10 signs you have collagen deficiency
April 15, 2019
Did you know that collagen constitutes 30% of your body cells?
As it’s such an important part of the body’s structure, having a collagen deficiency causes many conditions that some people have reportedly learnt to live with.
Here, we look at some signs of collagen deficiency and the most common diseases that collagen deficiency causes.
10 signs you have collagen deficiency
It is very natural that as you age your body begins to manufacture less collagen. In other instances, you might be living in places where you are often exposed to too much pollution, smoke and excessive sun rays.
All these are likely to subject your body to collagen deficiency. Collagen deficiency also results from your body lacking various antioxidants that are responsible for keeping collagen strong. Below are 10 signs you have a collagen deficiency:
Collagen is responsible for giving the skin its structure and strength. It is very likely that as you age your collagen stores slowly become depleted.
As a result, your skin begins to lose some of its structures leading to the formation of wrinkles, especially on the face.
If no measures are taken to reverse this process, the wrinkles quickly spread throughout the entire body, leading to the sagging of skin.
Blood pressure problems
It so happens that your blood vessels' walls are made up of collagen.
Considering that this substance depletes with age, it becomes excessively difficult for your body to regulate the flow of blood effectively.
As a result, you begin to encounter some problems associated with abnormal blood pressure. These include chest pain, fatigue, chronic headaches and dizziness.
If no proper medication is received in time, weakened collagen may greatly reduce the quality of your life.
Studies show that low blood pressure is often associated with collagen deficiency. It is, therefore, advisable that patients correct this condition by the use of collagen supplements.
Most healthcare providers use body weight as a factor to determine the right dosage of collagen supplements for any given patient.
Patients are advised to follow the collagen therapies strictly.
The human body has a thin tissue known as cartilage, which lines various joints. Cartilage is made of collagen, which is why collagen plays a significant role in joint function.
The deterioration of collagen in the body leads to the minimisation of fat on your joints. As a result, you may begin to experience excessive friction. This may eventually turn into arthritis.
Joint pain may also result from the deficiency of various essential elements that are directly or indirectly associated with an insufficient supply of collagen in the body.
Collagen binds muscles to ligaments and bones. Collagen deficiency causes the weakening of collagen fibres, which eventually results in the weakening of the connection of these structures.
As a result, you begin to experience more aching muscles and additional friction.
Collagen is responsible for making up your skin’s connective tissues. As such, it is responsible for skin elasticity, skin firmness, cell renewal and suppleness.
When the fatty tissues underneath the skin push upward against your body's connective tissues, the skin at the surface begins to pucker, resulting in cellulite.
As the levels of collagen in your body reduce further, your skin eventually becomes less firm, grows thinner and becomes more vulnerable to damage. This results in the worsening of cellulite.
Loss of mobility
Collagen vascular diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus may cause a loss of movement as a result of stiffness or damage to joints leading to mobility loss.
Normally, victims of such diseases tend to experience a compromised immune response. This instigates the production of inflammation within the collagen that surrounds the joints.
Flat or thin hair
Collagen is found in the space around your hair follicles. The micro-vessels deliver the essential nutrients from your body to your hair, keeping it nourished and healthy.
As a result, your hair is lengthened, and the appearance of a shiny, fuller mane is enhanced.
Depletion of collagen slows down the delivery process. Consequently, this leads to duller, thinner hair.
Considering that the collagen protein is also responsible for fighting off free radicals from pollution and sun rays, its deficiency may lead to the destruction of the texture of your hair, hinder its growth and negatively impact on its thickness.
Hollowing of the face and eyes
When you closely look at a child, you are most likely to notice their smooth skin and the fullness of their face.
However, this is contrary to what you will see in adults. Ageing causes the fading of this natural, glowing look.
Collagen deficiency causes the area around your eyes to appear darker and hollower. Your cheeks may also begin to thin.
Diseases caused by collagen deficiency
The deficiency of collagen causes diseases that affect one's connective tissues. Collectively, these diseases are referred to as collagen vascular disease or connective tissue disease.
Collagen vascular diseases are either autoimmune or heritable. Here, we will only talk about the autoimmune forms of connective tissue disease.
Various disorders classified as autoimmune connective tissue diseases affect the joints, blood vessels, skin and other vital organs.
The most common forms of autoimmune collagen vascular disease are: temporal arteritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma and temporal arteritis.
Temporal arteritis, also known as giant cell arteritis, is an inflammation of large arteries such as those in the head.
Some of its symptoms include jaw pain, headaches, scalp sensitivity and loss of vision.
In temporal arteritis, the temporal arteries, which supply blood from the heart to the scalp, are swollen (inflamed) and narrowed (constricted).
This disease is often associated with people above the age of 50.
The vasculitis that causes this disease may involve other blood vessels like the aorta and posterior ciliary arteries.
These can lead to severe health problems. If not treated in time, temporal arteritis may lead to blindness, damage of blood vessels and transient ischemic attacks.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a long-term, disabling and progressive collagen vascular disease, which causes pain and inflammation in and around the body joints.
In most cases, RA affects the feet and hands first. However, it can occur in any joint.
According to the report that the National Institute of Arthritis Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases unveiled, 1.3 million adults are affected by rheumatoid arthritis in the United States alone.
Often, when the connective tissues between the joints are inflamed, stiffness and pain erupt.
You may encounter problems such as dry mouth and dry eyes. If you have this form of connective tissue disease, the lining of your heart or your blood vessels may easily become inflamed.
Symptoms of RA include joint deformity, fever, joint pain, stiffness and swelling, as well as loss of mobility and function.
The symptoms of lupus disease vary from one patient to another. In addition to these varying symptoms, the prevalence of the following may suggest that one is suffering from lupus: recurrent miscarriages, stroke, headaches, mouth ulcers and chest pains.
This autoimmune collagen vascular disease can affect your digestive track, skin, lungs, heart and other organs.
Its most common symptoms include rashes, hardening and thickening of the skin and open sores. Your skin may feel lumpy in some areas or feel tight as if it is being stretched.
Systemic scleroderma may cause wheezing, diarrhoea, joint pain, coughing, breathing difficulties, acid reflux and numbness in the feet.
Collagen holds your body together, giving it the necessary elasticity. It is the supporting block of the tissues of your body.
Collagen deficiency causes many problems such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and systematic sclerosis. Usually, your body will show you the signs of collagen deficiency if you are keen enough to notice.
While it may be impossible to halt the loss of collagen completely, there are measures you can observe to lower the rate at which your collagen depreciates.
Limiting your exposure to scorching sun rays and pollution, and quitting smoking, are some of the best practices to help you stay safe.
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