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Scurvy is a deficiency disease. It is caused by a dietary lack of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), a nutrient found in many fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly the citrus fruits. The scientific name of vitamin C, ascorbic acid, is derived from the Latin name of scurvy, scorbutus. Scurvy is characterized by swollen and bleeding gums with loosened teeth, soreness and stiffness of the joints and lower extremities, bleeding under the skin and in deep tissues, slow wound healing, and anemia. Scurvy was a serious problem in the past, when fresh fruitsand vegetables were not available during the winter in many parts of the world. Scurvy leads to the formation of liver spots on the skin, spongy gums, and bleeding from all mucous membranes. Currently, scurvy occurs very rarely in the United States. Patients who are elderly or alcoholic and who subsist on diets devoid of fresh fruits and vegetables are vulnerable. Infants can develop scurvy if they are weaned from breast milk and switched to cow's milk without an additional supplement of vitamin C. Scurvy is now most frequently seen in older, malnourished adults. Babies of mothers who took extremely high doses of vitamin C during pregnancy can develop infantile scurvy.
Symptoms of scurvy generally develop after at least 3 months of severe or total vitamin C deficiency. Scurvy is uncommon in the neonatal period. The appearance of tiny red blood-blisters to larger purplish blotches on the skin of the legs is a common symptom. Wound healing may be delayed and scars that had healed may start to break down. Scurvy seems to have disarmed the sensory inhibitors that keep taste, smell and hearing under control and stop us from feeling too much. Untreated scurvy is always fatal. However, since all that is required for a full recovery is the resumption of normal vitamin C intake, death from scurvy is rare in modern times. Scurvy can occur at any age. Most cases of infantile scurvy occur when the infant is aged 6-24 months. Scurvy is often diagnosed based on the symptoms present. A dietary history showing little or no fresh fruits or vegetables are eaten may help to diagnose vitamin C deficiency. Scurvy is very easily treated. Improving the diet to strengthen the levels of vitamin C is all that is necessary. The symptoms should disappear within a day to a few weeks. Citrus fruits (such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, and tangerines), berries, melons, red and green bell peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, and dark green, leafy vegetables are all good sources of vitamin C.
Causes of Scurvy
The common causes and risk factor's of Scurvy include the following:
Symptoms of Scurvy
Some sign and symptoms related to Scurvy are as follows:
Treatment of Scurvy
Here is list of the methods for treating Scurvy :
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