It's Not Aging, It's Low Collagen. 11 (Mostly) Reversible Symptoms to Look For

May 19, 2023

Could a collagen deficiency be making you feel and look older than you are? 

By the time you hit 25, your natural collagen production slows down. But how can you tell when your collagen levels are low?

There are several symptoms of collagen deficiency that you may write off as just getting older. This article will discuss common signs of a collagen deficiency, and what you can do to look and feel younger.

11 Signs You May Have Low Collagen Levels

Low collagen can be sneaky to detect because most people associate the symptoms as just natural signs of aging. The most common symptoms of low collagen levels include:

1. Osteoporosis or Osteopenia

Osteoporosis is a bone disease caused by a decrease in bone mass and bone mineral density, or by a change in your bones’ quality or structure (1). This condition can make your bones weaker, which can increase your risk of fractures. Osteopenia is the beginning stage to osteoporosis.

On average, osteoporosis tends to develop when a woman is in her 50s, though she may not even realize it…many people don’t realize they have osteoporosis until they break a bone (2).

2. Debilitating Joint Pain

Cartilage—the buoyant, rubber-like tissue that covers the ends of long bones at the joints—is made up of a lot of collagen. Collagen loss in these areas results in more bone-on-bone movement, which can cause joint pain. Aside from causing discomfort around the joints, collagen depletion may inhibit motion—including the movement of ligaments and tendons (3).

3. Loss of Mobility

Collagen vascular diseases, particularly Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis, can cause a loss of movement due to joint damage or stiffness leading to a loss of mobility. People with these diseases experience a compromised immune response, producing inflammation within the collagen surrounding the joints (4).

4. Muscle Aches

Most of our body’s supply of collagen is in our connective tissue, which “connects” the ligaments and muscles to our skeletal system. As collagen depletes, these connections weaken, which can cause complications like muscle aches and pains (5).

5. Muscle Weakness

Collagen works to repair your muscles and helps with muscle flexibility. Low collagen levels will not only contribute to longer muscle recovery time, but could also result in you losing muscle mass and strength.

6. Leaky Gut

Collagen can be found nearly everywhere in the body, including the stomach. It wasn’t until recently that collagen was discovered as a key substance in the gut’s lining. A decline of collagen in the gut may lead to intestinal permeability or “leaky gut syndrome” (6).

Symptoms of leaky gut include constipation, diarrhea, brain fog, fatigue, nutrient deficiencies, and an impaired immune system.

7. Problem With Blood Flow

Collagen makes up the walls of blood vessels which, as collagen depletes, are less able to regulate blood flow (7). Interruptions to blood flow may produce symptoms like chest pain, dizziness, fatigue, and frequent headaches.

8. Wrinkling

Research indicates that wrinkles aren’t just a result of “getting old,” but conclusively a result of low collagen levels (8). Collagen is responsible for giving skin its structure. So, when there’s less collagen, the skin isn’t quite as firm. When the skin loses elasticity and firmness, wrinkles often result.

9. Cellulite

Cellulite occurs when the layer of fat underneath the skin pushes up on the connective tissue, creating a dimpled or lumpy appearance. Loss of collagen causes the skin to lose some of its elasticity, which may contribute to the development of cellulite (9).

10. Hollowing of Eyes & Face

When you look at a child, one thing that you may notice is the fullness of their face and smooth skin. Aging causes this natural, glowing look to fade. As we age beyond our 30s, the collagen depletion begins and as a result, you may notice that the area under your eyes appears hollower and darker. Your cheeks may begin to thin, giving your face a gaunt appearance (8).

11. Brittle Nail & Hair

Collagen protein contains the amino acid proline, one of the main components of keratin, which is needed for healthy hair and nails. When there’s a decline in collagen, the hair begins to lose its suppleness and thickness, and nails become weak and break easily. 

Low collagen also means that your body can’t fight off free radicals as well as it did before, and this can result in the texture of your hair being destroyed, further contributing to thinner hair that’s less glossy.

The Bottom Line

Signs of a lack of collagen are often overlooked or written off as “aging”. While less collagen in the body is a natural part of aging, you don’t have to suffer with it.

Supplementing with a high-quality collagen supplement, like NativePath Collagen Peptides, can restore your collagen supply and ease your symptoms. By taking the time to listen to your body and addressing what it needs, you can feel more like yourself again.

Dr. Chad Walding
Article by

Dr. Chad Walding

Dr. Chad Walding is the Co-Founder and Chief Culture Officer at NativePath. He is a Doctor of Physical Therapy with a passion for helping people eat, move, and live in harmony with their natural state.

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    Medical Disclaimer

    This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Chad Walding nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.

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