Collagen. Beauty ads throw the word out all the time in commercials and magazines, but do you know what makes collagen so important within the body? Not having collagen does more than give you thin lips. If your body is lacking this vital protein, you will be displaying some surefire signs:
What is collagen?
Did you know that there are over 20 different types of collagen in your body? The groups have specific functions. For example, some collagen is necessary for maintaining the health of internal organs, while another type is needed for smooth skin.
There are a number of reasons why collagen can be deficient in your system. The first reason is the most common – aging. This is why the skin wrinkles as you age.
Another reason collagen gets scarce is if you have too much sun exposure. Lastly, connective tissue diseases and autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis can cause collagen to degenerate.
Does your body lack collagen?
Because multiple systems use collagen in the body, a slew of symptoms can show up.
Otherwise known as the thin tissue enveloping joints and making up the tip of our noses and ears, cartilage is necessary for the body. However, since cartilage is dependent on collagen when you lack collagen, joint stability, joint stiffness, and even joint pain can occur.
Collagen is also important for anchoring the teeth to the gums. Without enough collagen, the gums may begin to recede, and the teeth will loosen. This usually leads to toothache, sensitive teeth, and even early tooth loss.
Similar to cartilage, muscles also use cartilage to cement the heads of bones. Those with collagen deficiency often complain about muscle aches.
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A more physical means of detecting whether or not you have collagen deficiency would be to look at your hair. Collagen fills the space around the hair follicles. When there is not enough collagen, nutrients are not delivered to the follicle, and duller, thinner hair is the result. Collagen also fights free radicals that would damage your hair’s texture, thickness, and growth.
Collagen gives skin cells strength and structure. Therefore, it is no wonder that a lack of collagen would cause the skin to lose elasticity and start to wrinkle and fine lines to deepen. As mentioned before, collagen production does diminish with age, but UV radiation and other free radicals will accelerate the formation of wrinkles.
Surprisingly, cellulite is not just fluid underneath the skin. A lack of collagen also causes it because, without this special protein, the skin will begin to wrinkle and pucker. When collagen levels are low, it is no surprise that the thinner, weaker skin gets easily damaged or builds up an excess of liquid.
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Now that you know the signs that your body lacks collagen, you can begin to take the steps required to reverse this deficiency. Fortunately, there are a number of treatments, foods, and even beauty products that can increase the amount of collagen in your skin.
Just keep in mind that as you age, the production level drops. If you suspect that perhaps your collagen deficiency can be caused by an illness, do seek medical aid.