Vitamin C deficiency is rare in Americans, according to Carter, but there are some people who might have a harder time getting enough. One group is smokers. "The free radicals created by smoking require the body to increase the amount of vitamin C needed to prevent oxidative stress. Individuals who smoke need 35 milligrams more vitamin C per day than nonsmokers," she says.
You might also experience a deficiency if you are a restricted eater, meaning you don't get enough nutrient-dense foods or are limited in the variety of foods you eat, Carter adds.
"People who get little or no vitamin C for multiple weeks can get scurvy," says Agyeman. "Scurvy causes fatigue, inflammation of the gums, small red or purple spots on the skin, joint pain, poor wound healing, and corkscrew hairs. Red, bleeding gums are another common sign of vitamin C deficiency, and severe deficiency can even lead to tooth loss."