Vitamin C is a vital nutrient for the body, but overuse of the substance can cause significant health issues. An individual who suspects a vitamin C overdose can undergo self-treatment by altering vitamin C intake. Serious or ongoing symptoms could be due to a preexisting condition, however, and should be monitored by a medical professional. Treatment focuses on dealing with the symptoms of an overdose.
The human body requires vitamin C in order to function properly. A lack of it can cause a condition called scurvy, which is characterized by increased bleeding, gum and skin disease, and a general feeling of sickness. Prolonged vitamin C deficiency can even result in death. While human beings naturally create this substance, the body does not produce enough to sustain the its needs. Therefore, individuals must meet their requirements via vitamin C-rich foods or supplements.
Taking supplements is what most often leads to a vitamin C overdose, however. The symptoms of an overdose include stomachache, diarrhea, and cramping. Abuse can also cause more serious symptoms, however, such as kidney stones, breathing difficulties, and impaired metabolism.
Perhaps the best means of combating a vitamin C overdose is ceasing or significantly diminishing intake. The moderation and control of vitamin C will eliminate most overdose symptoms. A recommended daily dosage typically suggests roughly 90 milligrams for men and 75 milligrams for women. These suggestions may vary depending on factors like stress and smoking history. Some evidence suggests that a large intake of water along with supplements may diminish the possibility of a potential overdose and may even prove helpful when recovering from an overdose.
Some underlying conditions may facilitate a vitamin C overdose, so treatment of these conditions may be essential. This effect is generally caused by certain ailments that produce excessive amounts of iron, which can adversely interact with vitamin C in high doses. Examples include the following: copper deficiency, bruises, muscular problems, and inflammatory diseases like arthritis.
Most vitamin C overdose treatments focus on associated symptoms. For example, diarrhea brought about by excessive vitamin C may be managed with one of the various anti-diarrhea medications available in pharmacies. Similar bouts of nausea or cramping may also benefit from over-the-counter drugs. As for more serious side effects like difficulty breathing or potential kidney effects, a physician's visit is essential. A medical professional can assess the level of damage and act as needed, either offering prescriptions or ordering tests and procedures.