Top 11 Signs You Need Collagen
Collagen is like the glue that holds all your other tissues together. It keeps skin strong and elastic, keeps nails from breaking, and grows your hair long and thick. Deeper inside, it keeps joints stable and supports your internal organs. It's crucial to your body's structure to have collagen proteins. Collagen levels decline with age, and collagen isn’t something that’s in most of the foods we eat today.
Over time, your body may begin to display signs of depleted collagen, especially if you’re not focused on getting more of this important protein. Collagen supplements are popular because of the positive effect they have on you look and feel. It’s one of the supplements that can make a visible difference, and fast.
Am I deficient in collagen?A deficiency, which occurs when your body doesn't have enough of the protein to function properly, is a common occurrence as we age. Not everyone will experience depleted collagen stores, but most people will, and these symptoms will only get worse unless you’re able to increase your collagen intake.
It’s important to understand some of the worst offenders when it comes to things that deplete collagen. Refined sugars or carbs, prolonged exposure to UV rays, and smoking all contribute to the depletion of the body's natural resources.
What are the signs of a collagen deficiency?You should be on the lookout for the following signs of collagen deficiency. If you’re experiencing even one of these, it’s a good sign that you need to add more collagen to your diet!
Painful joint movement
Wrinkled, thinning skin
Cracking or brittle nails
Thin hair that breaks easily
Leaky gut or poor digestion
Frequent muscle aches
Slow wound healing
Let's take a closer look at these common complaints.
Deficiencies in collagen lead to wrinkles because your skin becomes less elastic with time. If you notice wrinkles in your twenties or thirties, this could be a sign of a deficit, but you can maintain smoother skin even in your later years by increasing your collagen intake. Because 70% to 80% of your skin is made up of collagen, which is bound to water, this is why collagen-rich skin looks smooth and plump. This means that your body will not be able to repair itself as rapidly if you have a collagen deficiency, as the collagen it does generate will be directed toward wound healing or supporting your vital organs.
Frequent muscle aches, painful joint movement, and decreased mobilityWhether you’re a weekend warrior or crossfit enthusiast, body aches are no fun. Some soreness is normal when recovering from a workout, but persistent pain isn’t normal or healthy. Collagen is necessary for muscle regeneration as well as smooth, stable joint function. If your body is using your collagen stores without having them replenished often, you can expect pain, and even damage to joints and muscles.
Leaky gut and digestive problemsThere is a connection between a lack of collagen and certain types of leaky gut syndrome. The tight junctions in your intestines aid in the absorption of nutrients. A leaky gut, on the other hand, allows for the passage of foreign particles, resulting in infection and inflammation. Collagen is an integral part of the thin cellular matrix that separates the intestines from the rest of your tissues. If it becomes degraded and can’t replace lost collagen, digestive problems like leaky gut can result. Rebuilding the gut wall relies heavily on collagen. Because of this, collagen is necessary to repairing the broken tight junctions in your body.
Thin hair that breaks easilyTo maintain healthy, strong hair, your body uses collagen to bind the cuticle, cortex, and medulla of the hair shaft. Collagen is found throughout your hair follicles. Collagen shortage slows down the hair growth process, and if there isn’t enough available, the resulting hair is thin and breaks more easily because it lacks this vital protein.
Slow wound healingCollagen is the backbone of the skin matrix. It holds the layers of skin together, retains moisture and other nutrient molecules, and is necessary to heal wounds in the skin quickly and with minimal scarring. In order to heal damaged tissue after an accident, your body manufactures collagen in the affected area. If you are already low in collagen, your body cannot complete this process quickly, and you may have a worse scar after it heals. Worse, you’re even lower in collagen than before the accident and further injuries will heal even more slowly.