Your joints will become less elastic and more susceptible to damage — resulting in pain and stiffness.
Thin or flat-looking hair
Collagen is also present in your hair follicles. These follicles are used to deliver essential nutrients and oils for your hair’s health. Without collagen, this delivery is less efficient. This can lead to your hair looking thinner, or less glossy than usual.
Furthermore, collagen is used by your body to repair hair strands. This can result in the texture of your hair changing over time. You may find that with a collagen deficiency, your hair feels more rough and frizzy than before.
Slow recovery after exercise or injury
Whether or not you’re an athletic person or someone who works in manual labor, it’s common to experience muscle aches. But, a collagen deficiency can contribute to the intensity and duration of your muscle aches. And, you might also need longer recovery times after workouts — even if they weren’t that demanding or strenuous.
Like we mentioned previously, collagen makes up a big part of all of our tissue. This includes our muscles. When we engage in physical activity, our muscles naturally tear. Our body then uses collagen to repair and reconnect muscle tissue after we use them. If you lack collagen, this process will take more time, which leads to your slow recovery.
Low blood pressure
Low collagen levels can also affect your blood pressure. This is because your blood vessels depend on collagen to build up their walls — which becomes difficult when you lack collagen. As a result, your blood vessels become weak and your body struggles to regulate tension and flow, leading to low blood pressure.
With collagen deficiency, you may experience chest pain, chronic headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness, and other ailments that are common when your blood pressure dips below normal levels.
Wrinkles and fine lines
Our skin uses collagen to keep elastic, which in turn creates a full and supple look. Without collagen, your skin may begin to droop. The areas around your eyes and cheekbones may seem more hollow, or you might find new lines or wrinkles all over your body every day. Even blemishes like stretch marks and cellulite can be linked to a lack of collagen.
Did you know that collagen also plays an important role in your digestive system? They make up the smooth muscle that lines your intestines. A lack of collagen causes the muscles to weaken, which can cause digestive issues. The most common ones linked to collagen deficiencies are leaky gut syndrome and IBS.
Our intestines have small openings — called tight junctions — which should only allow nutrients to be absorbed by your body. When you lack collagen, these openings can widen, leading to leaky gut syndrome. Instead of helping our body, these holes become big enough to let toxins and bacteria enter your bloodstream.
How do I fix a collagen deficiency?
There is some good news if you think you might have a collagen deficiency — it’s very easy to regain any damaged collagen through diet changes.
To encourage your body to produce and store more collagen, your body needs some essentials: amino acids and certain vitamins and minerals. To help, try to eat foods rich in zinc and vitamin C.
To increase your intake of collagen every day, take a supplement — like Bona Vita’s Collagen drink! This drink is the easiest and most efficient way to boost your collagen levels. The collagen peptides we use are highly soluble, meaning you’ll absorb and utilize them quickly. Plus, thanks to our special formula, our drink also contains a healthy dose of vitamin C, which will boost the effects of collagen on your body.
Collagen is an important building block for our body — thus, the symptoms of collagen deficiency show up in problems with our muscles, joints, and soft tissues. If you think you are dealing with a lack of collagen, taking supplements and changing certain aspects of your diet and lifestyle are safe and easy ways to address it.